Preparing for the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world will experience varying lengths of fasting.
With the holy month of Ramadan approaching, more than 1.9 billion Muslims worldwide are gearing up for the annual period of fasting. The duration of fasting during this month will range from 10 to 18 hours depending on the geographical location of the person, due to variations in the length of day and night caused by the Earth’s tilt and the position of the sun.
Countries located closer to the equator typically experience shorter fasting hours, while those located further away, particularly in northern and southern latitudes, experience longer fasting periods. Some areas like Greenland and Alaska experience days where the sun never sets, and in these places, Islamic scholars recommend following the fasting hours of Mecca in Saudi Arabia since it is home to the Kaaba – the holiest site in Islam.
The average fasting hours worldwide usually fall between 14 to 15 hours. In Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, Muslims will fast up to 14 hours per day throughout the holy month. Ramadan is set to begin on March 23 and involves refraining from food and drink, and engaging in practices that improve one’s faith, patience, and sense of community.
Here is a list of countries where Muslims will fast for the most and least number of hours in 2023:
Longest fasting hours:
- Nuuk, Greenland: 18 hours
- Reykjavik, Iceland: 18 hours
- Helsinki, Finland: 17 hours
- Glasgow, Scotland: 17 hours
- Ottawa, Canada: 17 hours
- London, United Kingdom: 16-17 hours
- Paris, France: 16-17 hours
- Zurich, Switzerland: 15 hours
- Rome, Italy: 15 hours
- Madrid, Spain: 15 hours
Shortest fasting hours:
- Christchurch, New Zealand: 12 hours
- Puerto Montt, Chile: 12 hours
- Buenos Aires, Argentina: 12 hours
- Jakarta, Indonesia: 13 hours
- Nairobi, Kenya: 13 hours
- Karachi, Pakistan: 13-14 hours
- New Delhi, India: 13-14 hours
In the Gulf and wider Middle East, the average fasting hours fall between 13 to 15 hours, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Palestine. As the month of Ramadan approaches, Muslims worldwide will embark on a spiritual journey of self-improvement and devotion.
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