, a British Islamic scholar, thinks this makes Ramadan fasting unbearable for many Muslims living in Northern Europe and Canada, especially the old and children just beginning to observe the practice.
"In midsummer, the fasts are too long," Hasan
said on BBC television on Sunday, just days before Ramadan is expected to start there on Thursday (June 18).
"I'm glad this has started a discussion," Hasan, a senior researcher in Islamic studies at the Quilliam Foundation, told Religion News Service after the BBC interview aired.
Hasan said he began researching the issue last year after a Glasgow Muslim in his 60s asked for help because he felt he couldn't go through the summer fasts anymore.
At its longest, a summer fasting day can last over 18 hours in the Scottish city, where the days in late June are an hour longer than those in London.
"I wondered if there were any fatwas out there and I did some research," Hasan
Hasan, an astronomer with a doctorate in physics, describes his interpretation of Islam as "traditionalist-rationalist" and says: "I'm trying to express Islam as it is lived in today's context."
said the fasting issue has also become more urgent in Britain because the longer days this year fall while state schools are still in session.
Tags: fasting, longest day of the year, lunar calendar, Quilliam Foundation
, Ramadan, Usama Hasan