There are 7 billion people in the world. And a full 22% of them — 1.6 billion — are fasting from sunup to sundown. Every day. For an entire month.
It’s Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar.
While bloggers are having a field day listing the best food to eat during Ramadan, I want to list the number of hours you need to fast according to which country you are in.
If anything, it brings a sense of perspective that there are others outside of Singapore who are fulfilling their obligations as a Muslim, albeit with lesser fuss and fanfare.
How many hours to fast?
It really depends on where you are on the globe.
The Muslim calendar follows the lunar cycle and Muslims observe their prayers by using the position of the sun as guide. The fast starts at the onset of the call to prayer in the morning all the way to the call to prayer in the evening.
In Singapore, this is approximately 13 hours. (5.43 am to 7.10pm)
(Earth is in the Summer Solstice position in June)
Long fasting hours
As per the global map, countries with long fasting hours include Iceland, Sweden and Norway of about 20 hours.
The Netherlands and Belgium with 18 hours and 30 minutes; Spain 17 hours and 30 minutes; while England and Germany at 16 hours and 30 minutes.
Those in the US, France and Italy will fast for 16 hours.
Medium fasting hours
Residents in the GCC and Middle East fall under this category. Those in Egypt will fast up to 16-and-a-half hours; and people in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Palestine for 15 hours.
In Yemen, fasting period will be 14 hours and 50 minutes; in Qatar 14 hours and 40 minutes; Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Algeria, Morocco and Libya, Sudan will observe 14 hours.
Least fasting hours
Australia will observe fast for 10 hours this Ramadan; South Africa 10 hours and 30 minutes; Brazil 11 hours; Mexico 13 hours and 20 minutes.
What if the Sun does not set?
Since the Muslim calendar follows the lunar cycle, it is inevitable that Ramadan will take place during months where the sun does not set (e.g in the arctic circle)
For the muslims there, they can opt to follow Makkah timming (e.g about 13 hours of fast)
Source: Alarabiya.net; Morroccoworldnews.com
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