Fasting in Abnormal Timings

By the Grace of Allāh, the blessed month of Ramaḍān will be starting on June 6, 2016. In these days, the prayers and fast timings in the northern most cities of Canada will differ from other cities. The majority of the area is above the 50 degrees line of latitude, and for this reason during the course of the year, in summer the nights become very short, while in winter the days become very short.

 

By the Grace of Allah, as the Jamā‘at is established in all parts of Canada, there is a need to address the abnormal prayer times and fast times in Ramaḍān experienced in relevant cities.

In abnormal geographic conditions, what would be the timings of prayers as well as Sahr and Ifṭār timings in Ramaḍān? Regarding this the Holy Qur’ān and Sunnah (practice of the Holy Prophetsa), Fiqh Aḥmadīyya and sermons of the Khulafā’ provide ample guidance. In particular, the Friday Sermon of Hazrat Khalīfatul-Masīḥ IVrh on January 9, 1996 is a milestone in this regard.

For the benefit of all, extracts pertaining to prayer timings and the timings of fasts in Ramaḍān in abnormal geographical conditions are being presented below from the Friday Sermon of Hazrat Khalīfatul-Masīḥ IVrh so that they can guide in the determination of correct prayer timings and fasts in Ramaḍān.

Huzoorrh states:.

. . . where the obvious solar indications are lacking, and fail to distinguish different parts of a day; that is, where obvious solar indications, which normally maintain a day of 24 hour span, fail, in such cases the commandments of prayers are modified, and require approximation. And Islām has permitted approximation, and the wisdom behind it is self-evident. In an extremely long fast, no one would survive beyond the first fast, and yet, no one would know how to keep a shorter fast; the whole ordeal would become chaotic. As such abnormal days occur, even if they occur in a 24 hour period, the Holy Qur’ān amazingly gives such rules of worship that in those days, these (usual) rules are dropped, and an estimation becomes applicable. That is to say, it is not necessary for a day to exceed 24 hours to be considered an abnormal day. Even a day that has approximately reached 24 hours, can still become an impossibility, and where it becomes an impossibility, at that every moment an estimation becomes applicable.

. . . The Holy Prophetsa has said to estimate according to typical days. Typical days are those in which timings of five daily prayers can be distinctly identified by solar indications.

. . . when worships are clearly evident based on solar indications, and where Ramaḍān fulfills the criteria that the white thread can be distinguished from the black thread (as per Holy Qur’ān), such days are considered normal. Where these criteria are not met, there you must make approximations.

Huzoorrh further states: “. . . therefore, understand well the context of Ramaḍān; where the obvious indicators are lost, there it is mandatory for you to approximate the usual ‘normal’ timings of the day.” (Al-Fazl Weekly London, March 8, 1996, pp. 7 to 8)