What Happens to Fasting in Places with Very Long or Short Days?

The hours of fasting in Ramadan vary based on the geographical position of the city where one lives. In some regions, the fasting hours might be extremely long while in other places it might be too short such that one wonders if the goal of fasting (Sawm) has been accomplished or not. Extended fasting might cause difficulties.

 

Some might complain that there is no advantage in fasting long days. Others might find excuses to avoid fasting altogether. But, Islam does not want Muslims to suffer. There are, therefore, some rulings on how to fast on very long days and very short days, that we review them all next.

 

fasting in ramadan, salamislam

 

Fasting in Ramadan on Extremely Short Days

 

In the case where the days are very short, one should perform fasting in its typical way, from dawn to sunset, according to the prayer times. Hence, short fasting hours does not change the default time rulings on fasting (Swam) [1].   


Fasting Is Not to Suffer

 

Fasting is not a mere act of depriving oneself of foods or drinks, but it aims at spiritual growth and salvation, inner peace, exercising patience, strengthening the social ties and experiencing how poor people live their lives [2].

 

Hence, the obligation on fasting is not to make people suffer; as it is stated in Surah Baqarah: “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship” (2:185). So, there are some rulings on long fasts which make them less difficult.

 

fasting in ramadan, salamislam


Fasting in Ramadan on Very Long Days


Long fast (Swam), especially in hot summer days, is tough. In this case, one should fast according to the prayer times of his\her city of residence. But, if it is extremely difficult, whenever during the day he\she feels unable to continue, he\she is allowed to break the fast (Swam) and have to fast (it is obligatory, Wajib) later on for those missing (Qaza) fasts in shorter days of the current year and before the next Ramadan [1]


However, different religious experts (Mujtahids)  have different opinions on this matter. We explained one of those views above. There are two other opinions as follows and one of them might be the opinion of your religious expert (Mujtahid):

 

  •  In any case, one should fast according to the prayer times of the city of residence;
  • One should fast according to the prayer times in a “moderate region,” with the normal day length, that is on the same meridian as his\her city of residence.


 

Conclusion

 

Fasting is obligatory due to its spiritual and physical benefits. It is not to put pressure and make people suffer. If it is tough to fast in very long days, one can fast according to the rulings stated above. 

 

References:
[1] http://www.leader.ir