During summer, the sun never sets in Sweden’s northernmost town, posing challenges for Muslims observing the holy month.

Source: www.aljazeera.com

Like many early religious traditions, Ramadan is observed based on measurements from the moon and sun. The start of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon, which moves about 11 days back in the Gregorian calendar each year. During Ramadan the consumption of food and water is prohibited between dawn and dusk, how do Muslims observing the fast manage in the far north of Scandinavia, where the sun never sets in the summertime (in 2015, Ramadan is from June 17 to July 17)?  Some Muslims in the West (and north) argue that ancient customs from the Arabian desert need updating now that the religion has diffused beyond the Middle East.    

Tags: Islam, perspective, religiondiffusion, culture.