Fasting in Polar Areas
In some areas the beginning and end of the fasting day cannot be determined or the day is too long or too short. Some scholars said that they could follow Mekkah or Madinah or the nearest cities with moderate timings.
Fasting in Polar Areas
· The long days in polar areas and their effect on people fasting.
· Fasting when there is a time overlap.
In some northern and southern areas when there is a time overlap, the beginning and end of the fasting day cannot be determined. Many people ask about fasting in these areas during such periods.
The European Council for Research and Fatwa endorses the sixth decision adopted by the Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League, in the Council’s ninth session, 12–19 Rajab 1406 AH (1986), which takes into account that no clear religious text applies to this situation, leaving wide room for scholarly interpretation.
The Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa says that when the night or the day are too long to enable a person to fast, such a person should fast as long as he can. Should he fear that he might die or fall ill as a result, he may break his fast, eating or drinking what he needs to spare himself harm, then continue the fast till the end of the fasting day. He must also compensate for such days as he cannot fast by fasting a similar number of days at a later date.
Shaikh Muhammad Rasheed Rida considers that people in areas where the days and nights are too long or too short should resort to estimating the times of prayer on the basis of analogy with what the Prophet has taught. He mentions that scholars have different views on whether the estimation should be according to the prayer times in Makkah and Madinah or the times in the nearest cities where the days and nights are of moderate length. 
Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibraheem ruled that people in these areas must fast, but they fast according to the times in the cities nearest to them.
The ruling given by al-Azhar is that the times in areas where the days are too long should be estimated on the basis of the times in Makkah and Madinah or in the nearest cities with moderate timings. 
In his fatwa on this issue, the late Shaikh Mahmood Shaltoot, the former Rector of al-Azhar, stated: ‘People in those areas should estimate their days, nights and months according to the times of the nearest cities with moderate timings, where the different times are clear and where the days and nights allow the observance of the duties of fasting and prayer, in accordance with the way that enables people to fulfil their duties without much hardship.
The Qur’anic verse that says
Eat and drink until you can see the white streak of dawn against the blackness of the night. Then resume the fast till nightfall
The hadīth that speaks of the Impostor, i.e. al-Dajjal, includes:
We asked: “Messenger of God, how long will he stay on earth?” He said: “Forty days: one day is as long as a year, and one as long as a month, and one as long as a week ...” We asked: “Messenger of God, how about that day which is as long as a year? Will it be sufficient for us to offer the prayers of one day?” He said: “No. Estimate suitable times
Related by Muslim, Kitab al-Malahim, hadith No. 2,137
· Decisions by the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
· Decisions by the Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League.
· The Papers of the Supreme Committee of Scholars in Saudi Arabia, Dar al-Qasim, 2001.
· Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.
· Muhammad Rasheed Rida, Fatawa, vol. 6, p. 2,576.
· Jad al-Haq Ali Jad al-Haq, Al-Fatawa al-Islamiyyah, , vol. 3 , p. 82.
· Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem, Fatawa.
· Fatawa al-Azhar wa Dar al-Ifta’ fi 100 [Am, Fatwa No. 1,139 issued on 9 Rabi' I 1402 AH, 3 January 1998.
· Mahmood Shaltoot, Al-Fatawa, p. 144.
- Fatwa No. 1,442, vol. 10, pp. 114–5.
- M.R. Rida, Fatawa, vol. 6, pp. 2,576; J.A. Jad al-Haq, Al-Fatawa al-Islamiyyah.
- M. ibn Ibraheem, Fatawa, Fatwas No. 1,909 and 1,097.
- See: Fatawa al-Azhar wa Dar al-Ifta’ fi 100 [Am, Fatwa No. 1,139 issued on 9/3/1402 AH, 3 January 1998; Fatwa No. 3,316 dated 29/11/1404 AH, 27 August 1984; Fatwa No. 15 issued in Dhul-Hijjah 1353 AH, March 1935.
- M. Shaltoot, Al-Fatawa, p. 144.