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Sun 7 Aug 2011 11:39 AM

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Fatwa rules Burj Khalifa residents must fast longer

Extreme height means tenants in world’s tallest tower fast for longer than other Dubai residents

Fatwa rules Burj Khalifa residents must fast longer
Residents in the Burj Khalifa must wait to break their fast because of the towers height

Residents in the world’s tallest tower have been asked to delay breaking the fast during the holy month of Ramadan by two or three minutes due to the extreme height of the building.

Muslims around the world fast during Ramadan’s daylight hours, but break their fast with an iftar meal once the sun has set and the call to Maghrib prayer has sounded.

However, the sheer size of the 828m-tall Burj Khalifa means that many residents will continue to see the sun for a short period after it has set on the rest of the city.  

As a result, the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities has issued a fatwa, or ruling, to require the tower’s residents to break their fast or go to their suhoor (pre-sunrise) meals according to three different timings.

Occupiers living above the 150th floor should delay breaking their fast by three minutes, while those on floors 80 to 149 must delay by two minutes.

Residents on the first 79 floors are subject to the same rules as the rest of Dubai.

“There is a difference in timing between the highest floor and those closest to the ground, especially during the Maghrib, Isha and Fajr prayer times,” Dr Ahmed Al Haddad, the grand mufti at Dubai’s Islamic Affairs department, told Emirates Today newspaper.

Al Haddad also warned air travellers not to break their fast only when they see the sun setting, not according to the local times of the countries they are flying over.

Alan 8 years ago

This seems technically odd. By this standard this means that any muslim at international space station must fast every 1.5 hours and break it every 1.5 hours.

David Jenkins 8 years ago

Re: Dr Ahmed's comments about air travel, I thought there was no compulsion to fast whilst one is travelling? Is this a typo in the report?

Anwar Mohammed 8 years ago

there r more imp things Dubai needs 2 concentrate now than issue such ridiculous statements, no offense to DIACA, being a muslim myself. Where were they when the tower was built and muslim workers who broke their in floors 80 and above. How come this is only a decree for Dubai and not global for all towers above 80!

I for one always believe these are simple guidelines for mankind to follow and Islam is never hard and fast. I cant imagine a lobby chat with a fellow being -"its only a minute for iftar. the other guy says - hey' i got anothr 3 minutes to go, im on 151! Please authorities don't issue statements for the rest of the world to mock at our simple and peaceful religion.

What abt countries like Alaska and Iceland? The sun is the same for 6 mths more or less. Muslims live there too.

And David, u rite on it. Travellers r exempt from fasting. They have an excuse and can make it up some other time and can be done in the form of food donation as well.

dino100 8 years ago

I was about to say what about muslims in space, or even, more plausible, Muslims living in Northern Europe? In Iceland and Finland, during summer its never dark, at all! The sun doesnt set? I think these rules are a bit over-zealous!

AB 8 years ago

So that means that the guy on the 80th floor can just go down to the 79th so that he can break the fast slightly earlier??? This must be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. And yes, I am Muslim.

Hasnain 8 years ago

Well written.
How we Muslims love to make Islam into a rigid ritual with conditions that give the impression that you are either in or out of its realm.
I cannot perceive it to be so during the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his family).

Sidra 8 years ago

Hmm this is actually quite funny. I'm going to dig a hole a few hundred feet deep, sit in it, so that I can break my fast a few minutes earlier!

Sayeed Khan 8 years ago

"Al Haddad also warned air travelers not to break their fast only when they see the sun setting, not according to the local times of the countries they are flying over."

Please explain then when should the air travelers break their fast when flying?

yoko 8 years ago

AB if you are on 80th floor and you see out the window at horizon and see the sun is still above and not set completely, will you break your fast?

Jaafer Naqvi 8 years ago

I am living in Oslo, and this statement of Sun Never Sets in Norway or Scandinavia, is totally FALSE.

There are cities in northern norway/sweden/finland/iceland where sun never sets only in month of May/June/July e.g. Tromso and Kuruna and if you go more in north, then this can extend to April-August.

And there are different opinions about how to offer prayers there by different schools of thought :)