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‘Late’ Iftar for Burj Khalifa & Dubai Skyscrapers Residents

The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department of the Government of Dubai in the UAE has called on all residents of Burj Khalifa skyscraper and other tall towers to mind the time difference of their fasting, depending on the floor they are living on, Khaleej Times reported.

“The residents at Dubai’s skyscrapers have to fast slightly longer than others, residents who stay between the 60th and 120th floor will fast for four minutes more than others in Dubai,” read the department’s issued circular.

The time difference at such heights will result in dawn prayers being held two minutes earlier than the rest of Dubai and will delay sunset and evening prayers by another two minutes.

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The circular continued that “people who live on the 121st floor and higher, will have to fast six minutes more, as the dawn prayer will be three minutes earlier, and sunset and evening prayers will be three minutes later than normal timings on the ground below.”

During Ramadan, daytime fasting for Muslims ends at sunset. Looking from a shorter altitude at the same coordinates of the location of the 830m-tall Burj Khalifa or similar elevations, you won’t see farther along Earth’s curvature.

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The renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, explained the anomaly that: “For Burj Khalifa, the current tallest building in the world, the sun sets four minutes later at the top than at the bottom. High-floor dwellers see beyond the ground-level horizon, farther along Earth’s curvature.”

Rotating Curves

The sun, moon, stars and all celestial bodies appear to set later the higher you go up above the sea level. This is one of the evidences that Planet Earth is a sphere and not flat ground.

Our blue home revolves around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates on its axis about 365.26 times.

Earth’s rotation period relative to the fixed stars, called its stellar day by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), is 23h 56m 4.0989s.

Apart from meteors within the atmosphere and low-orbiting satellites, the main apparent motion of celestial bodies in Earth’s sky is to the west at a rate of 15°/h = 15’/min. For bodies near the celestial equator, this is equivalent to an apparent diameter of the sun or the moon from the surface of the earth every two minutes.

The elevation of the land surface on earth varies from the low point of −418 m at the Dead Sea in Jordan to a maximum altitude of 8,848 m at the top of Mount Everest in Nepal.

The shape of the Earth is approximately oblate spheroidal. Due to the rotation, it’s flattened at the poles and bulging around the equator.

The diameter of the Earth at the equator is 43 kilometers larger than the pole-to-pole diameter. Thus, the point on the surface farthest from Earth’s center of mass is the summit of the equatorial Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador at 6,384.4 km.