Q/A: Fasting and Prayer Calendars


Question:
May Allah reward you for these blessed instructions, the questioner says, during the month
of Ramadan there is a difference of opinion between the Imams of the Masjids concerning the beginning of the time for Fajr; keeping in mind that the masjid has in it calendars for the
athan that are produced by the Scholars of astronomy and relied upon by the Ministry of Endowments and Guidance. But some of the Imams don’t follow these calendars especially when it comes to the Fajr prayer; rather they delay the athan for Fajr by an average of more than fifteen minutes after the time that appears on the calendar. Keeping in mind that the Fajr is not seen due to the following reason, which is the electric lights; so what is your advice for those people?

Answer:
No doubt the Scholars of astronomy have knowledge of astronomy, but Allah the Mighty and Majestic says, “eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread” (Chapter 2 verse 187) So as long as Fajr is not clear, the person can eat and drink, but the problem now is for the one who is in the city or a village that has electricity, he will not be able to determine the Fajr when it first enters due to these
lights. Therefore the person should use caution, if the time for Fajr is in according to the calendar then they should stop eating and drinking and as for the prayer then they should use caution, meaning they should not rush to make the prayer (when it first comes in according to the calendar) rather they should wait. And all praises belong to Allah; his waiting for the prayer to be certain that it has entered does not equate to delaying the prayer from its early time. Therefore there should be caution, in relation to fasting we say use caution and start fasting according to the calendar and in relation to the prayer we say use caution and delay the prayer until you are sure the Fajr is in.

Fatwa by Shiek Ibn Othaimeen
Translated by Rasheed Barbee

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