Ummid Assistant

Exploring Ramadan: A complete guide in video with English translation

AMU Centre for Distance Education to add five more study centres

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Ramadan around the world

Dawn-to-dusk fasting challenges Muslims in Arctic

Thursday July 26, 2012 10:36:09 PM, IINA

 

 

Rovaniemi (Finland): How do you observe dawn-to-dusk fasting when there is neither dawn nor dusk? It's a question facing a small but growing number of Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan on the northern tip of Europe, where the sun barely dips below the horizon at this time of year, according to a report in The Associated Press.

In Rovaniemi, a northern Finland town that straddles the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees north, the sun rises around 3:20 a.m. and sets about 11:20 p.m. That means Muslims who observe Ramadan could be required to go without food or drink for 20 hours. In a few years, Ramadan will begin even closer to the summer solstice in late June, when the sun doesn't set at all.

 

"We have to use common sense," said Mahmoud Said, 27, who came to Finnish Lapland from Kenya three years ago.

To Said, that means following the fasting hours of the nearest Muslim country, Turkey.

 

"It involves 14 or 15 hours of fasting which is okay, it's not bad," said Said, who works for a non-governmental organization helping immigrants settle in the area.

 

He estimates there are a little over 100 Muslims in Rovaniemi, mainly from Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. There is no unanimity on how to deal with the issue, which is becoming more pressing as more Muslim immigrants find their way to sparsely inhabited areas near the Arctic.

In Alaska, the Islamic Community Center of Anchorage, "after consultation with scholars," advises Muslims to follow the fasting hours of Makkah, Islam's holiest city. The Dublin-based European Council for Fatwa and Research, however, said Muslims need to follow the local sunrise and sunset, even up north.

 

"The debate on how to do this in the north has been on going on for a few years," said Omar Mustafa, the chairman of the Islamic Association of Sweden. "We fast according to the sun. As long as it is possible to tell dusk from dawn. This applies to 90 percent of Sweden's Muslims."

The few Muslims who live so far north that they are awash in 24-hour daylight should follow the daylight hours the closest city in Sweden where you can tell dawn from dusk, he said, noting that it is permitted to break the fast for health reasons.

 

Kaltouma Abakar and her extended family of nine relatives came to Finland from Sudan's Darfur region four years ago. She opts to observe the local Lapland sunrise and sunset times before breaking the fast in her downtown Rovaniemi apartment.

Kaltouma explains that she gets up early and works until the afternoon, then starts cooking the family's Iftar meal around 5 p.m. "The time of Ramadan fasting is very long, and breaking the fast can be around 11:30 in the evening. The time you're supposed to eat your breakfast is 2 o'clock in the morning," the 31-year old said.

In the kitchen, Kaltouma's two daughters — aged 11 and 6 — help prepare the food. They fry chicken and pastries filled with tuna in scalding hot oil. A pot of rice simmers on the stove while one girl kneads cornmeal dough which they'll dip into a chicken broth and eat with their fingers — traditional Sudanese style — a few hours later. Apart from the late sunset times, Kaltouma said the lack of "Muslim food" locally in Rovaniemi can be a challenge. She sometimes has to wait several days for Halal meat and other traditional ingredients to come from the larger cities of Oulu, or Helsinki in the south.

Even though, technically, there is nightfall in Rovaniemi at this time of year, there is no true darkness. Instead, there's a gray gloaming with occasional dappled rays of sun reaching over the northern horizon, giving the city a mystical quality even in the supposed dead of night.

 

The dates of Ramadan change according to the lunar calendar, moving back 11 days each year. That means that by 2015 there will be no sunset for a month when Ramadan falls closer to midsummer.

 

Still, Kaltouma says "there is going to be at least 10 minutes for us to break the fast."

 

She said there is one positive aspect of observing long fasting hours in the Arctic during Ramadan: the cool temperatures. "Unlike Africa, here in Finland you don't get thirsty often. No matter how long you fast, you don't get the urge for water."

 



 

 

Home | Top of the Page

 

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

 

 

 

Ramadan around the world

Prayers, feasts and piety - it's Ramadan in India

From dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is a time for nurturing piety. Mosques fill with worshippers, hotels are closed during the day. The muezzin's call of 'adhan' and sounds of sirens are the signals for starting and breaking fast.   »

Ramadan, The Holy Month once again...

The unusual hosts at Manmad Junction for Rozedars

Reflections: Memories of Ramadan in Palestine

The holy month of Ramadan and its fasting are once again upon us. Muslims will fast from sun up 'til sundown, abstaining from food, water and intimate relationships. Each year around this time, my memories are rekindled of Ramadan in our small village of Beit Hanina   »

Ramadan arrives in Bangladesh with sanctity, festivity and philanthropy

Ramadan arrives in Bangladesh with serenity, sanctity, festivity and philanthropy. Overflowing mosques with devotees, quitters streets, illuminated and ornamented shopping malls and markets  »

Hamilton Muslims give final touches to new mosque for Ramadan

The Muslim Association of Hamilton (MAH) is encouraging its members to donate about $200,000 in the remaining week before Ramadan - the holy month of fasting begins August 1. That’s what it will take to finish the bare minimum of work required and secure a temporary occupation  »

Ramazan in Sri Lanka: A Sri Lankan teenage-boy's recollection

The Sri Lankan Muslims form a small minority community of around 1.5 to 2 million people or around 9% of Sri Lanka’s population. As such Ramazan fasting, the fourth pillar of Islam, is a time eagerly awaited by all Muslims, young and old    »

Ramadan in Greenland: The only Muslim in the island fasts for 21 hours

Wassam Azaqeer, a Lebanese, who lives in a country surrounded by icebergs called “Greenland”, is the only Muslim in this state who is fasting daily for 21 hours with full determination. Greenland is the largest island in the world; lies between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean; a self-governing province  »

 

Ramadan Impact

Ramadan, an uplifting time for stock markets in Muslim countries

A new research from the University of New Hampshire has found that during the holy month of Ramadan, stock returns are almost nine times higher in predominately Muslim countries than during other times of the year. The finding indicates that Ramadan positively affects   »

Emirates offers special fares for Ramadan

UAE to release 676 prisoners to mark Ramadan

With Ramadan comes peace in Kashmir

After days of unrest and curfew, the situation in the Kashmir Valley was on Thursday calm with curfew being lifted from all the regions and a break in strikes called by separatists. "The situation is peaceful throughout the Valley and curfew   »

This Christian priest reads Quran entire Ramadan

Non-Muslim expats keen to enjoy spirit of Ramadan

Israel to restrict Palestinians' entry to Jerusalem in Ramadan

Israeli police announced Monday that it will restrict the entry of Palestinian worshipers from the West Bank into Jerusalem for Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins later this week, reports Arab News Correspondent Mohammad  »

Reflections: Memories of Ramadan in Palestine

Obama uses Ramadan to woo the Muslim world

 

Picture of the Day

Muslims go to Makkah al Mukarrema in Saudi Arabia for Umrah entire year other than Haj times. However, during Ramadan, number of Umrah visitors increases manifold. According to a rough estimate, over 2.5 million Muslims come from across the world to Makkah al Mukarrema for Umrah during Ramadan.

(Photo: ummid.com)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Science & Technology

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Health

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

Career

     

Education

     

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.