Fasting in North Pole regions

CategoriesSawm (fast) [215]

Fatwa ID: 01345

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah


Fasting in North Pole regions



In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Before, I answer the question I would firstly like to point to an article entitled “Fajr and Isha time in Britain” which can be found on the Darul Ifta Birmingham website regarding this issue.

The crux of the article points out that in high altitude countries, like Alaska, Canada and the Scandinavian countries during the summer months the red twilight in the sky does not disappear and nor does the sun sets below the horizon.

The Jurists then have given different options to what should be done for the Fajr Salah.

  1. The time between sunset and sunrise will be split into two parts. From the second part the Fajr will commence. For example, if sunset is 11pm and sunrise is 3am, Fajr will begin from 1am, as a consequence, the fast will start from that time.
  2. The Fajr should be calculated based upon the last day in which there was a normal night, i.e. the red twilight and the white twilight disappeared.
  3. The Fajr should be calculated based upon the nearest locality that has a normal day and night. (Raddul Muhtar p.18 v.2 & Ahsanul Fatawa p.113 v.2)

The fasts may be twenty hours long or even longer, but this is something one will have to adhere to. There may be certain rulings which may be difficult to act upon, but there will be immense reward from Allah.  This is known as Mujahadah, which entails extorting your effort to gain nearness to Allah. The more difficult a particular worship is, the more reward one gets. A good example will be of fasting.

Saaiduna Abu Hurarah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah, ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Every act of the son of Adam is for him, every good deed is multiplied in reward by seven hundred multiples; Allah the said:  except fasting. It is (exclusively) meant for Me and I (alone) will reward it, he has abstained from food and drink, and sexual pleasures for My sake” (Sahih Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

From this hadith we can derive that the reward for fasting does not have a designated limit. Allah will multiply its reward abundantly without count.

However, if old and weak people are unable to keep the long fasts, and they fear becoming extremely ill, it would be permitted for them not to keep the fasts in Ramadhan and do qadha when the duration of the fasts is shorter during the autumn and winter. (Ahsanul Fatawa p.422 v.4) 

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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