PRAYER TIMING FOR CITY OF MONTREAL
Imsak Suhur ends 17.5º - Fajr begins 15º - Dhuhr midpoint plus 6 minutes - Maghrib local sunset plus 3 minutes - ‘Isha Shafaq Abyad 17.5º throughout the year - ‘Isha shafaqu’l ahmar 15º accurate to ±2 minutes
OF MUSLIMS PRAYER TIMING
Every Muslim above the age
of puberty is commanded to perform prescribed fives times daily
prayers (salaat) within the prescribed time, (waqt) Al-Isrâ
11:114; TâHâ 20:130, which
are determined using the position of the sun.
The time of the
first Dawn-prayer Fajr begins when the morning light appears and lasts just before the sunrise. The
second Mid-day prayer Dhuhr begins when sun appears the
highest in the sky and begins to decline Zawal , this is the
approximate halfway between sunrise and sunset,
the Dhuhr lasts when the beginning of the third
Afternoon-prayer Asr begins
when the shadow of an object reaches certain length-ratio in the
afternoon. The ‘Asr
lasts prior to local sunset which the beginning of the fourth
After-sunset prayer Magrib which begins when the sun
is fully set and lasts until the beginning of the fifth and final
Night-prayer ‘Isha when the western sky begins to darken.
The ‘Isha lasts until beginning of first Dawn-prayer Fajr.
hardly any Muslim observes the sky or sun to determine the prayers
timing, entirely all urbanised as well Muslims living in rural areas
rely on pre-determine prayer tables prepared with the help of
computer programs simply requiring the coordination (latitude and
longitude) of a location. The
times computed by these programs are considered accurate to ±2
minutes in most cases, relative to various acceptable criteria.
two important prayers, dawn Fajr and night ‘Isha,
require the measuring of certain amount (illumination) twilight (Shafaqe)
in the sky. The twilight is caused by the scattering of sunlight by
the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere when the Sun’s angle is
below the horizon. Nowadays, according to many experience observers,
this phenomena (i.e. nautical twilight) is difficult to identify,
quantify, and may fluctuates through the seasons, latitudes and
atmospheric conditions, furthermore, lately the environmental and
artificial light pollution is a major problem. According to U.S.
Naval Observatory when the centre of the Sun is geometrically
approximately 18° (astronomical twilight -, at sea level), at this
point, the sun does not contribute any illumination to the sky, and
twilight is so weak that it hardly noticeable. Under clear sky, at
18° or higher generally the sky is completely dark conversely the
18° or less, (i.e. 15°) there is some amount of light in the sky.
This is why the leading Islamic organizations endorse the beginning
and end of night (‘Isha) prayer at 18° or higher.
summer, at latitudes higher than 48.5° (extreme northern regions),
the sun does not go 18° below the horizon and at the latitudes
higher than 51.5°, the sun does not go 15° below horizon, for
example Manchester England and Edmonton Canada, in summer, the sun
hardly goes beyond 13.5° below the horizon thus full darkness does
not occur, in such cases several alternative methods are suggested
by the leading scholars such as start of ‘Isha time 90 minute
after the sunset and beginning of Fajr 90 minutes before the sunrise
or other acceptable methods.
at subh saadiq - true dawn or morning twilight when the morning light appears across the full width of the
sky. All Islamic
scholars agree on this point.
At pre-dawn, some whiteness appears at the edge of the eastern
horizon like a column, this is called (subh kaadhib -false dawn).
This whiteness fades after some time and then comes another
whiteness (lateral whiteness; second dawn) spreads towards
the right and left (full width) through the edge of the
eastern sky. This is called subh saadiq (also known as true
or second or morning twilight) at this very time the Fajr
beginning time of Fajr is pre-determine by the leading Islamic
organizations such as Egyptian General Authority of Survey 19.5°,
Umm Al-Qura of Saudi Arabia 19°, University Of Islamic Sciences,
Karachi and Muslim World League 18° and several Islamic
organizations in the west uses 15°.
The higher number (19.5°) correspondences early Fajr and the
lower number correspondences to late Fajr (15°).
It seems that 19.5°- 18° fixed by the reputable Islamic
organizations are more concern with importance of end of ‘Isha
time where such time is also coincides with ending of the
dawn-to-sunset Islamic fasting period
(Sahur – sehri –
imsak) especially during month of Ramdhan. The fasting
commences at Subah Sadiq (true dawn) this is also the commencing
time for Fajr Salat.
experts differ as far as pre-determination of
subh saadiq - true
dawn. The majority
opinion is about 18° but there is a minority opinion that calls for
15°. Also several
recent studies worth noting, reveal that the phenomenon of
subh-Sadiq could vary in degrees at different latitudes and
different seasons throughout the year, the new study suggest that,
it is incorrect to
calculate Fajr assuming any fixed degree (whether 18° or 15°) or
any fixed minutes (like 90 minutes or 75 minutes).
A possible explanation is given that because the sun
apparently travels along specific latitude on a specific date
between tropic of cancer and tropic of Capricorn, Muslims in various
locations around the globe have made observations about Subh-Sadiq
and the results are anywhere between 9° to 18°.
A prayer table, for city of Montreal, prepared by Dr. Khalid
Shaukat of moonsighting.com revealed that the time for subh-sadiq
fluctuate slightly throughout the year, occurring as low as 14.54° in summer and as high as 17.20° in winter.
conflicting estimation, It
is our view that, fixing late Fajr time such as 15° could be
problematic for those who intended to fast during the day and
conversely saying Fajr salaat too early (e.g. 19.5° or 18°) could
be equally unsafe. Therefore 18° is good approximate for
sahur (imsak) – extreme limit of pre-dawn meal if one is fasting
during the day and 15° is good approximate for start of Fajr.
Those prayer tables use 18° for Fajr, it is recommend to
wait 10 to 20 minutes before starting Fajr salaat.
Equally, complete sahur (imsak) (pre-dawn meal) 10 to 20
minutes Fajr time when
using 15° table. The
delay between end of ‘Isha (imsak or sahur)
and beginning of Fajr ( approximately 10 minute)
is also supported by a hadith by Zayd ibn Thabit (3)
. This delay is only
recommendation as a precaution if one is sure of the time of Subah
sadiq occurs, one can stop eating and perform Fajr salat thereafter.
The prayer table published by ‘Aisha Charity , for city of
Montreal Canada, uses 17.5° for Imsak of end of Sahur and uses 15°
for beginning of Fajr. Fajr
ends when sun begins to rise. (1 + 2)
Dhuhr (Zhur - Mid-Day Prayer)
at Zawal, when sun crosses the meridan (when sun reaches
its highest point - nearest zenith) and begins to decline.
As performing prayer is not desirable according to most leading
jurists (1) when sun is at its highest.
We recommend that stop performing salaat just prior to ten
minutes from the time shown in this table, which adds 6 minutes to
the local midpoint as margin of safety.
Dhuhr ends when ‘Asr salaat begins
3. ‘Asr (Afternoon-Prayer)
time of ‘Asr having two acceptable juristic opinions
the shadow of an object becomes its length (plus the length of
its shadow at the mid-point, shadow ratio: 1
the shadow of an object becomes twice its length plus the addition
to the shadow at the mid-point, shadow ratio: 2
as the sun begins to set, but to say the ‘Asr prayer is
undesirable (makrooh) when sun has gone down much
and the sunlight has become weak and pale.
begins when sun completely set beneath the horizon, delaying
Maghrib 3 to 5 minute from the local sunset time is preferred for
safety margin - This prayer calendar adds 5 minute to the
local sunset time. Maghrib lasts until 'Isha (till fading of twilight or
beginning of ‘Isha time begins when Shafaq (twilight) is set in.
All Islamic scholars agree on this point.
Two different interpretations are expressed
in describing the word shafaq in the books of hadith. These are commonly referred to as Shafaqe
Ahmar and Shafaqe Abyadh.
Both these phenomena occur one after the other and represent two
distinct levels of illumination in the western sky. Shafaqe Ahmar occurs before Shafaqe Abyadh.
under clear-sky, when disappearance (sun’s red afterglow) of
redness in the western sky.
(Shafaqe Ahmar – roughly correspondence to Nautical
believed that this method was accepted by Syedna Ibn Abbas, Umar bin
khatab, Ali Talib, Ibadah Bin Thamit, Moosa Ashari and Ibn Umar (Radiallahu
Anhum) including Imam Malik, Imam Shafi‘i, and Imam Ahmad and
Sahibayn -Imam Mohammed and Imam Abu Yusuf
(Rahmatullah Alaihi) well respected students of
Imam Abu Hanifah. This phenomena (i.e. disappearance of redness
roughly correspondence to nautical twilight between 12°and 15°)
is difficult to identify, quantify, and may fluctuates through the
seasons, latitudes and atmospheric conditions, furthermore, lately
the artificial light pollution is a major problem.
Shafaqe Abyadh: under clear sky, when western sky begins to darkens into one
colour and when almost darkness occurs or there is no trace of light
left in the sky (Shafaqe Abyad - roughly
correspondence to Astronomical twilight).
believed that this method was accepted by Syedna Abu Bakr, Muadh Bin
Jabal, Ubay Ibn Kab, Abdullah Bin Zubair, Anas, Abu Hurairah, and
Aisha (Radiallahu Anhum) also leading jurist Imam Abu Hanifah
generally estimated when
sun approaches 17.5° to 18° below the horizon.
Generally there are no significant time differences between two
phenomena (10 to 15 minutes) in most cases.
As a matter of convenience most Islamic prayer tables use
‘Isha timing when complete darkness (shafaqe Abyadh) occurs. The
difference in time could be significant in summer and could be as
much as 45 to 120 minutes in northern regions.
It is worth noting that the the Islamic scholars of Hanfi school of
jurisprudence strictly fix ‘Isha after Shafaqe Abyadh , but in
certain circumstances, it is permitted, (based on rulings of the
Sahibayn) to offer ‘Isha after Shafaqe Ahmar where the
circumstances in which the ‘Isha
is so late e.g. in some northern regions especially in summer months
and if Muslims likely to encounter considerable hardship. No Hanafi
scholar however is likely to permit ‘Isha any earlier than Shafaqe
Ahmar except in extreme northern regions.
Globally the beginning of Isha time (based on Shafaqe Abyadh complete darkness) is fixed by leading Islamic organizations, such as, Umm Al-Qura of Saudi Arabia - 90 minutes after sunset which approximate 20° throughout the year, University of Islamic Sciences, Karachi 18°, Egyptian General Authority of Survey 17.5°, and Muslim World League 17° and several Islamic groups in the west 15°. The higher degree correspondences (i.e. 18°) to slightly late ‘Isha and lower number (i.e. 14°) correspondences to slightly early Isha. The prayer tables published by ‘Aisha Charity uses 17.5° for ‘Isha Shafaqe Abyadh and Shafaqe ahmar 15º
experts also differ as far as pre-determination of Shafaqe Abyadh
when western sky begins to darkens into one color. The majority opinion is around 18° but there is a minority
opinion that calls for 15°. Also several recent studies worth noting,
reveal that the phenomenon of Shafaqe Abyadh
could vary in degrees at different
latitudes and different seasons throughout the year, the new study
suggest that, it is incorrect
to calculate ‘Isha assuming any fixed degree (whether 18° or 15°)
or any fixed minutes (like 90 minutes or 75 minutes).
Some Muslims in various locations around the globe have made
observations of Shafaqe
and the results vary anywhere between 9°
to 18°. A prayer
table, for city of Montreal, prepared by Dr. Khalid Shaukat of
moonsighting.com revealed that the time for Shafaqe Abyadh
fluctuate considerably throughout the year, occurring
as low as 10.92° in summer and
as high as 16.08° in winter.
compared the table prepared by Dr. Khalid Shaukat of
moonsighting.com to our limited study (less than 30 observations)
throughout summer at least for 2 years for City of Montreal, we
conclude that there is considerable differences about 4° to 7°
representing 50 to 60 minutes time difference in summer. It is our
view that further study may be needed to accept such conclusion.
The prayers tables published by ‘Aisah Charity also shows
early ‘Isha timing (Shafaqe Ahmar) using 14° in summer
only from May 15 to August 15 based on our limited study conducted (
only in summer – outside the city of Montreal Canada under clear
sky and minimum artificial light), It was observed that the
disappearance of redness (Shafaqe
Ahmar) varies from 12.5° to 13.8°.
Our well respected elder and an experienced observer
Hakimullah Gauri – Canada - views that 15° is a safe estimate for
Shafaqe Ahmar but for Shafaqe
Abyadh can not be less than 17.5°.
‘Isha prayer lasts till (Fajr) just before subh
saadiq -true dawn as long as the dawn has not yet risen – (evening
notes: Hadith references:
is no prayer after performing Fajr until sun
(sufficiently) rises; and there is no prayer after performing ‘Asr
until sun completely sets.' [Muslim-1041, agreed upon]
of Zayd ibn Thabit Bukhari and Muslim (the extent of reciting 50
verses), [Nawawi, Majmu` 6.406; Ibn Qudama, Mughni 3.2127; Ibn al-Humam,
Fath al-Qadir 2.374-375; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Buhuti,
Kashshaf al-Qina` 2.331]
‘Aisha Charitable Support Services Montreal Canada www.as-sidq.org
Islamic calendar (scheduled beginning of Islamic month) 2007/ 2016 (1428- 1437) (under construction)