Update: 2019-06-25 11:02 PM -0400


Practical Sanskrit Dictionary for Buddhists and Hindus


A Practical Sanskrikt Dictionary, by A. A. Macdonell, 1893,
http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MDScan/index.php?sfx=jpg; 1929.
- Nataraj ed., 1st in 2006, 2012.
- https://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/macdonell/ 190516
The Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary, BHS, vol.2, by F. Edgerton, pp. 627.
- FEdgerton-BHSD<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180627)
The Student's Pali English dictionary , by U Pe Maung Tin, 1920.
- (ref: UPMT-PEDxxx).  Downloaded copies in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- UPMT-PaliDict1920<> / bkp<> (link chk 190113)
  Pali-Myanmar Dictionary (in Pal-Myan), by U Hoke Sein,
- (ref: UHS-PMD). The dictionary in printed form is in TIL Research Library.
Latin-English Vocabulary II, by Hans H rberg, 1998
- HHOrberg-LinguaLatina<> / Bkp<> (link chk 190624)

Edited by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, Daw Thuzar Myint, Daw Zinthiri Han and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL). Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR 
 - http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com 

MC-indx.htm | Top

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UKT 180725: In Bur-Myan, the prefix {a1.} does not mean a negation. It shows an unspecified adjective: thus {a.ni} means just "red color", {a.a:} "flesh",  {a.hka:} "bitterness'. I wonder whether in the following {a.ka} just means "free of plant material".


  {a.kaar} / {a.kaar~} Repha

{a.kin} : from {a.ki.}
{a.kiir} & {a.kiir~} from {a.ki}


{a.kRRi.} : highly rhotic Sanskrit form

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UKT notes :


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BHS: akākolīna
- ? (said of water) possibly free from (the plant) - FE-BHSc2b11


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p001c2-b24/ p007-055

अकाकु [ a-kku ] --> {a.ka-ku.}
- a. unchanged (of the voice).
55) अकाकु (p. 7) a-kku unchanged (of the voice). 

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BHS: akāca - FE-BHSc2b12
- adj. (= Pali id.; etym. uncertain; PTSD not glass, originally of jewels;


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p001c2-b25/ p007-054

अकाण्ड [ a-knda ] = अ क ा ण ् ड --> {a.kaaN~a.}
- a. unexpected, sudden: lc. -ly.
54) अकाण्ड (p. 7) a-knda unexpected, sudden:

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p001c2-b26/ p007-053

अकातर [ a-ktara ]
- a. undaunted.
53) अकातर (p. 7) a-ktara undaunted.

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p001c2-b27/ p007-052 

अकाम [ a-km ] --> {a.ka-ma.}
- a. not desiring; unwilling [to have sex], reluctant; not in love.
52) अकाम (p. 7) a-km not desiring;


BHS: akāmaka
- adj. (= Pali id.; Skt. akāma ), unwilling; in spite of (adverse) desire ; -- FE-BHSc2b13


p001c2-b28/ p007-051

अकामतस्् [ a-kma-tas ]
- ad. involuntarily; unwillingly.
51) अकामतस्् (p. 7) a-kma-tas involuntarily;


- adj. (= Pali id.; Skt. kām , not lusting after lusts: -- FE-BHSc2b14




- adv., whether he likes or not, (even) unwillingly, willy-nilly -- FE-BHSc2b15


p001c2-b29/ p007-050

अकामता [ a-kma-t ]
- f. freedom from desire or love.
50) अकामता (p. 7) a-kma-t freedom from desire or love.


p001c2-b30/ p007-049

अकामिन्् [ a-kmin ]
- a. not in love.
49) अकामिन्् (p. 7) a-kmin not in love.


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or ka , pl. ), a kind of toy ( Index wrongly a game) -- FE-BHSc2b16




akāryopaka -- FE-BHSc2b17
- see upaka



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p001c2-b31/ p007-048

अकार [ a-kra ]
- m. the sound or letter ă.
48) अकार (p. 7) a-kra the sound or letter ă. [-ness. 


p001c2-b32/ p007-047

अकारक [ a-kraka ]
- a. ineffectual; -tva, n. -ness.
47) अकारक (p. 7) a-kraka ineffectual;


p001c2-b33/ p007-046

अकारण [ a-krana ]
- a. causeless; n. lack of cause: --, -tas, -m, in., ab., lc. without cause.
46) अकारण (p. 7) a-krana causeless;


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{a.kaar} / {a.kaar~} Repha

p001c2-b34/ p007-045

अकार्पण्य [ a-krpanya ]
- a. void of self-abasement.
45) अकार्पण्य (p. 7) a-krpanya void of self-abasement.


p001c2-b35/ p007-044

अकार्य [ a-krya ] --> {a.kaar~ya.}
Skt: अकार्य [ a-krya ] - fp. not to be done; n. misdeed: -tas, ad. by doing wrong. - Mac001c2
  44) अकार्य (p. 7) a-krya not to be done; n. misdeed: -tas, ad. by doing wrong.
BPal: {a.ka-ri.ya.} -- UHS-MPD0003
  UKT from UHS: n. what should not have done


p001c2-b36/ p007-043

अकार्यकरण [ akrya-karana ]
- n. doing a misdeed.
43) अकार्यकरण (p. 7) akrya-karana doing a misdeed.



[ akārya-kārin]
- a. id.


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p001c2-b38/ p007-042

अकाल [ a-kla ]
- m. unseasonable time: --, -tas, lc. unseasonably.
42) अकाल (p. 7) a-kla unseasonable time: --, -tas, lc. unseasonably.

अकाल akāla
Skt: अकाल [akla] - m. unseasonable time: - Mac001c2-b20-1  
BHS: a-kāla - FE-BHS002c1b00
- (m.?, neg. of 2 kāla 1, day, q.v.; cf. Skt. vikāla , night; ...
BPal: {a.ka-la.} - UHS-PMD0003
  UKT from UHS: mfn. untimely

UKT 140331, 180628: For a monk on land in Myanmarpr the time to eat the last meal for the day is traditionally fixed to be before noon. However, it is a problem for Myan Buddhist monks travelling on an airplane crossing many time-zones. See the next entry from FE-BHS002. See my note on Akala {a.ka-la.} अकाल akāla
See also the problem faced by Muslims in Artic regions - the land of Midnight Sun - for fasting in the Moslem month of Ramadan:
- AKAwad-FastingRamadan<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180628)


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BHS: akālaka - FE-BHS002c1b01
- . nt. (from akāla ), food (delicacies) suitable for eating at other than meal times --

Read The Bhikkhu Rules: a guide for lay-people , by Bhikkhu Ariyesako, Sanghaloka Forest Hermitage, Vic3791, Australia, 1998
- BhikkhuAriyesako-TheravadaMonkRules<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180722)
"Any nutriment that a bhikkhu puts into his mouth is classified in four groups, which specify the time limits during which he can consume or store them:
1. Food - limited from dawn to noon yāvakālika
2. Fruit juices - limited to one day yāmakālika
3. Medicinal-tonics - limited to seven days sattāhakālika
4. Other medicines - for all one's life yāvajīvika

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p001c2-b39/ p007-041

अकालकुसुम [ akla-kusuma ]
- n. untimely flower
41) अकालकुसुम (p. 7) akla-kusuma untimely flower. 

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BHS: akāla-kaumudī  an irregular festival, i.e. one not held at any fixed time: ... - FE-BHS002c1b02



p001c2-b40/ p007-111

अकालक्षेपम्् [ a-kla-kshepam ] = अ क ा ल क्ष े प म ् : Note Pseudo-Kha क्ष
- ad. without delay.
111) अकालक्षेपम्् (p. 7) a-kla-kshepam without delay.

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akālakhādyaka : Note True-Kha
- nt. (cf. khādyaka ) = akālaka ... - FE-BHS002c1b03



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p001c2-b41/ p007-110

अकालचर्या [ akla-kary ]
- f. untimely action
110) अकालचर्या (p. 7) akla-kary untimely action.

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- n. of a mountain - FE-BHS002c1b04

UKT 180725: See The Basket's Display (Kāranḍavyūha), transl. P A Roberts and T Yeshi, 2013-2016, in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- PARobertsTYeshi-BasketsDisplay<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180725)
"The Bhagavat said, Sarva nīvaranạ visḳ ambhin, it like this: there are the kings of mountains Mount Cakravāla and Mount Mahācakravāla, ... the king of mountains Mount Akāladarśana."


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p001c3-b00/ p007-109

अकालनियम [ a-kla-niyama ]
= अ क ा ल न ि य म  --> {a.ka-la.ni.ya.ma.}
- m. no limit of time.
109) अकालनियम (p. 7) a-kla-niyama no limit of time.


p001c3-b01/ p007-108

अकालवेला [ akla-vel ]
- f. undue season.
108) अकालवेला (p. 7) akla-vel undue season.


p001c3-b02/ p007-107

अकालसह [ a-kla-saha ]
- a. unable to hold out long.
107) अकालसह (p. 7) a-kla-saha unable to hold out long.


p001c3-b03/ p007-106

अकालहीनम्् [ akla-hnam ]
- ad. without loss of time, forthwith.
106) अकालहीनम्् (p. 7) akla-hnam without loss of time,

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BHS akālika - adj. (Pali id.; ep. of dhamma ; also BHS āk , q.v.), immediate, not dependent on lapse of time (said of dharma-vinaya ); - FE-BHS002c1b05
BPal: {a.ka-li.ka.} - UHS-PMD003c2
  UKT from UHS: immediate effect


- adj. (for a-kilāntaka ), unwearied: - FE-BHS002c1b06 



- (to next), non-indolence, non-weariness; tayā , without weariness
- FE-BHS002c1b07


- adj, (Pali akilāsu ; see kilāsin ) , unwearied, not indolent; - FE-BHS002c1b08



- adj., and bhi-tā , ... (state of) obtaining without difficulty: ... FE-BHS002c1b09


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{a.kin} : from {a.ki.}

p001c3-b04/ p007-105

अकिंचन [ a-kimkana ] = अ क ि ं च न --> {a.kin~sa.na.}
- a. having nothing, poor; -t, f., -tva, n. poverty.
105) अकिंचन (p. 7) a-kimkana having nothing, poor;


p001c3-b05/ p007-104

अकिंचिज्ज्ञ [ a-kimkig-ga ]
- a. knowing nothing.
104) अकिंचिज्ज्ञ (p. 7) a-kimkig-ga knowing nothing.


p001c3-b06/ p007-103

अकिंचित्कर [ a-kimkit-kara ]
- a. effecting nothing.
103) अकिंचित्कर (p. 7) a-kimkit-kara effecting nothing.

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p001c3-b07/ p007-102

अकिलिन [ a-kilina ]
- a. not damp, not moist.
102) अकिलिन (p. 7) a-kilina not damp, not moist.


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{a.kiir} & {a.kiir~} from {a.ki}

p001c3-b08/ p007-101

अकीर्तन [ a-krtana ] --> {a.kiir~ta.na.}
- n. lack of mention.
101) अकीर्तन (p. 7) a-krtana lack of mention.


p001c3-b09/ p007-100

अकीर्तनीय [ a-krtanya ]
- fp. unspeakable.
100) अकीर्तनीय (p. 7) a-krtanya unspeakable.


p001c3-b10/ p007-099

अकीर्ति [ a-krti ]
- f. disgrace; -kara, a. disgraceful, infamous, humiliating.
99) अकीर्ति (p. 7) a-krti disgrace;


p001c3-b11/ p007-098

अकीर्तित [ a-krtita ]
- pp. unmentioned.
98) अकीर्तित (p. 7) a-krtita unmentioned.

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p001c3-b12/ p007-097

अकुञ्चित [ a-kukita ]
- pp. not crooked, straight.
97) अकुञ्चित (p. 7) a-kukita not crooked, straight.


p001c3-b13/ p007-096

अकुण्ठित [ a-kunthita ]
- pp. vigorous, quick.
96) अकुण्ठित (p. 7) a-kunthita vigorous, quick.


p001c3-b14/ p007-095

अकुटिल [ a-kutila ]
- a. straight; honest.
95) अकुटिल (p. 7) a-kutila straight; honest.


p001c3-b15/ not online

अकुतश््् चिद्भय [ a-kutaskid-bhaya ]
- a. afraid of nothing.
94) अकुतश्््चिद्भय (p. 7) a-kutaskid-bhaya afraid of nothing.


p001c3-b16/ p007-093

अकुतस्् [ a-kutas ]
- ad. from nowhere.
93) अकुतस्् (p. 7) a-kutas from nowhere.


p001c3-b17/ p007-092

अकुतोभय [ a-kuto-bhaya ]
Skt: अकुतोभय [ a-kuto-bhaya ] - a. afraid of nothing. -- Mac001c3
  92) अकुतोभय (p. 7) a-kuto-bhaya afraid of nothing.
BHS: Akutobhaya
- N. of a former Buddha - FE-BHS002c1b10

UKT 180725: Every name has a literary meaning. Here akutobhaya (Pali) - adj  safe from every quarter. (Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary -
- https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/akutobhaya#buddhism 180725



- a. id.


p001c3-b19/ p007-091

अकुत्सित [ a-kutsita ]
- pp. blameless.
91) अकुत्सित (p. 7) a-kutsita blameless.


p001c3-b20/ p007-090

अकुध्र्यक्् [ a-kudhryk ]
- ad. aimlessly.
90) अकुध्र्यक्् (p. 7) a-kudhryk aimlessly.


- best of its kind (lit. no pot, no commonplace) - FE-BHS002c1b11



p001c3-b21/ p007-089

अकुल [ a-kula ]
- a. low-born; -t, f. low birth.
89) अकुल (p. 7) a-kula low-born; -t, f. low birth.


p001c3-b22/ p007-088

अकुलज [ akula-ga ]
- a. sprung from a low stock.
88) अकुलज (p. 7) akula-ga sprung from a low stock.


- N. of a nāga king - FE-BHS002c1b12



? akulejyeṣṭhāpacāyaka 
- m.: kaiḥ , not honouring the elders of the family ; neg. of kulejyeṣṭhā , - FE-BHS002c1b13


p001c3-b23/ p007-087

अकुलीन [ a-kulna ]
- a. low-born.
87) अकुलीन (p. 7) a-kulna low-born.


p001c3-b24/ p007-086

अकुशल [ a-kusala ]
- a. noxious; unlucky, inauspicious; unskilful; n. mischief, evil; -word.
86) अकुशल (p. 7) a-kusala noxious;


p001c3-b25/ p007-085

अकुसुमित [ a-kusumita ]
- pp. not blossoming.
85) अकुसुमित (p. 7) a-kusumita not blossoming.

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p001c3-b26/ p007-084

अकूट [ -kta ]
- a. undeceptive (arms); sterling (coin).
84) अकूट (p. 7) -kta undeceptive (arms); sterling (coin).


p001c3-b27/ p007-083

अकूपार [ -k-pra ]
- a. boundless; m. sea.
83) अकूपार (p. 7) -k-pra boundless; m. sea.

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{a.kRRi.} : derivative of {iRRi.}

UKT: See my note on Derivatives of highly rhotic Sanskrit vowel

p001c3-b28/ p007-082

अकृच्छ्रलङ्घ्य [ a-krikkhra-laṅghya ]
- fp. to be traversed without hardship.
82) अकृच्छ्रलङ्घ्य (p. 7) a-krikkhra-laṅghya to be traversed without hardship. 


p001c3-b29/ p007-081

अकृच्छ्रिन्् [ a-krikkhrin ]
- a. having no trouble with.
81) अकृच्छ्रिन्् (p. 7) a-krikkhrin having no trouble with.

UKT 150104: Many of the following entries are on the antonym of the word {kRRi.ta.} used as prefix. The Skt-Myan  {kRRi.} which gives rise to {kRi.ta.} has an equivalent in Pal-Myan {ka.ri.} 'hand' (UHS-PMD0299).


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p001c3-b30/ p007-080

अकृत [ -krita ] --> {a.kRi.ta.}
- pp. not done; unprepared, uncooked; incomplete, unripe; unsummoned.
  80) अकृत (p. 7) -krita not done;
[UKT: the implied meaning seems to be 'untouched by human hand', 'non-artificial'.]


p001c3-b31/ p007-079

अकृतक kṛtaka  [a-krita-ka] --> {a.kRi.ta.ka.}
Skt: अकृतक [akritaka] -- a. natural. -- Mac001c3 
  79) अकृतक (p. 7) a-krita-ka natural.
BHS: akṛtaka - adj. (see kṛtaka c.f. Pali akata as ep. of nibbāna, and akṛtaja 1), not created, unfashioned, intangible, immaterial, in Laṅk standardly as epithet of ākāśa, nirvāṇa, nirodha. Often mistranslated as if active by Suzuki, no doer, not working, or the like: ... -- FE-BHS002c2

BPal derivative: {a.ka.ta.pb~ta.ra.}
- - UHS-PMD0001
  UKT from UHS: m. a natural cavern

UKT 140401: note {a.ka.ta.} and {a.kRi.ta.} both have the underlying meaning of naturalness or non-artificial which I interpret to be non-axiomatic .


p001c3-b32/ p007-078

अकृतकृत्य [ akrita-kritya ]
- a. not having done one's duty.
78) अकृतकृत्य (p. 7) akrita-kritya not having done one's duty.


p001c3-b33/ p007-077 

अकृतज्ञ [ a-krita-ga ]
Skt: अकृतज्ञ [ a-krita-ga ] - a. ungrateful -- Mac001c3
  77) अकृतज्ञ (p. 7) a-krita-ga ungrateful.
Skt: अकृतज्ञ akṛtaja - adj. not acknowledging benefits, ungrateful -- SpkSkt
BHS: akṛtaja  (in mg. 1 = Pali akatau -- . adj., knowing the uncreated. (i.e. nirvāṇa; cf. akṛtaka):  . n. of a prince, ... -- BHS002c2
BPal: {a.ka.ti~u.} - UHS-PMD0001
   UKT from UHS: . mfn. ingratitude . . mfn. knowledge of Nirvana. m. Arahat

UKT 140330: This word has made me uncomfortable for a couple years, until I realized that an Arahat is beyond ordinary human feelings. He is unaffected 'mentally' by his own action or by the action of others. Since "gratitude" is a common human feeling, an Arahat may be termed an ingrate by a materialistic non-Buddhist.

*UKT 140330, 160325, 160514: I admit that my rendition of अकृतज्ञ akṛtaja [akritajna] = (अ क ृ त) (ज ् ञ) --> {a.kRi.tiz~a.}, is beyond my pronunciation ability. However, the portion ज्ञ jna (FE-BHS244) reminds me of {Zaan} (MLC MED2006-155). I wonder if the two words {a.kRi.tiz~a.} & {Zaan} may be combined for this pronunciation. Secondly, in English terms such as Capitalism and Communism there is commonality in phonemes to Sanskrit and Pali. Compare English s to Skt j and Pali z . Secondly, compare English m to . From this comparison I can "pronounce" akṛtaja as {a.kri.ta. Zaan} and get the underlying meaning as "detail understanding of a subject" whether it is a social issue or a philosophical one.


- adv., not poorly, very well: SP 79.12 (Skt. kṛpanam and Pal kapaṇaṃ are used as adverbs, miserably).


p001c3-b34/ p007-076

अकृतपुण्य [ akrita-punya ]
- a. ill-starred.
76) अकृतपुण्य (p. 7) akrita-punya ill-starred.


p001c3-b35/ p007-116

अकृतपूर्व [ akrita-prva ]
- a. not done before.
116) अकृतपूर्व (p. 7) akrita-prva not done before.


p001c3-b36/ p007-115

अकृतबुद्धि [ akrita-buddhi ]
- a. of unripe understanding: -tva, n. abst. n.
115) अकृतबुद्धि (p. 7) akrita-buddhi of unripe understanding: -tva, n. abst. n.


p001c3-b37/ p007-114

अकृतलक्षण [ a-krita-lakshana ]
- a. having no distinctive mark.
114) अकृतलक्षण (p. 7) a-krita-lakshana having no distinctive mark.


p001c3-b38/ p007-113

अकृतविद्य [ akrita-vidya ]
- a. uninstructed.
113) अकृतविद्य (p. 7) akrita-vidya uninstructed.


p001c3-b39/ p007-112

अकृतश्रम [ a-krita-srama ]
= अ क ृ त श ् र म --> {a.kRi.ta.sh~ra.ma.}
- a. having undergone no trouble.
112) अकृतश्रम (p. 7) a-krita-srama having undergone no trouble.


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UKT notes

Akala {a.ka-la.} अकाल akāla

UKT 140331, 160320:

For a monk on land in Myanmarpr the time to eat the last meal for the day is traditionally fixed to be before noon. However, it is a problem for Myan Buddhist monks travelling on an air plane crossing many time-zones. See the next entry from FE-BHS002.

We find a similar problem with Muslims in the Canadian Arctic observing ('fasting in day-time, and breaking fast at sundown') the month of Ramadan where there are only two "days" (light and darkness), each lasting about six months.

From: Ramadan in the Arctic: How do you break a fast at sundown if the sun doesnt set? - Andrew Martin, Washington Post, 2015Jul13
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/religion/ramadan-in-the-arctic 160320

In Iqaluit, Nunavut, labourers are working long hours to finish the regions first mosque before winter. And theyre doing so without eating or drinking anything, even water, for almost 22 hours each day.

Like Muslims around the world, the mosques construction crew is observing the holy month of Ramadan which moves based on the lunar calendar and this year falls during summer by fasting from sunrise to sunset. Summertime means longer days without food for Muslims across the Northern Hemisphere. But it is particularly challenging for the thousands who live near the Arctic Circle, where the sun barely sets. In Iqaluit, one of Canadas northernmost cities, dusk begins around 11:00 p.m. By about 2:00 a.m., the sun is up again. In St. Petersburg, daylight lasts at least 21 hours. In Stockholm, the sun sets at 1 a.m. and rises just 2 1/2 hours later. The land of the midnight sun does not offer much time for repast.

How Muslims living in nearly 24 hours of daylight should observe Ramadan is a fairly new question for the faiths leaders, says Shankar Nair, a religious studies professor at the University of Virginia. Until the 20th century, the number of Muslims living in northern climes was quite small. But generous immigration and refugee policies have drawn followers of Islam to Canada and Northern Europe. About 600,000 Muslims live in the Nordic countries. Canadas Muslim population numbers around 1 million.

Scholars from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other centres of Islamic learning have issued contradictory fatwas, or legal rulings, on how Ramadan should be celebrated in near-constant sunlight. Muslims in these communities choose which to follow.

In Muslim countries everyone fasts, so you dont see those temptations.

Some decide to adhere to the sunrise and sunset hours of nearby, more southern cities, says Hussain Guisti, general manager and chief financial officer of the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, a Canadian charity. In Iqaluit, that would mean fasting between about 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., as Muslims do in Ottawa. But other members of the community prefer to keep to the long hours of their locale, set by the religious leaders. I think its a sign of being more serious, Guisti says.

Its also a challenge. Studies show that fasting for most of the day can lead to headaches, fatigue and serious dehydration. At night, followers must eat and rehydrate after a long, sometimes sweaty day in just a couple of hours.

Muslims in Kiruna, Sweden, where the sun never sets, say the long fasts make it hard to get through the day. Sometimes I got tired and took the bus home from work instead of walking, Fatima Kaniz told Al Jazeera. I looked at the clock many times.

This is a heavy burden for the human body, said Yelizaveta Izmailova, who is observing Ramadan in St. Petersburg, according to the Guardian. In Iqaluit, residents have begun to nap after work because the window for fast-breaking is so small and so late at night.

Muslims in these places must also cope with the reality that most people around them are not going hungry for 90 percent of the day. It makes it more challenging when youre outdoors and you see people eating and drinking, and youre walking around, and you see the food, you see the ice cream, Guisti says. In Muslim countries everyone fasts, so you dont see those temptations.

Despite the difficulties, most fasters are loath to complain. Rather, they see the long hours without food and water as a test of faith. Mohamed Hassan, the general secretary of the Islamic Society of Nunavut, said a carpenter at work on the Iqaluit mosque told him, You dont feel the thirst here because of the cool temperatures. Once you adjust, 22 or 23 hours is not that hard, says Syed Asif Ali, president of the Islamic Society. It just becomes your habit you dont even notice.

Ali now lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, and admits that he does look back with some wonderment at the long hours he kept. When youre not doing it, you think, How could I have done this? he said. I dont even remember. Depending on what you believe in, everything becomes easier.

Other Muslim communities have come up with a different solution. In Inuvik, Northwest Territories, home to the northernmost mosque in the Western Hemisphere, there is currently daylight 24 hours a day. Abdullah Mohammed, a member of the mosque who immigrated to Canada from Sudan in 1991, says his community has adopted the fasting and prayer hours of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. Though they dont follow the literal clock in Mecca (the nine-hour time difference would turn their days and nights upside down), the members of the mosque fast for the same number of hours and pray at the same intervals as worshipers in Mecca, resulting in a more traditional 13-hour day that starts around 5 a.m. and ends about 6:30 p.m.

Mohammed says members of the mosque community determined the hours they would keep for Ramadan together, after a debate. Getting everyone on the same page was important, he explained, so that all at the aptly named Midnight Sun Mosque could eat and pray together. The purpose is to worship, not to be tortured, Mohammed says. If you are doing something beyond your capability as a human, that is not Islam.

Still, even with the especially long fasts this Ramadan, Arctic denizens seemed to agree that it was better than the alternative days when the sun never rises. The summer is very nice, Mohammed said. The winter is the difficult one. A long day without food is far better, they said, than life in the dark.

Martin is is a fiction writer and a freelance journalist and critic living in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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