According to American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Muslims have been fasting "incorrectly" during Ramadan.
In a tweet shared on the first day of Ramadan, Tyson claimed millions - who are currently observing the holy month - are breaking their fast earlier than they should.
"The Quran says plainly that daytime fasting during Ramadan ends at 'Dark' not at sunset. 'Dark' is a good match for the end of twilight," he stated.
He then went on to add that people who are in countries along the equator are breaking their fast 15 minutes early, while people in middle latitude countries - including most of Europe and the Middle East - have been breaking their fast 30 minutes early. Tyson also added that Muslims who live at higher altitudes could be ending their fasts up to 45 minutes early.
The scientist's reasoning comes from his own interpretation of a Quranic verse found in Surat al-Baqara.
When translated from Arabic, the verse reads: "Then complete the fast up to the night." However, several versions of the text translate this specific part into: "Then complete the fast until the sunset."
Sunni Muslims interpret the verse in a way that allows them to break their fast at sunset. On the other hand, Shia Muslims wait until no light is left in the sky before breaking their fast, which is usually around 15 minutes after Sunnis do.
Though his interpretation was challenged by hundreds online, Tyson refused to rethink it. Twitter witnessed a riot of sarcasm and some tips on Ramadan, the Quran, and tafsir (exegesis) in general. We hope Mr. Tyson learned a thing or two.