Fasting Where the Sun Doesn’t Set*
Muslims all around the world are fasting through the holy month of Ramadhan, a month in the lunar calendar when Muslims stay away from eating and drinking from the onset of dawn till sunset.
However, in northern parts of Scandinavia where the sun does not set in the summer, Muslims have to resort to an alternative way of fasting. However, the Muslims living in these places have found a way around it.
Around 700 Muslims in the Arctic city of Sweden’s Kiruna lack a local religious body to dictate the necessary rulings to them, so while some opt to fast according to the times of Islam’s holiest city Mecca, which they consider a default alternative, others tend to fast according to the times in Stockholm, where the sun actually sets, albeit for a few hours before it rises again.
The opposite scenario is encountered in the winter, where for two week the sun does not rise. Not only does thing affect fasting, but it also affects prayer times, as in Islam the five daily prayer times depend on the positioning of the sun. In this case, Muslims follow the prayer times of the nearest location where the rule is applicable.