I have had some discussions with Dr Ishtiaq on Islamic injunctions and directives I met him through a friend but have not seen him for quite some time. This post was forwarded to me Any comments?
hSubject: Observing Islamic Fasting in the North Pole
A Round, Spherical World and a Flat-Earth Basis of Fasting in Islam,
"Eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct from the black. Then fast to the night." (Qur'an 2:187)
The problem is that if you live beyond the North Pole in Sweden, Norway, Finland or Russia then during Summer the Sun never sets for roughly 4 months and during Winter it does not rise for roughly four month.
The reason is that the Earth is Round, almost a sphere and it revolves around the Sun at an inclined plane - 21 degrees. Consequently, the North Pole is closest to the Sun during Summer and farthest during Winter.
So, it is absolutely correct to say that the Quranic injunction on Ramadan or Fasting is based on the assumption that the Earth is flat and stationary whereas the fact is that it is round and it revolves on its own Axis as well as around the Sun.
Of course we see the Sun "rising" and "setting" but that is only an optical illusion. In actual point of fact it is the Earth which encircles the Sun.
Anyhow, the purpose of pointing this out is that one cannot apply the Quran literally all the time.
Equally, around the North pole the five prayers cannot strictly follow the routine which we have around the Equator and between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricon.Best Regards,
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed
Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; Visiting Professor Government College University; and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. Latest publications, The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed, *(Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012), won the Best Non-Fiction Book Prize at the 2013 Karachi Literature Festival and the 2013 UBL-Jang Groups Best Non-Fiction Book Prize at Lahore and the Best Book on Punjab Award from Punjabi Parchar at the Vaisakhi Mela in Lahore, 2016. And , Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011), Oxford, 2013. I can be reached at: email@example.com