North polar line: Muslims in Swedish town keep 21-hour fast

Published: July 12, 2013
A view of a Swedish town on the north polar line. PHOTO: FILE

A view of a Swedish town on the north polar line. PHOTO: FILE


Muslims in Lulea, a Swedish town on north polar line, keep fast of more than 21 hours a day which is one of longest daily period of fasting in Ramazan. Both sehrs and iftars are made in light of the day in the city where sun does not set during summer, Anadolu News Agency reported.

Lulea is a city on the coast of northern Sweden with 75,000 inhabitants. There are many Muslims in the city from Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Tunisia. According to Ramazan timetable of Turkish Religious Affairs Administration, iftar starts at 11.50pm local time while Taraweeh is offered at 12.28 am and sehr ends at 2.37am. There are hardly three hours between iftar and sehr. So the Muslims are in such a rush that they have to get ready in 38 minutes for Taraweeh after breaking fast.

Fatma Bora and Tulay Imdat, living in Lulea for ten years, said it was not hard to observe fasting due to the cool weather in spite of long hours. “We bear down on praying on time because of the short time period between iftar and Taraweeh,” said Bora and Imdat, stating that they felt blessed for performing their religious duty.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • ali
    Jul 12, 2013 - 10:20AM

    in canada there are tens of thousands of muslims in cities like Edmonton, Fort Mc, Quebec and others where the fast is between 19 and 20 hours


  • Blunt
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:49AM

    Really great effort by all those muslims.


  • Adnan Khan
    Jul 12, 2013 - 3:12PM

    We live in Isle of Man, which is a British Island we open fast at 2:45 am and break at 9:50pm. Taraweeh starting at 11:00 and ending after midnight. However had some good fasting days few years ago when fasting time was between 7:30 am to 3:45 pm.


  • khan
    Jul 12, 2013 - 3:23PM

    Wooow, Subhan’Allah’


  • I am a Khan
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:48PM

    Allah gives you strength during Ramadan fasts. Its my own personal experience. In normal days I cannot stay without food and water when hungry or thirsty even for one hour beyond lunch or dinner time, but during ramadan, despite feeling some thirst and hunger, I feel very energized!


  • Tariq Jameel
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:12PM

    evidence religion is outdated? the sehr and iftar rules imply to stop eating and start eating at darkness, when there’s no dark, the whole concept is turned upside down. this shows religion is time and location bound.


  • Raggadoll
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:42PM

    @Tariq Jameel:

    How is that time and location bound? If anything, it shows that religion is adaptable to any place and any time.


  • Saurabh
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:51PM

    So,you are saying..Antarctica is Muslim-free?


  • Aftab Zaidi
    Jul 12, 2013 - 6:17PM

    A very apt example clearly depicting that bronze age rituals are redundant and outdated.


  • No
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:25PM

    It clearly shows How unscientific these rituals are . What would happen if a long lunar eclipse comes in between ? It’s important to fulfill the purpose of this month without addicting to moon’s presence.


  • Genesis
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:44PM

    Semitic religions were evolved in desert and tropical climate and so the timing was in line with sunrise and sunset.In northern latitudes nature changes and you have long daylight hours.


  • Rex Minor
    Jul 12, 2013 - 10:06PM

    They are simply practicing to be prepared to keep a 24 hour fast when in space!!!

    Rex Mnor


  • Ahmed
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:10PM


    The rules of this months are according to the moon! It’s not addiction to it. The rules indicate this!!

    Go ask a scholar about the eclipse thing rather than talking about it on a secular forum filled with non-muslims.


  • Alien
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:30PM

    @No: “What would happen if a long lunar eclipse comes in between ?”
    The word “if” makes your comment nothing more than a hypothetical. If you’re so concerned about “ifs”, please kindly find a planet other than earth.


  • Someone
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:32PM

    @Aftab Zaidi: Indeed, anti-Islam thought is so old that it can be equated as a bronze age phenomenon :)


  • Say what
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:34PM

    @Tariq Jameel: when there’s no dark
    Your argument falls flat on itself based on the fact that 99% of people don’t live in a place where there’s no dark. Though if you’re so eager, you’re welcome to move to such a place :)


  • Adnan Khan
    Jul 13, 2013 - 12:19AM

    @Tariq Jameel:
    I want you come and visit our island, where in the local hospital majority of doctors are from Pakistan and Muslim, they do surgeries, conduct clinics while fasting. They all fast regularly, perform Taraweeh. Not only doctors other Muslim professionals like accountants and bankers fulfill their professional and religious duties while fasting for 19-20 hrs. Locals are surprised and inspired by our commitment, these due to the belief that we have in our religion which you deem outdated.


  • Ali
    Jul 13, 2013 - 12:37AM

    @Tariq Jameel, No, Aftab Zaidi:
    Lunar eclipses, bronze age rituals, darkness, time etc.
    I mean, really, that’s all you could come up with? I think you guys miss the whole point and meaning of Ramadan. But then again, knowing the intellectual level of so-called Pakistani liberals, it’s probably not surprising to see such chicanery coming out from you.


  • Gingo
    Aug 2, 2013 - 9:52PM

    It means if a Muslim lives in northern Alaska or housed in a research facility Antarctica, how will they fast during the midnight sun i.e when the sun continuously shines for 24 hours for 4 months straight due to the axial tilt of earth?
    Logic says that in such a scenario, fasting according to time takes precedence over fasting according to sunrise sunset.
    But my Pakistani brothers here will have them starve to death.


  • Abu Dujana
    Aug 3, 2013 - 10:20AM

    @To all those asking how can one fast while being on a place with 24-hour of sunshine,

    The scholars say that then the timings of fasting of the nearest place with a normal dawn and dusk should be observed. Please, know don’t talk about being starving to death cause it is quite a stupid criticism!


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