Ramadan is the month of the Islamic calendar that signifies the revelation of the Holy Quran. During Ramadan, Muslims fast for self-discipline and spiritual reflection. Fasting during Ramadan is an essential pillar of Islam and a mandatory act of worship. Muslims fast by staying away from eating and drinking and focusing on devoting themselves to worshipping Allah. Additionally, Muslims aim to seek forgiveness for their past sins and renew their faith.
While most people know and understand the concept of fasting in Islam, many do not know the daily fasting duration. Fortunately, this blog will cover everything there is to know about how long is a Ramadan fast and more.
How Long is a Ramadan Fast?
The basic rules of fasting in Ramadan are as follows:
- Every Muslim must make a sincere intention to fast before dawn each day.
- Muslims must abstain from smoking, drinking, eating, and sexual activity with their spouse from dawn till sunset.
- Muslims traveling, sick, menstruating, pregnant, or breastfeeding are exempted from fasting. However, they are required to make up for the fasts they have missed at a later time.
- Muslims must break their fast at sunset (Iftar) and are recommended to break it with water and dates.
- Muslims are encouraged to eat before dawn (Suhoor) to prepare for the day ahead.
- Muslims must engage in good deeds and acts of charity. Additionally, they should recite the Holy Quran and increase their prayer to benefit from the month of Ramadan.
The duration of the fast during the month of Ramadan varies depending on the season and location. The duration varies because the start and end of a fast are determined by the sunrise and sunset in a specific location.
- The fast begins at dawn, also called Fajr in Arabic. This is when there is the first light, and the call to prayer is made.
- The fast ends at sunset, also called Maghrib in Arabic. This is the time when the sun sets below the horizon, and the call to prayer is made.
- The duration of a fast can range from 10-12 hours, depending on the location and time of the year. For instance, the fast can last up to 22 hours in the Arctic Circle, but in other parts, closer to the equator, the fast will last around 11 hours instead.
- One can use online tools or check the local prayer timetable to calculate the sunrise and sunset times to find the exact duration of the fast in a location.
The exact duration of the fast can also be affected by factors like weather conditions, i.e., cloudy weather or fog, which can make it difficult to determine the exact times of sunrise and sunset. Muslims should seek guidance from local religious scholars or authorities in this case.
Other factors that influence the duration of the fast include:
Regions closer to the equator have shorter fasts. This reason why fasts are shorter in such regions has to do with the fact that days and nights are mostly equal in length.
The duration of the fast can vary depending on the time of the year. For instance, in the Northern Hemisphere, during summers, days are longer, resulting in longer fasts. In contrast, during winter in the same location, fasts will be shorter because nights are longer.
Regions and locales at higher elevations will have different sunrise and sunset times than those at sea level.
- Method of Calculation
There are several different types of calculating the start and end of the fast, resulting in slightly different durations. For instance, some scholars rely on the sun’s angle below the horizon to determine the end of the fast, while others wait until the redness of the sky disappears.
In conclusion, this blog has covered all the important aspects regarding the duration of the fast in Ramadan. Apart from knowing the basic rules of fasting in Ramadan, Muslims should know the exact duration of the fast in their locale.