Some practicing Muslims must fast for 11.5 hours, while others will fast for 20.
Rabat – The holy month of Ramadan is approaching and practicing Muslims are expected to fast, abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, ingesting medicine, and sexual activity throughout the day. The exact duration of the daily fast depends on the hours between sunrise and sunset.
The tilt of the earth’s axis changes the position of the sun in the sky, causing it to appear for more or less time during a given day.
In summer months, the time between sunrise and sunset is longer, thus lengthening the time required for Muslims to fast. In winter, worshippers enjoy iftar (the meal to break fast) slightly earlier in the day.
Each day, the sun rises and sets slightly later or earlier, causing fasting hours to change by a few minutes.
This year, as Ramadan falls between the months of April and May, some Muslims will fast for as long as 20 hours, while others will fast for approximately 11.5.
The Middle East
Those observing Ramadan in the Middle East will fast between 15 and 16 hours.
Across the continent of Africa, fasting times will range between 11.5 hours (South Africa), 13 hours (Kenya), 14 hours (Ethiopia and Yemen), 14.5 hours (Sudan), 15.5 hours (Egypt), to 16 hours (Morocco).
Nordic countries will fast for the longest period of time. Norway, Greenland, and Finland will all see 20 hours of daylight, while other European countries such as Spain, France, and Italy will all have between 16.5 and 18 hours.
Eastern European countries will fast for 17 to 17.5 hours.
North America and South America
North Americans will fast for 16 to 17 hours this year.
In South America, which is experiencing winter months, fasts will range between 11.5 hours (Argentina and Chile) and 12.5 hours (Brazil).
Asia and Australia
In China, the fasting period will go on for approximately 16.5 hours, while Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore (13.5), Malaysia (13.5), Indonesia (13), and Thailand (14) will fast for fewer hours.
Muslims in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan will break fast after 16 hours.
Australia and New Zealand will be among countries experiencing the shortest fasting times this year, at 11.5 hours.