18 degree or 16 degree timetable

Fatwa ID: 02297

Answered by Molana Muhammad Adnan

Question:

Asalamualykum respected mufti,

Recently I have been getting doubt regarding sehri ending time , I read your previous response about the difference coz of 15/ 18 degree.

My local mosque follows the later time e.g sehri ended at 2:56 today, where as the ppl who follow early time ended at 1:28, this is almost 1 and half hour difference, I understand to follow early time is more precautious, but until now we have always followed later time, does that mean my fast are not valid? If I choose to continue following later time based on being more convenient will that be correct? Does my fast get done?

Answer:

Bismillah

Mufti Muhammad Shafi raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) as well as other Ulamaas and scholars from Pakistan and India are unanimous on the point that the time of Isha and Fajr begins when the sun is 18 degrees below the sun. This view has been confirmed by scientific and religious research. (Fatawa Uthmaani p.390 v.1 &  Nawadirul Fiqh p.218 v.1)

Many Masajids over the world act upon the aforementioned fatwa of Mufti Mohammad Shafi raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him). However, In England the timetables in many of the Masajids are based on the observation carried out by Maulana Yakub Miftahi, who is part of the ‘Hizbul-Ulama’ group. This mushahadah was carried out from Sep 1987 to Aug 1988.

The Hizbul Ulama group seeing the difficulty and differences the other ulama’s were coming to decided to solve this problem by carrying out mushahadah i.e. observation by naked eyes to determine the correct times for Fajr and Esha prayers. Their observation was partly based to provide prayer times on what they observed. Their observations showed that the prayer times do no continue to stay on any particular degree but fluctuates between 12 to 16 degrees. (Fajr & Esha times in Britain p.5)

It is more preferable and an act of precaution to act upon the 18 degrees timetable for finishing the Sehri and to read the Fajr prayer upon the observation by Maulana Yakub Miftahi or on the 15 degrees timetable. However, if this is difficult, then one can solely act upon the 15 degrees timetable or on the observation by Maulana Yakub Miftahi.

Therefore, it will be permissible and your fasts will be correct.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Molana Muhammad Adnan

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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