Canada Ramadan begins in the land of the midnight sun

21:16  17 may  2018
21:16  17 may  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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The Finnish capital, Helsinki, at 60 degrees latitude, is one of the world's northernmost cities, with the summertime sun setting as late as 10:30 p.m. and rising just a few hours later. Ramadan Begins In Some Areas.

Thursday marked the first day of the holy month of Ramadan , during which Muslims fast from sunup to sundown. Just as Canada's northernmost communities experience weeks on end of total darkness, summer brings the midnight sun .

a man sitting at a table posing for the camera: 'You ... tend to become more generous, you tend to give more to the needy and poor,' says Kazim Qadir of the Yukon Muslims Society, about Ramadan.© Sandi Coleman/CBC 'You ... tend to become more generous, you tend to give more to the needy and poor,' says Kazim Qadir of the Yukon Muslims Society, about Ramadan.

Muslims around the world are ready for Ramadan, including about 100 people living in Whitehorse.

Ramadan officially starts in Yukon on Thursday, which marks the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. For Muslims, it's a month of prayer and intense fasting during daylight hours.

But in the North, fasting from dawn until sundown can be difficult at this time of year.

"We do have sun for most of the day," says Kazim Qadir, a member of the Yukon Muslims Society.

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But for the small but growing Muslim community of Iqaluit, Nunavut, life in the land of the midnight sun poses a singular challenge during the month of Ramadan , during which Muslims typically fast from sunrise to sunset. Vimto sales set to surge as Ramadan begins .

In eight minutes, the afternoon prayer begins , the Asr, and it takes three minutes to get to the mosque. During Ramadan , praying is just as important as fasting, a meticulously I pray when I feel the need for it, not by some rigorous schedule, which has now tangled with the land of the midnight sun .

He said some people choose to follow Whitehorse's actual sunrise and sunset times, even when that means not eating or drinking for about 18 hours each day. Others choose to follow the times of nearby cities with slightly less hours of daylight, such as Vancouver.

"There is no right or wrong [way]," Qadir said. "I think it's just a personal preference. Whoever can follow the Whitehorse time, they are doing it happily."

He said no matter how many hours are spent fasting, the purpose of Ramadan remains the same.

"You become more thankful and grateful to your God for the blessings that he has given you ... and you also tend to become more generous, you tend to give more to the needy and poor. Because now you are experiencing it yourself."

Raising dollars for Yukon's 1st mosque

The society is still raising money to build the territory's first mosque. The group bought a warehouse in Whitehorse last year.

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In 2017, the Muslim month of Ramadan will begin the evening of Friday, May 26, and will end the evening of Sunday, June 25. Even though Norway is known as the “ Land of the midnight Sun ” in the tourist industry, there is midnight Sun in several other countries in the Northern Hemisphere

But the long days come with their own challenges for Northern Europe’s observant Jews and Muslims, who on some days fast according to when the sun rises or sets. That will be the case for Jews on Tisha B’Av — an annual day for mourning the destruction of the Jewish Temple that this year begins at

a green truck parked in front of a building: A former trucking warehouse in Whitehorse will become the first mosque in Yukon. The Yukon Muslims Society hopes to finish renovations by August or September.© Meagan Deuling/CBC A former trucking warehouse in Whitehorse will become the first mosque in Yukon. The Yukon Muslims Society hopes to finish renovations by August or September.

"Everything from the floors, to the ceilings, to the doors — everything in between needs to be replaced or fixed, and that is what is happening at the moment," said Qadir.

The Yukon Muslims Society has raised some money within their community to pay for renovations, and members have also reached out to other Muslim communities.

One member of the society is currently in Ontario, talking about the project and hoping to raise extra money during this time of generosity.

The society hopes to have the mosque complete by August or September.

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