Latitude. Earth’s rotation. Earth’s revolution. What do these have to do with Ramadan (Ramzan)? Explore!
First go to this link. (The site will open in a new page/tab).
Now click the “show earth profile” button on the bottom left corner. On your right you will see Earth in profile.
Observe the Sun’s position at this date (March 20): It is directly above the Equator. Day and night are equal (12 hours each) all over Earth.
Now click the Play button to the left of the date bar on the bottom of your screen. Earth begins the revolution around the Sun and stops at the June solstice (June 21). At this point, notice Earth’s position: directly over 23.5°N (Tropic of Cancer). It is summer in the northern hemisphere.
As you go from the Equator (0°) towards the North Pole (90°N), the length of the day increases, the length of night decreases. Once you reach the Arctic Circle (66.5°N), there is no night; it is 24 hours of sunlight!
It is winter in the southern hemisphere. As you go from the Equator (0°) towards the South Pole (90°S), the length of thenight increases, the length of day decreases. Once you reach the Antarctic Circle (66.5°S), there is no daylight; it is 24 hours of night!
Now notice the small button that has moved on the date bar at the bottom of your screen. Place your cursor on it and drag it to 1 August (that is the line that divides “July” from “August”) and let go.
Now observe the Sun’s position and the day-night distribution. It is still summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Though the daylight hours are shortening, they are still longer in the northern hemisphere than the southern.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan (also called Ramzan) begins on 1 August 2011.
Devout Muslims (those whose health permits) fast daily from dawn (fajr) to dusk (iftar) when they break the fast by taking food.
Now, here is what you can explore …
Where do Muslims fast the longest in a day, if they strictly follow the timings of the fast?
- Antarctica (perhaps she/he is a member of a scientific team there)
- Fargo, ND, USA
- Melbourne, Australia
- Cape Town, South Africa
Arrange these locations in increasing order of the length of the daily fast for practicing Muslims there. You don’t have to know the exact number of hours. It is enough if you can simply identify which “the shortest” and “the longest” and arrange the others in sequence.
Send us your answers.
THE INDIAN INSTITUTE OF GEOGRAPHICAL STUDIES