When to begin fast – 15 or 18 degrees?

CategoriesSawm (fast) [228]

What sehri end times are right?   15 degree or 18 degree?   There is a difference of approx 30 minutes or so and by the time we stop eating for suhoor and perform our fajr salaah som brethern in our locality are still busy eating for suhoor? Is this possible? Surely there has to be a right and a wrong? Now, i have seen & read the detailed and good piece on this from your previous questions where it states the 3 opinions. One of them has to be right!

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.


Mufti Muhammad Shafi (RA) 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 (RA). 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.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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