Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: Falyaṣum'hu “...then he should fast in it...” [2:185-part] - [NO NIGHT OR DAY?]

Offline Orange

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Dear brother Joseph, Peace be on you,

I am aware that very much debate(s) has already taken place with respect to Fast timings.

Without doubt, it is mentioned in Quran 2:187 part:

“And eat (wakulu) and drink (wa-ish'rabu) until (ḥatta) becomes distinct (yatabayyana) to you (lakumu) the thread (l-khayṭu) white (l-abyaḍu) from (mina) the thread (l-khayṭi) black (l-aswadi) of (mina) dawn (l-fajri). Then (thumma) complete (atimmu) the fast (l-ṣiyama) till (ila) the night (al-layli).”

“the thread white from the thread black OF DAWN”...”..till THE NIGHT.”

I personally understand it when Nautical Dawn starts (when we are able to distinguish the thread white from the thread black of DAWN) until the time Astronomical Dusk ends (when NIGHT starts).

[Please correct me if my personal understanding is incorrect.]

A comment I received from one of my friends is:

“I think there is a contradiction in translation because Allah words is beyond time and space”.

And he shared an image with a description (not attested) of port city Murmansk, located extreme northwest part of Russia where Religious Scholars and experts in Islamic jurisprudence have agreed to 20 hours fasting as there is no night in summers or no day in winters.

Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo, has ruled that Muslims should not fast for more than 18 hours a day. [1]

Yet another group of scholars suggests fasting for 12 hours irrespective of the time of year, because an average day offers 12 hours of sunlight.[1]

Please share with me your kind view(s) on how a person can fast with respect to 2:187 where there is no night or day.


Offline Shahmatt

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I suppose that even in the countries that experience no true day or night, the times of the day are still referred to as "day" and "night".  That is, it may be that the word "layl" may not always need to refer to the physical blackness of sky.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Dear Orange,

Wa alaikum assalam

There is certainly a need for discussion on this topic especially governing the locales you allude to. I was recently asked a similar question where I shared my humble advice. At then end of the day, God does not intend to burden His servants. This He has repeated in the Quran a number of times.

As long as one is not intent on transgression, sensible options can be formulated to deal with these extreme scenarios.

How Does One Pray Where the Sun Never Sets?

I hope this helps, God willing.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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peace all,

I think a key term in 2:185 Quran is "those who witness the shahr" - as one may not live in an area where this criteria is met. I personally do not know how the lunar/solar based calendar works in certain parts of the world (e.g. the ones mentioned in this thread) as I have not studied it.

And as for the regular/timed salat/bond of the mumineen - it is interesting that, as far as I know, when Quran talks of timing the addressee is always singular. The only plural address I know of is in 24:58. IF correct, one could argue the singular address suggests an exemplar and that 24:58 indicates a simple start and end of day timing, regardless of what the sun does where you live. However, I only consider there to be a twice daily regular/timed salat, as per Quran.

Something to think about.