Fasting during Ramadan is considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam – the fundamental rules worshipers must follow – and carries great significance during the holy month.
However, it is also a significant undertaking, particularly in years like this when the days get longer as Ramadan goes on.
It’s therefore important to be as prepared as possible – here are the fasting times for Ramadan 2022 around the UK and the rules behind it.
What are the 2022 Ramadan fasting times?
Both the Central London Mosque and the East London Mosque have compiled Ramadan timetables, which give worshipers in the capital all the information they need to observe the fast correctly.
Here are the key timings day-by-day for Fajr and Maghrib – when the fast begins and ends – in London for the Muslim holy month.
The start and end dates are contingent on the moon sighting which means when Ramadan begins, which was this year expected to be Monday 12 April, while the timings apply to London:
- Sat 2 April: 4.59am, 7.38pm
- Sun 3 April: 4.57am, 7.40pm
- Mon 4 April: 4.55am, 7.42pm
- Tue 5 April: 4.52am, 7.44pm
- Wed 6 April: 4.50am, 7.45pm
- Thu 7 April: 4.48am, 7.47pm
- Fri 8 April: 4.46am, 7.49pm
- Sat 9 April: 4.43am, 7.50pm
- Sun 10 April: 4.41am, 7.52pm
- Mon 11 April: 4.39am, 7.54pm
- Tue 12 April: 4.37am, 7.55pm
- Wed 13 April: 4.35am, 7.57pm
- Thu 14 April: 4.32am, 7.59pm
- Fri 15 April: 4.30am, 8.00pm
- Sat 16 April: 4.28am, 8.02pm
- Sun 17 April: 4.26am, 8.04pm
- Mon 18 April: 4.23am, 8.05pm
- Tue 19 April: 4.21am, 8.07pm
- Wed 20 April: 4.19am, 8.09pm
- Thu 21 April: 4.16am, 8.10pm
- Fri 22 April: 4.14am, 8.12pm
- Sat 23 April: 4.11am, 8.14pm
- Sun 24 April: 4.08am, 8.15pm
- Mon 25 April: 4.06am, 8.17pm
- Tue 26 April: 4.04am, 8.19pm
- Wed 27 April: 4.01am, 8.20pm
- Thu 28 April: 4.00am, 8.22pm
- Fri 29 April: 3.58am, 8.24pm
- Sat 30 April: 3.55am, 8.25pm
- Sun May 1: 3.52am, 8.27pm
Because of the varying times of sunrise and sunset across the rest of the UK, it must be noted that there are variations in timing depending on location.
Fortunately, the charity Muslim Hands offers this following helpful guide to adjust the fasting timetable to apply to where you are:
- UK variations relative to London (Time Fast Begins, Time Fast Ends)
- Birmingham: (8 minutes later, 6 minutes later)
- Bradford: (9 minutes later, 8 minutes later)
- Cardiff: (13 minutes later, 12 minutes later)
- Glasgow: (22 minutes later, 40 minutes later)
- Leeds: (7 minutes later, 4 minutes later)
- Liverpool: (12 minutes later, 9 minutes later)
- Manchester: (10 minutes later, 7 minutes later)
- Middlesbrough: (8 minutes later, 14 minutes later)
What are the rules on fasting in Ramadan?
The most commonly accepted rule is that you must not eat or drink anything during hours of daylight, and must also abstain from sexual activity. Even water should not be drunk during the fast.
You are exempt from fasting if you are:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- very ill
- Traveling long distances
During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from things like violence, anger, envy, greed and lust, and trying harder to get along with everybody.
Many Muslims will wake up before sunrise each day and eat a large meal, called the Sahoor. They then engage in the day’s first session of prayer, known as the Fajr.
The fast is broken with the Iftar meal after sunset, which precedes the Maghrib, the fourth prayer of the day.
Devout Muslims always pray five times a day, and these prayers take on added significance during Ramadan.
Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?
According to the Muslim Council of Britain, the key objective is to work towards an increase in “taqwa,” or closeness to God, and to “engender a sense of gratitude, self-discipline and self-improvement, at both an individual and community level”.
For individuals, the fasting is said to encourage an affinity with those who have little or no food around the world.
And at a community level, the breaking of fast meal (iftar) at sunset encourages families and local communities to share their meal together.
Iqbal Akhtar, associate professor at Florida International University told The Conversation website: “Muslims abstain from food, water, smoking, sex and all sensory pleasures from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
“This is a divine commandment in the Koran and exemplified in the life of the Prophet Muhammad.”
He explains: “At its core, fasting is about conquering human pride to connect with God.
“Indeed, the term Islam itself means submission to God in Arabic. Muslims believe that fasting develops submission to God, empathy with the poor and repentance and gives time for spiritual introspection.”