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Ramadan 2023 : Longest and Shortest Fasting Hours

Ramadan 2023 : Longest and Shortest Fasting Hours

Ramadan is considered a sacred month for the Islamic community, and one of the significant features of Ramadan is fasting. Fasting during Ramadan entails abstaining from food and drink from dawn to sunset for the whole month. However, the duration of the fasting hours can differ depending on the location and time of the year.

In some parts of the world, such as the Arctic Circle, the fasting hours can last for up to 20 hours or more. Conversely, in other regions, such as the equator, the fasting hours can be as brief as 12 hours. This variation is due to the different lengths of daylight hours at different latitudes.

The northernmost regions of the world, such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland, have the lengthiest fasting hours. In these locations, the sun can remain above the horizon for up to 24 hours during the summer months, making it challenging for Muslims to observe the fast.

In contrast, Muslims living near the equator, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, have the shortest fasting hours. The sun rises and sets at roughly the same time throughout the year, resulting in fasting hours of around 12 hours.

Longest and shortest fasting hours 2023

Essentially, the difference in fasting hours is due to the varying length of the day from one region to another. This has to do with the time of the year, distance from the equator, and some other sciency stuff that makes the sun appear longer or shorter depending on where you are.

Places with the longest fasting hours

Nuuk, Greenland 

Fasting in Nuuk, Greenland is observed for 18 hours, which is the longest fasting hour of all places.   

Reykjavik, Iceland

In the capital city of Reykjavik, Iceland too, Muslims must endure a punishing 18-hour-long fast.

Glasgow, Scotland

Muslims in Glasgow, Scotland, must sustain a gruelling fast of 17 hours during Ramadan.

London, United Kingdom

The largest city and the capital of England and the United Kingdom, London also has the longest fasting hours for Muslims. A total of 16 to 17 hours of daylight makes completing a fast here a monumental feat.

Paris, France

The capital and the most populous city of France, Paris, also holds the longest fasting hours for the year 2023. The Muslims in Paris must find it within themselves to persevere through 13 hours and 57 minutes of submission.

Ottawa, Canada

This northernmost country in North America challenges a Muslim’s resolve by offering 13 hours and 32 minutes of fasting time. Those performing the Ramadan fast in Ottawa are advised to keep themselves fit by providing themselves with sufficient nutrition intake during their suhoor.

Other cities like Lisbon (Portugal), Athens (Greece), Beijing (China), Washington DC (US), Pyongyang (North Korea), and Ankara (Turkey) also have fasting hours for 15 to 16 hours.

Places with the shortest fasting hours

The following are places with the shortest fasting hours:

  • Brasilia, Brazil – 12 to 13 hours
  • Harare, Zimbabwe – 12 to 13 hours
  • Johannesburg, South Africa – 11 to 12 hours
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina – 12 hours
  • Cape Town, South Africa – 11 to 12 hours
  • Christchurch, New Zealand – 12 hours
  • Ciudad del Este, Paraguay – 11 to 12 hours
  • Montevideo, Uruguay – 11 to 12 hours

The average fasting hours in the above cities are just shy of 11 to 12 hours.   

Average fasting hours worldwide

While the above places represent each end of the spectrum, the average fasting hours in some of the major countries of the world tend to be somewhere between the 13 to 14-hour mark. Here are the Ramadan fasting hours in some countries.

Middle East

Countries in the Middle East, such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and so on, generally fast for 14 to 15 hours. Though the hours aren’t as long as some of the places on the list, fasting in these countries may prove even more challenging due to the unforgiving heat.

Southeast Asia

Muslims in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia typically have average fasting hours of 12 to 14 hours per day. Comparatively short when compared to other regions in the northern hemisphere.


With the notable exception of South Africa, Muslims in African countries like Ethiopia, Senegal, and Nigeria fast for about 13 to 14 hours on average.

North and South America

Muslims living in South American countries, the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and so on, fast for 11 to 13 hours, taking into account their exact location.

On the flip side, Muslims residing in North America will have to deal with longer hours, up to 15 to 16 hours, in Canada and the US.


In countries such as France and Switzerland, the hours are longer. Muslims in the region fast for about 16 to 17 hours, while those residing in Greece, Italy and Spain fast for 15 to 16 hours.

Despite the difficulties posed by long fasting hours, many Muslims view Ramadan as a period of spiritual reflection and renewal. The act of fasting is considered a means of purifying the soul and strengthening one's relationship with God.

In addition to fasting, Muslims also engage in other forms of worship during Ramadan, such as reading the Quran, giving to charity, and performing additional prayers. Ramadan is also a time for gathering with family and friends, sharing meals, and strengthening bonds within the community.


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