UK Ramadan fasting hours should be shortened: Dr Usama Hasan

Usama Hasan from the Quillian Foundation
Usama Hasan from the Quillian Foundation

A Muslim academic has called for Ramadan hours to be shortened in the UK as daylight hours in summer are too long for fasting.

Dr Usma Hasan of the anti-extremisim group the Quillian Foundation, has issued a fatwa calling for Muslims in the UK to follow timings observed in Mecca where fasting lasts around 12 hours a day during the four week ceremony reports Huffington Post.

At present the fasting period – due to begin – can stretch to over 20 hours, he said, which poses health problems for some Muslims who would need to wake around 4am to eat breakfast.

Traditionally, Muslims fast while they have light from the sun and eat and drink while their location is dark. There is no agreed-upon standard hours, with some Muslims choosing to observe Mecca time, while others fast depending on the timings in their own country.

Mr Hasan writes in his fatwa that since last year a number of people had asked him “about the excessive length of fasting during UK summer months”.

“This has included those new to the practice of fasting, elderly and middle-aged people, who wish to fast but simply cannot manage the very long days. Since last year, I’ve heard reports of such people in hospital, as well as of children falling seriously ill, due to fasting more than 18 hours per day.