Fatwa from Dar Al Iftah Al Misrriyah (Minor Fatwa)

Subject: Fasting for more than 18 hours a day.
Number: 3740
Date: 31.07.2011


We reviewed request no. 336 for the year 2011 which includes the following: This year in our country, the fasting hours are will last for around 19 hours. How would Muslims fast such long hours?

Answer of the Fatwa Council:

Muslims in countries where the fasting hours are 18 hours or more are to estimate the time for starting and breaking their fast. The principle of estimating fasting hours that extend beyond the normal hours is derived from actual circumstances. It is difficult for a person to fast continuously for 18 hours or more and experts have determined the inability of the human body to tolerate such extended periods of fasting which definitely poses harm. If this is so, it cannot be maintained that harm is the objective of Islamic law.

According to the opinion implemented for fatwa, Muslims in such countries should fast according to the timing of Mecca because it is the mother of cities (Umm al-Qura). This means that Muslims in countries where the fasting hours are 18 or more are to start fasting according tothe time of fajr [dawn] in their countries, count the number of hours that people in Mecca fast and break their fast when the people of Meccaend theirs. This is to be observed daily; Mecca [prayer] times are available online. For example, if fajr in such countries is at 3 am and people in Mecca fast for 15 hours, the time for people in these countries to break their fast is at 6 pm according to their local time.

Allah the Almighty knows best.

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