Qaradawi and his team will work to determine the five daily Muslim prayer times, the calculation of which are determined by the position of the sun, in a region where the sun does not rise and set as regularly as it does in other parts of the world. Due to such factors as the rotation of the earth, the revolution of the earth around the sun, the tilt of the earth’s axis, the various latitudes of the earth’s locations and daylight saving time, the “times” (according to the clock) for these prayers change from day to day and depending on the location.
The knowledge of the starting and ending times for prayers is of critical importance to Muslims, who are enjoined in the Qur’an to pray five times a day. One of the requirements of offering prayers is the accurate time interval in which they should be offered. Prayer times also concern the religious obligation of fasting, with the times to stop and start eating also determined by the sun. The prayer times include the time to stop eating the pre-dawn meal for fasting and the sunrise, noon (when the passes its zenith), afternoon, sunset -- when Muslims break their fast -- and evening prayers.
Polar regions like Norway, Finland and Alaska have areas where the sun stays below the horizon for several months in winter and stays above the horizon for several months in summer. Determining prayer times for such regions has been especially important. Since 2009, when the fasting month of Ramadan coincides with the summer season, Muslims who live in countries with latitudes at 45 degrees or above have had to break their fast, have their pre-dawn meal and pray the evening prayer all within the span of one hour.