September 6, 2009

How do they do it?

If the moon is out for an extended period how do they know when to even begin fasting? If the sun is out 24hr for months how do they know when to end their fast? How do they determine when to pray their prayers?

This applies to anyone who lives in an area like Alaska or the North Pole.


muslimah said...

I think you are supposed to follow to nearest city that has time difference.
wallahu alem

he said...

They usually do it according to the timings of the nearest place where it's physically possible to do. Either that or follow Makkah.

In summer, my fasts are going to be 20 hours long. This year it was around 16 hours, which wasn't too bad.

.::Tuttie::. said...

shafiq. SUBHANAALLAH! 20 hr fasts are crazy long. May Allah swt make it easy on you. How close do you live to the poles?

@ firdous. JazakAllah khayran for answering.

Jaz said...

I heard a fatwa that they can fast Makkah time, however that's kinda not fair I think... I live in Scotland where it can get dark after 11pm and start getting light at like 2:30am in Summer so they should suffer as much haha!

But yeah, think how easy winter fasts are for those people, the sun never comes up - I bet they don't want to fast Makkah time there! They just follow the nearest city at times like that; The winter here it's only daylight from about 9am - 3pm.

So I guess countries further up like Norway and Sweden would have much longer summer fasts and much shorter fasts even than that.

Zee said...

What a coincidence..I was asking my husband the same thing last night and he didn't know the answer..leaving me high and dry..thanks for posting this!:)

.::Tuttie::. said...

@jaz...tisk tisk. Let's have some compassion for our brothers and sisters. I totally love your winter fasts thought. :) Summer not so much.

@zee.alhamdulillah I resolved your marital issue.

he said...

I live in Leeds (which is slightly further down from Scotland). I think that the UK is around 2500 miles from the poles (so there's still a long way to go).

There were some revert brothers who were struggling this year and were thinking about just following Makkah. But the 20 hours thing is possible.

muslimah said...

in the summer here fajr is at 02:00 and isha at 00:00.

And it will be ramadan in summer soon, gaaaaah

Stephanie said...

i've wondered that myself. I wonder if anyone knows any Muslims in Alaska. Obvoiusly if it is light out for days on end you wouldn't be able to fast in the normal way. for me, if i lived in a place with 22 hours of daylight, I'd be seriously tempted to follow Makkah time. That is just too much! I've looked for online fatwas and never found one. Someone should get one.

NtN said...

Salaam alykom wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
I think I've written this response like 5 times now, astaghfirullah. Couldn't remember where my answer had come from!! Got to love fasting brain! It appears the Islamic text "The Reliance of the Traveller" covers this issue, as does Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller in his translation of "Al Maqasid." The following is what's in Al Maqasid... (it's quite long, I apologize)

"If one's location does not have one or more of the prayer times, such as nightfall (because of twilight all night), sunrise etc., due to the extreme northerly latitude, then one should pray at the same time as the closest location that has the true times. For each degree of longitude that this closest city lies to the east of one's location, the prayer time of the city will arrive earlier than at one's own position by four minutes, and one may wish to compensate for this error factor by the appropriate calculations, ie not praying simultaneously with that city's times, but rather after its time by four minutes for each degree of longitude it lies to the east, or before its time by four minutes for each degree of longitude it lies to the west, in addition to observing time zone differences.

For both the dawn prayer (sobh) and the dawn that marks the beginning of fast-days of Ramadan, if there is sunset and sunrise at one's location, but not true dawn because of the persistence of twilight all night, one copies the nearest city that has the true times in terms of the amount of time by which dawn in that city precedes sunrise there. Thus if dawn in this nearest city precedes sunrise by 90 minutes, one's own "dawn" occurs 90 minutes before the sunrise in one's own city. And similarly for the amount of time by which nightfall ('isha) follows the sunset prayers (maghrib).

Finally, if one finds one has been consistently mistaken about the time of a particular prayer and has performed it day after day in other than its times, one has only on prayer to make up (that of the last day), as each day is considered the makeup of the day before it (n: if one's mistake was praying before the time. If it was after, each prayer is already the makeup of that day."

I also found a fatwa on the issue, so Stephanie, alhamdulillah we have one now! I personally prefer Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim's way, but whatever works!!!

.::Tuttie::. said...

oh man oh man! Alhamdulillah and JAzakalllah khayr for the read! answersmy questions.