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Determining the Times of Suhur and Iftar


By / 25 Jul 2013


I live in a country where the fasting hours exceed 18 hours and I find it exhausting to keep with these long hours of fasting. What can I do?


Muslims in countries where the fasting hours are 18 hours or more are to estimate the time for starting and breaking their fast. The principle of estimating fasting hours that extend beyond the normal hours is derived from actual circumstances. It is difficult for a person to fast continuously for 18 hours or more and experts have determined the inability of the human body to tolerate such extended periods of fasting which definitely poses harm. If this is so, it cannot be maintained that harm is the objective of Islamic law.

According to the opinion implemented for fatwa, Muslims in such countries should fast according to the timing of Makkah because it is the mother of all cities (Umm al Qura). This means that Muslims in countries where the fasting hours are 18 or more are to start fasting according to the time of fajr (dawn) in their countries, count the number of hours that people in Makkah fast and break their fast when the people of Makkah end theirs. This is to be observed daily; Makkah prayer times are available online. For example if fajr in such countries is at 3 am and people in Makkha fast for 15 hours, the time for people in these countries to break their fast is at 6 pm according to their local time.


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