One day, shortly before Ramadan began, my family’s idle chatter over a weekend lunch broached on the topic of the challenge faced by Muslims fasting while living in Canada’s Northwest territories.
My father thoughtfully recounted two verses of the Quran that made him think of this geographical phenomenon:
. . . If Allah were to make the night perpetual over you to the Day of Judgment, what god is there other than Allah, who can give you enlightenment? Will ye not then hearken? (28 : 71)
. . . If Allah were to make the day perpetual over you to the Day of Judgment, what god is there other than Allah, who can give you a night in which ye can rest? Will ye not then see? (28 : 72) *
It’s not part of the universal human condition to experience endless nights or endless days, blazing midnight suns or brunches by candlelight. The strangeness of places where this is a reality, my father was suggesting, is in itself a sign from God, no different from the way nature and seasons and the delicate balance of the human body’s system are signs from God. “See how it is when the night or day is perpetual? It’s Me who makes it otherwise,” Allah is telling us.
SubhanAllah. Makes you think.
* Translation by Yusuf Ali