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Imāms and Masjid committees must inform their congregations of the 18 degrees prayer timing

All praise be to Allāh and may the peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad. 

The ongoing debate concerning the correct time to start fasting requires us to deal with the matter both sensibly and practically. There are a number of issues that must be addressed, and for the scope and purpose of this Fatwa I would like to focus on how Mosque imāms and committees should deal with the differing opinions on when to start the fast.

 

Using the 18-degree calculation is not one of Ijtihād in which imāms and committees can decide to choose one opinion over the other.

Primarily, this is because the 18-degree start time –which gives an earlier time for the onset of fajr – is an opinion that is supported by the vast majority of scholars across the world, both near the equator and towards the north of the world throughout history, from the early days of Islam right up to today. They have all advocated the 18-degrees timing to be an accurate reflection of the reality of Fajr start times. For timetable click here.

 

The conflicting position, which corresponds to a later fast starting time, has only been presented recently by a small number of groups and lone individuals.

The conflicting opinion of starting the fast at a later time (including adoption of 12 degrees or the Hizbul Ulama UK timetable) actually has no basis except for alleged sightings with the naked eye (mushāhadah) that coincidently have been negated by other sightings around the world and throughout history. To elaborate slightly, fajr start timings have been examined and determined over hundreds of years to our current time. There have been many mushāhadas (naked eye sightings) throughout the globe, including the UK, at varying times throughout the year and history. They have all independently confirmed that the correct start time for Fajr (Subh Sādiq) is seen (mushāhadah) when the sun is 18-degrees below the horizon.

 

If Imāms or committees still believe that the second opinion (later Fajr start time) is correct then it is obligatory for them to at least inform those under their influence of the 18-degree timetable thus allowing them the choice to investigate the matter further.

So I urge our respected imāms and committees to do just that and furthermore to provide the congregation with the 18-degree timetable either by print or online sources.  I understand there are difficult implications in following this fatwa but we should not get frustrated and emotional about the hardships put on us by Allāh. Indeed it is a test for us all and through the efforts of us all we hope to fulfil our duty to the wider Muslim community in the fairest way possible.

 

Personal worship vs. Communal matters

Although Ramadān is soon to begin and some may view it as too late, the responsibility lies on those in authority to act in the manner instructed and remove the blame on themselves. Committees and imāms can either choose to explain and educate the congregation in the coming days on the 18-degree timetable or simply make the worshippers aware of a second (earlier) timetable and advise them to investigate and make a more informed decision and not merely follow the masjid blindly. Simply relying on the decision of the imām in this matter does not remove the burden on the individual. To believe that this issue can be left with the masjid to decide is a very dangerous and incorrect approach to have. Muslims must exercise some more care and concern to the matters relating to their worship, even if they consider themselves laymen. Lay people are also addressed by the following Qur’anic guideline:
“O you who have believed, obey Allāh and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allāh and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allāh and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result”.[1]
If this is not done then imāms and committees run the risk of enforcing their opinion (on a non-ijtihādi matter) upon the congregation which is not permissible in matters related to an individual’s ‘ibādah. Scholars have confirmed that a person in a position of authority can decide issues for his subjects on matters of Ijtihād that are related to the public’s interest. However, none of the scholars have stated that such people of authority can decide on matters related to the personal worship of their subjects (whether matters of ijtihād or not). Each Individual is obliged and has also the right to act upon what they believe is the correct view and thus knowledge of other opinions that might correct his or her personal worship must not be withheld. This matter is directly related to personal worship and not one of public interest. No individual should be compelled to act upon the ijtihād of the imām or committee concerning personal worship.
 
For example the Ruler or Imām cannot command people to raise their hands in prayer nor to believe wiping over cotton socks nullifies the wudhu. Similarly, no one can dictate when others should start fasting. What the Ruler or Imām may do is decide on matters related to the public interest such as the time for the congregational prayer. So there is a difference between the matter of the start of the fast and that of praying together in congregation. The first is an individual’s responsibility whereas the second is that of the masjid’s.
 
Some people claim that presenting more than one opinion to the masses might only serve to confuse them. This may be true to some extent, but then it is upon the Imām to adopt the safest opinion in the first place, i.e. 18-degrees timetable. If, for whatever reason, that is not possible then he must at least inform his subjects of the opinion that has been adopted and endorsed by the majority of scholars – this being the 18 degrees timing. This principle was explained by the great scholar al-Qarāfi in his famous book al-Furuq [2]. 
 
I also understand that because Ramādan is soon to begin people may feel reluctant to change their time to begin fasting, claiming that it is too late now or other reasons alike. But this is the wrong attitude to take on this matter. All the Muslims in the UK should now realise that this is a recurring issue with every Ramadān that we anticipate. It has become normal now and much discourse, both written and multimedia, is available for Muslims to educate themselves and research before the onset of Ramadān so that they are clear on all matters relating to their fast. But we find again that ignorance and laziness to conduct any form of research are the main reasons for why Muslims are left confused and negligent. In any case if this is the situation a Muslim has found himself in then I advise him either to read around the topic now from articles on this site and material from the opposing view so he may make an informed decision, or take the safer 18 degree option which translates into an the earlier of the two available times to fast this year.
 
And finally I advise people to ask their Imāms and committees following the later time to start fasting, whether there is another opinion related to an earlier start time of fasting and to ensure they are aware of the essential responsibility upon them as stated in this fatwa, including informing the congregation of the earlier fasting start time.
I ask Allāh to give us fiqh in His dīn, to protect us from disunity and to unite our hearts. 
Notes:  For 18-degree timetable click here. 
Sources:  http://www.islam21c.com originally posted on 25th July 2012
Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your 
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[1] Al-Qurān; 4;59
[2] under the chapter, ‘224: The Difference between the Principle of Fatwa and the principle of Judicial Judgement.’ Ibn Taymiyyah also elaborated on this point thoroughly.

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Sharia Council (UK & Eire). He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Sharia Council as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

36 comments

  1. So basically Haitham Haddad is further dividing Muslims and masaajid, at a time when we desperately need unity?

    As al-albaani pointed out, using calculations is a foolish thing, especially when Allah commands us to use our eyes in 2:187.

    Do you think at the time of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassallam) that they would precisely get rise up to pray on-the-dot, or to the minute?!

    If only Haitham actually bothered to read and reply to people in the comments – open your eyes, even with background light in the night sky, on a clear night, it’s very very easy to point out the “white thread” becoming clear from the darkness.

  2. start your fast 2 hours before sunrise in London, UK. This was told to me by a good scholar.

  3. Im a little confused. I live in Manchester. If I download the timetable for the year, Fajr is at 01.17. If i download the Ramadan Timetable, Fajr is at 01.08 (estimated). If i download timetable from salahtimes.com using muslim world league criteria of which uses the 18 degree formula, Fajr is 02.36. Help.. which one to use??

  4. I. E. We shouldn’t get hung up about previous derivations(ijtihad) without understanding the full picture, which sometimes people seem to do. As an example I was thinking about why 18 degrees formula shouldn’t be followed on starting of fajr:

    The issue of fajr and esha is this. Every command in Islam comes about when the sabab (cause) of it exists.

    eg maghrib becomes an obligation when the sun sets.

    Now for Esha the sabab have been derived to be either blackness of the sky, or, disappearance of redness (ikhtelaaf). For fajr, the sabab is generally worded to be ‘the disappearance of blackness from the sky by the appearance of whiteness which spreads’.

    Now, when does this happen? Observations around the world have led many ulema to conclude that this happens when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon.

    So, most timetables have used this 18degree formula to calculate start of fajr. The problem occurs in the northern countries where the sky in summer doesnt go completely black. Here many got stuck and without going back to the original evidence’s attempted to figure out when to start fasting. Some concluded that we should look at a nearest country. Others concluded that we should use the time before summer and continue using that time throughout the summer. Others divided the night into seven, or into three etc etc.

    I guess this is a problem when you get hung up about derivation without looking at evidence. 18 degree’s is fine as a calculation method to indicate when blackness disappears in most normal countries, but not so in northern countries. Here, if we go to the text we find that they state ‘spreading of whiteness’, not 18 degrees.

    In conclusion, 18 degrees isn’t what we look for, but what we look for is the spreading of whiteness(regardless of whether the sky is completely black or not). Which actually is the sabab for fajr.

    • Well put brother, I totally agree. I think adopting a uniform opinion in the face of irregularities is not always the best option. Firstly it does not mean it is correct, secondly it may actually be more harmful than beneficial for people.

      I really do love Sh Haytham for the sake of Allah, he is an incredible scholar and very well respected. I do however sense some scare mongering about the individual acts of worship. Laymen since the advent of Islam have indeed being doing taqleed of trusted scholars, even for individual acts of worship. I do not see how this can be negated when they decide to leave an unclear matter such as the start time of fajr with the trusted people of knowledge.

      For Sh Haytham and many of those around him I understand that the 18 degrees is a clear matter, but for the rest of the nation it is not. I really do not think this should go viral until the Scholars of the UK sit down and discuss this matter.

      I fear that the 18 degrees opinion is becoming cultish and detracting away from the real spirit of Ramadan.

      May Allah guide us.

  5. YouTube video about the true fajr in Arabic

    http://youtu.be/JoCb_04TwF8

  6. Salaam Sheikh Haitham, please look at this video, it’s in Arabic, but mainly it shows the white thread of dawn actually appearing in the sky 35 minutes after the fajr adhan ad been announced! When we are fasting we are allowed to eat and drink until you see the white thread of dawn.
    In uk because of the twilight in summer months, you don’t get a clear deep dark night as in the winter months. We should be able to estimate roughly that the start of dawn is around one and a half hours before sunrise. This makes the early 1 am dawn start very difficult to understand. Also that means we are fasting for more than 19 hours! For a thirteen year old boy, I find this very difficult and I would rather start my fast at the later dawn start. Why can’t we estimate 1 and a half hours before Sunrise, just like other countries where there are very short nights and very long days.

  7. I’m in London UK, and every app I use it keeps giving me a fajr time of roughly 2:30! Even tried islamicfinder.org. Double checked that fajr angle is at 18 degrees.

    So how come this new MRDF timetable is giving a start time of 1:08??????

  8. I believe both parties are wrong completely on the matter. Calculating something that is only in the hands of Allah is against our imaan. When does the sum rise? When Allah wills! When does it set? When Allah wills. So to make a big issue about who is right and wrong about a matter like this is just aalims trying to gain popularity with the public. The ruling should be along the lines of when 3 same people see first light then call azaan. Not cause tabloid issue and divide the Muslims.

  9. Salaams brothers and sisters, I suggest all interested parties visit the following website

    http://www.wifaqululama.co.uk/

    The ulema who run that site go in great detail regarding 18 degree issue both in terms of historical basis in shariah as well as the science. Have studied the issue in depth over the last year I am stunned this hizbul ullema timetable has been published, it is true fallacy. People need to take the responsibility to educate themselves on this issue.

  10. Would like further clarification
    Assalamualaikum. I am on the administrative/management board of a major masjid in a major town. What our masjid does is generally followed by the other masajid around our town. I have been worried about this timetable issue for quite some time now and between the general timetable which we have been using for years and the newer(what they call half-one) timetable that is going around. I have seen Sheikh Haithams timetable and have read this article. To tell you the truth, I have become even more confused about this issue. I definitely disagree when the sheikh says quote ‘If Imams or committees still believe that the second opinion (later Fajr start time) is correct then it is obligatory for them to at least inform those under their influence of the 18-degree timetable thus allowing them the choice to investigate the matter further.
    Firstly, can he show me the proof from islamic literary/fiqh sources that it is an obligation upon me to show the congregation this timetable. Secondly it is illogical to introduce someone to something you dont agree with when you know the repercussions are going to hit you hardest. It just sounds absurd, irrational, impractical and definitely a no-no when you are trying to manage a huge masjid that has tons of problems already and could do with reducing them rather than increasing them. Plus its not an aqidah issue where you will be accountable for it on qiyamah but rather a fiqhi issue and my understanding is that as long as what you are doing is in accordance with sharia, matters of ijtihad, its okay since ulema have made the timetable. This issue should be dealt with and clarified by the ulema amongst themselves and then presented to the people in a (near-enough) complete form. As for looking at it from a management perspective, you look at whats easiest for the musalees and we find the standard timetable to be the easiest.

  11. Dr Muhammad Saleem Anwar

    drsaleemhaf
    assalaamu alaykum

    how did the ulama arrive at 18 degree jamhoor view in the past? how did they calculate 18 degrees exactly? clearly they didnt have the the sophisticated ‘tools’ then?

    how much of the ‘whiteness’ is needed for fajr? could it not vary from person to person albeit slightly?

    how is it then qat’i (absolute) NOT ijtihaadi?

  12. @ mark- the source for MRDF ramadan calander prayer times
    @ brother mark and anyone else sceptical about the timings of the MRDF ramadan Calendar. the timings for the calendar were taken from the HM nautical almanac office. you can check it here>>>
    Go to http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/websurf/ >>>Agree to terms then enter>>>Select prayers on menu>>>Select london>>>Select astronomical twighlight 18 degrees>>>Press ok to get data

    • Thanks a lot, but all the apps I’ve used, including Islamicfinder.org, are giving fajr at around 2:30am (in London) for 18 degrees. Where’s the error?

  13. Jazakallaho Khairan Shaikh
    Assalamo alaika Shaikh,

    I live in Europe, and from many years, i had this confusion of correct isha and fajar times. Alhamdelillah, with your last three articles, i believe that we are not different than the rest of the world. If all over the world, majority believe that 18° gives correct Subh Sadiq, then minority can not be followed. The only difference from the other countries which are close to equator that earth movement around the sun is not vertical upward but inclined with respect to equator. Hence, it takes more time for sun to rise in Europe then countries which are close to the Equator. But appearance of white light on the horizon can’t be different from one country to another as it is proportionate to vertical distance of sun to cross earth’s horizon. The only effect that inclined movement brings that the rate of change of brightness in Europe is quite slow.
    After Sheikh firm point of view on the issue, we have decided to use 18° for calculating fajar time and start of fasting as well. It is our first fast with this time but now i will ask our respected Shaikh to advice us about our previous fasts that we started late following 12° calender. May Allah forgive us for our mistakes in this matter and accept from us all our previous fasts. May Allah guide us on your straight path and protect us from all misleading paths (khotowati shaytan). May Allah protect our scholars from all fitnas. (Aameen)

    Ahmed from France

  14. problems
    part 2

    After this has been understood, it should be clear to everyone that the times during these few months are abnormal. When we face a problem like this, we should return to the shariah of Allāh to see what has been mentioned regarding it. It has authentically been reported that the prophet pbuh informed his companions that when the dajjal comes, one day would be equivalent to a thousand days, and the next equivalent to forty days etc. When the companions asked the prophet pbuh how to pray in those days, he commanded them to estimate the times for prayer. This was due to the times being abnormal on those days.

    It is possible to apply this narration to our situation due to our times also being abnormal. If we look at the times throughout the year, the difference between maghrib and isha, and the difference between fajr and sunrise range between 1hr 20mins and 2 hours. So the difference between them in the summer should also be the same.

    If this method is followed, not only are the times throughout the year similar, but there is a clear authentic evidence being used to back up the argument, unlike the view promoting 18 degrees.

    Another point to bare in mind is that the original status of a person in the evening is that he isn’t fasting and his fast should only begin after certainty. This is a principle that is known and agreed upon in fiqh. Those who promote the 18 degrees method ask people to stop eating at 1.30 but tell them not to pray until 3.30 as to be on the safe side. This clearly shows us that they do not have certainty that fajr is at that time and due to this they should not start fasting.

    As for the sheikh saying that it is compulsory for the imams and committees to inform the people of the second opinion, then this opens the doors to many other problems since the majority of the fiqhi opinions have more than one opinion. Do the committees have to inform the general folk of the other opinions in every other issue as well?

    Also the point made my the sheikh about it not being an issue of ijtihad seems as if he’s desperately trying to prove his point by shutting off every other opinion. 18 degrees is an ijtihaadi method used, where in the quran and Sunnah does it tell us to follow 18 degrees? So following it is ijtihad from those who have decided that it’s the correct way.

  15. problems
    part 1

    Assalaamu’alaikum Warahmatullaah

    After reading the articles written by the sheikh, it clearly shows that the sheikh is promoting something that he hasn’t either thoroughly investigated himself or hasn’t understood properly.

    I will begin by taking a look at the prayer times published by mrdf which have been calculated using the 18 degrees method.

    1st ramadhan:
    Maghrib- 9.08
    Midnight- 11.20
    Isha- 12.32
    Fajr- 1.33

    10th ramadhan:
    Maghrib- 8.56
    Midnight- 11.41
    Isha- 11.45
    Fajr- 2.26

    Looking at the above timings for the 1st and the 10th of ramadhan, it shows us that midnight is before the time of Isha. The sheikh mentioned in one of his previous articles;

    “Praying Isha at its time according to 18 degrees is the best scenario that should be adopted as long as the time falls before the middle of the night (midway between Maghrib and Fajr).”

    It is clear that Isha time falls after midnight if we go according to the 18 degrees method. So in order for the sheikh to escape from this problem he said;

    “praying Isha before the time obtained is a form of combining prayers that some scholars have allowed in cases of hardship and necessity.”

    And he then said;

    “The condition for this though is that the practice of combining should not be the norm for all people in that country for this whole duration because this will in effect change the concession of combining into a permanent and intended obligatory action from the onset.”

    This practice of combining would have to be performed throughout the months of May, June, parts of April and most of July. Due to this, it would become a norm for the people in UK and therefore will change the concession of combining into a permanent action.

    Anyone looking at the times of prayer with an open mind would agree that we in the UK face a problem with the timings of fajr and Isha. It is agreed by everyone that the times of prayer are abnormal throughout the period that Isha is not established due to the twilight of maghrib continuing until fajr. This is agreed by everyone and should be made as the base of the argument following the other more correct opinion of estimating the times of prayer.

    If we analyse the prayer calendar throughout the year, we find that the timings for maghrib, isha and fajr only change everyday by a minute or two, this is not only the norm in UK, but it is the norm throughout the entire world. This is a very important piece of information that must be considered when looking at the times throughout the summer.

    If we go back to the time of the year when there was no isha time due to the twilight being present throughout the night, we find that the times leading to this time throughout the calendar change rapidly, likewise the times after this period has finished change rapidly until they reach their normal timings of changing by a minute or two.

    To make this clearer we will take a few examples from the ramadhan callender:

    1st fajr- 1.10
    2nd fajr-1.22
    3rd fajr-1.36
    4th fajr-1.45
    5th fajr-1.52
    6th fajr-1.59
    7th fajr- 2.05
    8th fajr- 2.11
    Etc

    So within the first 8 days, fajr has become over an hour later. It is not possible for anyone to claim that these times for fajr are normal. Likewise the times for isha change by more than 30 minutes in the first 8 days and are also after midnight, this is also abnormal.


  16. Asslamu Alaikum. Lots of valid points raised which I agree with, which it is only correct the honourable sheikh should answer. The Islamic creed is a practible creed, not one that imposes hardship.
    Quote ‘I understand there are difficult implications in following this fatwa but we should not get frustrated and emotional about the hardships put on us by Allah’.
    The purpose of the fast is surely not hardship, but to bring us closer to Allah through prayer, contemplation etc. Islam is a very practical deen. May Allah guide me, I cannot perceive how a twenty one hour plus fast for thirty days (which will be the case in two year time) is sustainable with worshipping, working and all other obligations. This is bordering on fasting through the day and the night…which was the fast of the Prophet (saw), but was forbidden for the people, as Allah did not require hardship for the people. Correct me if I am wrong, may Allah guide us all and me first, Ameen. Forgive me if I am wrng in something I have said, I am no scholar, but follow the deen to theo best f my understanding and ability.

  17. Timing of Isha
    People should check there timing before quoting it & giving the wrong information, if you follow 18 degrees Isha Salaat starts around 10:25 NOT 12:32 & Fajar Salaat starts at 1:21 which gives plenty of time for travi. PLEASE CAN OTHERS GET THERE INFORMATION CORRECT BEFORE PUTTING THERE COMMENTS ON AND MAKING OUT PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW 18 DEGREES CAN’T PRAY THERE SALAAT AND TRAVI!

  18. SubhanAllah!!!
    “written by Raghib, July 26, 2012
    If Isha starts at 12.32 and Fajr starts at 1.10 as on this timetable, how can one pray isha, tarawih, and do Suhur in 38 minutes? ”
    True, after seeing that i want to know what the people of 18 degrees (Ahlul 18) have prayed tarawih. IT LOOKS IJTIHADI, IT SOUNDS IJTIHADI IT MUST BE…

  19. 18 degrees vs 15
    Assalamoalaikum
    Sheikh Haitham you have been a long advocate of 18 degrees for the reasons you clearly articulate. Could you however comment on the fact that light intensity from 15 to 18 degrees is hardly noticeable by naked eyes. Not only does the Explanatory Supplement to the Ephemeris quantify this light intensity as dropping until 15 degrees and then flattening to 18 but the majority of astronomers accept that the illumination conditions are so negligible that it does not make any appeciable difference to the human eye. So your arguments for 18 degrees would also logically apply to 15 degrees therefore making it permissible to adopt 15 degrees. please comment .

  20. Valid, full and accurate references
    I agree with Yusuf.

    I also would like to see some references for the article’s claims especially:

    “…this is because the 18-degree start time…is an opinion that is supported by the vast majority of scholars across the world, both near the equator and towards the north of the world throughout history, from the early days of Islam right up to today. They have all advocated the 18-degrees timing to be an accurate reflection of the reality of Fajr start times.”

    as I would like to be able to look them up and see for myself.

  21. salat times
    intersting that mr addad should raise this or make a point of addressing the topic of salat times and fasting times.
    I remember attending a talk on ‘participating in voting’ given by mr addad.
    Though he himself confessed to not voting he gave the message that we the ummah should excercise the right of voting on the twisted understanding of the lesser of two evils/wrongs.
    I question the motive of mr addad for writing the artical that he did.Its not wrong what he’s written:but a sence a snake in the grass!

  22. tarawih
    If Isha starts at 12.32 and Fajr starts at 1.10 as on this timetable, how can one pray isha, tarawih, and do Suhur in 38 minutes?

  23. Look outside at 1.45am and at 3.45am
    Asa wr wb,

    Allah SWT says in the Quran to eat until you see the white threads distinct from the black threads which is when Fajr kicks in.

    Now when I look outside at 1.15am and then again at 1.45am I see that nothing has changed. The dark sky is still dark, and the birds still sleeping. At the time of writing this it is exactly 2.15am and the sky looks like it did at 10.45pm.

    But if you look outside at 3.15am and then again at 3.45am the sky is black and then distinctly bluer and birds start singing indicating Fajr has certainly arrived.

    I don’t know how on earth anyone can say Fajr starts at 1.15am when it is quite obvious when it starts to anyone observing the sky.

    So with all respect to our scholars and imams, I will eat until the white threads appear distinctly against the black sky, and this time is line line with the unified prayer timetable adopted by the main London masajids.

    Jzkhr,
    Suhail(West London).

  24. Will Allah forgive us for wasting time on this nonesense?
    At a time when the Ummah is burning, this is the most important subject to give fatwa on?

    We live in a society with most Muslim scholars are not even able to debate with, let alone explain our dangerous situation. Our city lifestyles make it problematic for us to even collectively apply the Quranic law of when to start fasting:

    “and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)”. [al-Baqarah 2:187]

    We live in an cultural and economic framework were holding onto Islam is becoming like onto hot coal.

    For me as a believer in the one God, my loyalty is to him and his messenger. The mercy on to mankind (saw) warned us:

    “Nothing would remain of Islam but the name, and nothing would remain of the Qur’an but the traces (of its writing) (i.e., the Qur’an would not be studied, no one would follow its guidance, it would be recited [url][/url]mechanically etc.); the Masajid (mosques) would be grand structures but would be devoid of guidance; and the Ulama (religious scholars of Islam who represent such people) would be the worst people beneath the sky”.

    What shame, May Allah (swt) forgive us.

  25. slave of allah

    re: ?
    There has been meetings with these mosques regarding this matter but to no avail.

    if I recall regents park mosque was using 18degrees up until they changed last yr

  26. Where is the evidence?
    May Allah reward the sheikh for his efforts and give him jannatul firdaws. Ameen.

    ‘scholars across the world, both near the equator and towards the north of the world throughout history, from the early days of Islam right up to today’

    I think the above statement needs elaborating on and supporting with some relevant evidence.
    For example how far north is meant here because if it isn’t as far north as the UK then it doesn’t count.
    Also when were these witnesses taken? If they weren’t taken in the summer months then it doesn’t count either.

    I think that until we don’t have documented proof that 18 degrees is valid in the UK during the summer period then I’m afraid this campaign is just going to cause much unnecessary disunity. Especially since its clear that in the UK during summer, the amount of time for the sun to rise again after it has set is much shorter than anywhere in the Muslim world (I.e. the sun appears to behave differently here). Hence logic would suggest that 18 degrees would not be valid here.

    Another pertinent question would be – isn’t Islam supposed to bring ease? Why must salafis always have to find new and imaginative ways of erring on the side of caution and making life difficult for your average Muslim? Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t the Prophet SAWS warn us from making religion difficult for people.

  27. 18 degree
    Salaam to all again, I could not add the QA, so please follow this link to read more about this.

    http://www.hendonmosque.co.uk/prayers/fasting.php

  28. 18 degree
    Salaam to all, I have always followed the 18 degree, but for some reason became confused this year. I new what I was doing was right, read this previously prior to my journey to Islam. As I said this year I was deeply confused, even questioned my husband if what we were doing was right as his mosques that his family follow, follow the 18 degree and the mosques in my area, south London follow 15 degree. Going back to when I said that I knew what I was doing was right, this statement was based on me not necessarily looking into it more, I just knew it was sunnah so followed. Please if anyone wants to know more about this 18 degree please read the follow message I will forward on next. This is the best I have found in the way that our brother comes across and in general a brilliant explanation. Whereas others I have read have been quite strong, this is right and others are wrong. Being strong I agree with to a degree, but I don’t agree that we have a right to tell people that they are wrong and its my way of the high way.

  29. Confused…
    This is really confusing.

    Firstly, why is the issue not ijtihaadi, especially considering it is the mushaahadah that is needed for the start of fajr and not any calculation? Surely the calculation of 18 degrees is a type of ijtihaad taken by the “majority”? If anything, you would say that those who took the time to investigate and witness the fajr were more in line with the text than those who calculate based on 18 degrees and it is their view that is not an ijtihaad.

    Secondly, if it is not ijtihaadi, why is it implied in the article that a masjid can still not follow the 18 degree rule? Surely the fatwa should then be “the fast is not valid for those who do not as this is not a matter of ijtihaad”.

    Thirdly, why must an imaam/masjid who sincerely believes in the timing and opinion they are following obliged to inform their congregation of what they see as a difference of opinion? This is like saying an imaam is obliged to give every difference of opinion when teaching even if he considers some to be weaker/invalid/not applicable just because someone else believes that that opinion to be correct.

    With all due respect to the Shaykh, I’m not sure exactly what the point in this fatwa is.

  30. Timings for Fajr
    Asalamualykum,

    The current problem with the Fajr timings is not specifically related to the 18 degree calculation. As even using this calculation for northern locations on the HM Nautical Almanac Office website does not produce any results. The general problem seems to be people need guidance as what method should be used to estimate the timings for Fajr when calculations do not produce any results.

  31. Whats an 18 degree timetable and what time does the fast start according to this calculation?

  32. Whats an 18 degree timetable? and what time does the fast start according to this calculation?

  33. ?
    Maybe this is a matter you need to put to the central mosque of London which is followed by a majority, which is the regents park mosque.