Ramadan 2022: April 2 will mark the beginning of the month of Ramadan. It is believed that it was in the month of Ramadan that the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet by God. Hence, the month of Ramadan is considered pious and holy in Islam. The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Hijri Calendar. People observe fasts for long hours during the month of Ramadan. The celebrations last for 28-30 days and end with Eid-Ul-Fitr.
Fasting during Ramadan is said to be mandatory for all members of the Muslim community, with a few exceptions. Only those can be exempted who are either sick, have menstrual cycles, traveling or are very old/young. The long hours of fasting start before dawn and go till dusk. It is one of the toughest rituals of any religion in the world. People observing the fast are not allowed to even drink water during the fasting hours. The first meal at dawn is known as Sehri and the meal at dusk or evening meal is known as Iftar.
The number of hours for fasting in the holy month of Ramadan varies from country to country. It is because the sunrise and sunsets occur at different times across different countries, and therefore, the number of daylight hours also differs. Muslims living in countries like New Zealand observe the fast for 11 hours, whereas those living in European Countries like Norway observe the fast for as many as 20 hours.
However, in places where the sun never sets in summer like the Arctic Circle, people are directed to fast either according to the time of the closest Muslim country or to fast along with countries like Saudi Arabia.
Here is a list of fasting hours for cities across the world based on the continent:
- North America– In Nuuk (Greenland) fasting is observed for 20 hours. In Washington DC (US), fasting is observed for 16 hours. In Ottawa (Canada), it is observed for 17 hours.
- Europe– In Oslo (Norway), Helsinki (Finland) fasting is observed for 20 hours. In Stockholm (Sweden) and Berlin (Germany), it is observed for 19 hours. In Copenhagen (Denmark), London (UK), and Warsaw (Poland), it is observed for 18.5 hours, whereas fasting is observed for 18 hours in Belgium (Brussels) and Zurich (Switzerland). In Bucharest (Romania) fasting is observed for 17.5 hours. In Sofia (Bulgaria), Paris (France), Moscow (Russia) and Rome (Italy), it is observed for 17 hours. In Madrid (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), and Athens (Greece), Muslims observe fasting for 16.5 hours.
- Asia– In Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), fasting is observed for 18.5 hours, whereas in Kabul (Afghanistan) it is observed for 17 hours. In Beijing (China), Ankara (Turkey) it is observed for 16.5 hours. Fasting in Tokyo (Japan) and Islamabad (Pakistan) is observed for 16 hours, whereas in New Delhi (India), it is observed for 15 hours.
- Africa– Fasting in Rabat (Morocco) is observed for 16 hours.
The month of Ramadan is all about prayers and forgiving others.