Eight-in-Ten U.S. Muslims Say They Fast During Ramadan (17 To 18 Hrs In Summer)

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AYSHA HUSAIN (JUN 13, 2018): Muslims around the world are marking the holy month of Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset in order to focus on their spiritual life and get closer to God. In the United States, the vast majority of Muslims are also observing Ramadan, with eight-in-ten saying they fast during the holy month — in summer fasting could be as long as 16 to 17 hours.

This Ramadan, the average daily fasting duration in New York city, is 16.5 hours with less or more similar duration in other states because of the daylight saving time. Friday June 15th would be the longest fasting day in NY city — from 3:43AM to 8:30PM (16.85 hours). In Toronto it’s 3:15AM to 9:00PM.

According to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Muslims, more Muslim adults say they fast during Ramadan than say they pray five times a day (42%) or attend mosque weekly (43%). And far more women fast during Ramadan (82%) than wear the head cover, or hijab, at least most of the time (43%).

Among foreign-born US Muslims,  89% of South Asian descent say they fast during Ramadan as compared to the national average of 80%, and 92 percent of them say religion is very important – worldwide 94% Pakistanis and 93% Indonesians say religion is very important.

Fasting for Ramadan is common across all the demographic groups that make up America’s 2.15 million Muslim adults. For instance, similar shares of Muslim men and women (77% vs. 82%) say they fast, and there is little difference between Muslims who were born in the U.S. and immigrants (79% vs. 80%).

Not surprisingly, roughly nine-in-ten U.S. Muslims (92%) who say religion is “very important” in their lives observe the holiday. Among Muslims who say religion is “somewhat important,” two-thirds (65%) say they fast. But even among American Muslims who say religion is “not too” or “not at all” important, a substantial share (41%) say they fast.

Ramadan also is widely observed by Muslims around the world, according to a Pew Research Center report published in 2012. Indeed, in most of the 39 surveyed countries with sizable Muslim populations, more than nine-in-ten Muslim adults fast, making it the second-most-observed of Islam’s Five Pillars, behind only the shahada, the affirmation of belief in God and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

(Based on Original Report by PEW Research Center)

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