My name is Ashfaq Ahmed. I am doing MS electronics engineering from Torino, Italy. We are about 100 students here. My question is regarding the time of SEHRI. Actually, there are about 5 calculation methods for prayer timings. We have observed that there is slight difference (about 20 minutes) in the times of SEHRI ENDING (inteha e sehar). We have also asked from an AALIM in our city but he is also confused about this issue as he is new. Please tell me that which calculation method we should follow. I am sending you the longitude and aptitude of our region:
latitude : 45.05
longitude : 7.6667
Day light saving : YES
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The descriptions of the aforementioned twilight are as follows:
This is the time when illumination is sufficient under good whether conditions, terrestrial objects can be clearly noticeable. The horizon and the brightest starts are clearly visible.
During this time under good atmospheric conditions and in the absence of other illumination general outlines of objects can be distinguished but detailed outlines are not possible.
When it is truly dark and hardly any twilight remains. The sky illumination is so faint that it is undetectable.
This is the term given to the line or circle that forms the boundary between the earth and the sky. (Subhe sadiq Awr Shafaq Kee Tahqeeq P.43 – Maulana Yaqub Qasmi)
After pointing out the definitions of the types of twilights, I would now like to mention what the ulaamaas of Britain say regarding this masala.
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)
Their Mushahadah was mainly to observe:
- First light of the morning (whether it is Subhe Kazib or Subhe Sadiq)
- The spreading of the first light.
- End of Shafaq ahmer
- End of shafaq abyadh
They prove their point that mushahadah has precedence over degree times. This is because scientific knowledge and theories are limited particularly in determining the time of subhe sadiq & Esha salah.
Also the Maulana brings quotes from Shah Waliulah , Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi , Imam Ghazali that mushahadah has more reasonable and realistic attributes than degree times. (Fajr And Esha times in Britain P20)
Thus their conclusion is that Muslims in Britain should have faith and follow the times of Fajr and Esha Salah based on their mushahdah.
Maulana Yakub Qasmi chairs the second group. He is in favour of performing Fajr and Esha salah when the sun is 18oc below the horizon i.e. Astronomical Twilight.
Maulana establishes his argument from the texts of the following astronomical books; Beiruni-Kitabul Masuudi P.27, Rubul-Mujeeb P23 and the commentary of Sunan Tirmizi, Maarifus Sunan P.28 V.2.
The texts from the aforementioned books indicate the view that the beginning of fajr and esha is at 18oc. (Astronomical twilight)
The third group of people are those who follow Mufti Rasheed Ahmed Ludyanhwis judgement. Mufti Rasheed Ahmed is in favour of performing Fajr salah at 15oc and perform the esha salah at 12 oc (Nautical Twilight) His evidence can be found in Ahsanul Fatwa (P.164 V.2)
The conclusion is that one can read their salah or fast according to one of the four rulings. Whichever view is adopted by one city or community is correct.
Looking at your question, the time for the aforementioned twilight is as follows:
Civil twilight begins at 05:52, ends at 21:17
Nautical twilight begins at 05:11,ends at 21:57
Astronomical twilight begins at 04:26,ends at 22:42
As there has been no Mushahadah done in Italy, you can now act upon either Maulana Yakub Qasmi’s view who says that Fajr and Esha salah should be performed when the sun is 18oc below the horizon i.e. Astronomical Twilight, hence, finishing your sehri before 04: 26 or you can act upon Mufti Rasheed Ahmad view who is in favour of performing Fajr salah at 15oc, hence, finishing sehri approximately at 04:49.
As I mentioned above whichever time you act upon the fast will Insha Allah be accepted. As an act of precaution it is best to finish your sehri before Astronomical twilight.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.