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How to Fast for Ramadan Where the Days Are over 20 Hours Long

(Photo of the Midnight Sun Mosque in Inuvik by the US Embassy to Canada)

The town of Iqaluit in the Canadian Arctic has a growing Muslim community. Many members fast from sunup to sundown during the sacred month of Ramadan. That's a challenge because during the summer, daylight can last longer than 20 hours. The Guardian talked to Muslims there about the experience:

“I haven’t fainted once,” said 29-year-old Abdul Karim, one of the few in the city who has fastidiously timed his Ramadan fast to the Arctic sun since moving from Ottawa in 2011. This year that means eating at about 1.30am before the sun rises and breaking his fast at about 11pm when the sun sets.

Other Muslims in the Canadian Arctic set their fasting timetable by more southerly cities:

Most in Iqaluit adhere to the timetable followed by Muslims in Ottawa, some 1,300 miles south of the city – a nod to the advice of Muslim scholars who have said Muslims in the far north should observe Ramadan using the timetable of Mecca or the nearest Muslim city.


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I remember reading about a Muslim a few years ago trying to finish his lawn mowing before the sun came up during a summer Ramadan. Not only did he not finish by the time he saw the sunrise, but he was left pretty thirsty from the exertion. Poor guy.
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