Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

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Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 22 Aug 2012, 15:10

(bismillah)
(salam)

During Mahe Ramadhan, Sheikh Thaqlayn cautioned us not to rely on the fajr timetable as chances were fajr was several minutes before the times printed on the timetable.

Does anyone here know more about the criteria for determining the correct time for fajr?

Is anyone aware about the criteria used in determining the times printed in the timetable that we use every year?
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 22 Aug 2012, 15:21

The issue is further complicated by astronomical realities such as al-fajr-as-sadiq (the true dawn) and al-fajr-al-kazib (the false dawn). How can we determine the true dawn? does the true dawn differ from area to area or city to city?
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 22 Aug 2012, 15:37

The command from Allah(SWT) which describes the subh-as-sadiq is:

[Yusufali 2:187] ...and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears;...

So, for the below wajibaats:

1. Starting of the fast
2. Subh prayers

which twilight is to be used out of the following:

1. Astronomical twilight (when the centre of the sun is about 18 degrees below the horizon) - very hard for common people to observe
2. Nautical twilight (when seafarers start observing shorelines in the horizon)
3.Civilian twilight (when civilian authorities turn off street lights)

And most important, which one is used for the timetable we are using?
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 22 Aug 2012, 15:45

For reference, attached herewith are:

1. Namaaz/Fasting Timetable - which we use in Tanzania (Jan-Dec)
2. Namaaz/Fasting Timetable Jul-Aug - which we use in Tanzania (Jul-Aug) - which are the two months Mahe Ramadhan fell in in 2012.
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 22 Aug 2012, 17:06

This article explain everything quite nicely
http://www.al-islam.org/beliefs/practices/fajr.html

Going by that, the imsaak time mentioned in the namaaz time tables is a few mins before the astronomical twilight.

Fajr time is a bit earlier than what Sayyid recommends whilst the time jamaat is prayed in mosque corresponds to nautical twilight.
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 22 Aug 2012, 22:38

Are you sure?

From those that heard Shk. Thaqalayn, it seemed like our fajr time is nautical and therefore the problem.

Plus has anyone checked with observation if the time in the calendar is agreeing with fajr-as-sadiq
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 22 Aug 2012, 23:26

I have a salaat calculator and a separate calculator by the US Govt Department of Ecology both of which accept custom angles for dawn and dusk.

At 18 degrees (Astronomical), dawn is at 5.17 and has been around that much (+-5) for the entire month of Ramadhan.

Both of them give nautical after 5:40.
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 23 Aug 2012, 00:49

Aren't all these calculators based on 'observations' over the years? Since most systematic observations are only done in the developed world, conditions in this part of the world may render their assumptions irrelevant. Like, for example, latitude.

How about actual observations of the subh-al-kazib and subh-as-sadiq in Dar es Salaam to verify what the calculators and the calendars are saying?
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 23 Aug 2012, 00:53

Muhammad Mahdi wrote:
At 18 degrees (Astronomical), dawn is at 5.17 and has been around that much (+-5) for the entire month of Ramadhan.

Both of them give nautical after 5:40.


I wonder how the times in the calendar were arrived at then? As they match none of the above
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 23 Aug 2012, 10:20

abuali wrote:
I wonder how the times in the calendar were arrived at then? As they match none of the above


From what I know, Sayyid Akhtar Rizwi made the original calendars years ago. At that time the timings held true but every year there is a change of a few tens of seconds and over the years this has accumulated to a few minutes.


Aren't all these calculators based on 'observations' over the years? Since most systematic observations are only done in the developed world, conditions in this part of the world may render their assumptions irrelevant. Like, for example, latitude.


Again, from what I know, these calculations are most accurate fro areas near the equator and start to deviate unless some precautions are taken.

The calculator considers coordinates (longitudes, latitudes) and time zone, altitude.
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 24 Aug 2012, 00:01

If Sayyid did the original calendar himself, and the one we use today is the same one he prepared, then we have little to worry about.

However, I thought these calendars are perpetual. Didnt know they had a change of a few tens of seconds. And if the change is only a few tens of seconds, say 20 seconds, per year, then in 50 years, the change would be 10 mins.

I thought that the calculations would be most true for those areas where the observations were made to develop them. Along the equator, the fluctuations between summer and winter times would be minimal, but i wouldnt be too sure about accuracy, unless local observations were used to calculate the times in the first place.
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby Muhammad Mahdi » 24 Aug 2012, 09:27

Re the calendars, we'll need to confirm as I'm not sure.


Observations wouldn't be that difficult. We could organize a 1 week observation and see for ourselves.
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 26 Aug 2012, 23:17

I agree, observations would not be difficult. We can have observations during different months and record our findings.
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Re: Fajr - How is the time of fajr determined

Postby abuali » 28 Jul 2013, 03:27

Anyone else interested in making physical observations of fajr?

It would involve very early excursions to the beach-side to make the observations. Say once a month for twelve months?

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