How Muslims fast in countries where the sun never sets

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Muslims fast from dawn to dusk in the month of Ramazan, but how exactly do people fast in countries where the sun never, or scarcely, sets?

Muslims living in the Arctic Circle experience some of the most challenging conditions in Ramazan as they can experience 24 hours of sunlight. Countries like Finland, Sweden and Lapland experience little or no sundown during the summer months.

A family living in northern Finland shares their experience of fasting where the sun only sets for 55 minutes.

“Fasting starts at 1:35 in the early morning and will end at 12:48 in the evening. So [fasting] will be 23 hours, 5 minutes. My friends, family and relatives who live in Bangladesh, they can’t believe we could do Ramazan or fasting for more than 20 hours,” Mohammed said while speaking to AJ+.

“So when they heard from us we do Ramazan here for 23 hours or 22 and a half hours, they just say ‘that’s unbelievable, how could you manage this.’ But somehow [thank God] we manage it, and we’re doing very well,” he added.

However, he informed that some Muslims in nearby countries in the Arctic Circle have found other ways to observe a fast during Ramazan. “Some other Muslims who live in Lapland, most of them follow the Middle East time table, as they follow the nearest Islamic country, Turkey.”

The times and dates of Ramazan and fasting vary each year in relation to the Western calendar as they are determined by the lunar cycle.

How long you fast depends on where in the world you live. People living in France will be observing fasting this year for 18.50 hours, closely followed by UK with 17.5 hours and Canada with 17.

Fasting hours in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are not far behind with 15 long hours of fasting.

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