Hanafi Fiqh: Imsak and Fasting

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

These two online resources appear to give a difference of opinion (in the Hanafi school) pertaining to when one must start fasting. http://www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/fasting/Ramadan_terms.html
http://webpages.marshall.edu/~laher1/siyamQ.html#1

1.0 THE OBLIGATION OF FASTING. 1. The time for fasting is from the rising of the SECOND dawn until the setting of the sun.

* Which is the more reliable opinion?

* When is the start time for fasting in the other schools – the false/first dawn or the true/second dawn?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

There is no difference. There are two dawns. The first is false dawn (al-fajr al-kadhib), which occurs when the sun begins to get towards the horizon, such that a little vertical light is visible in the sky, but it then disappears. The second is true dawn (al-fajr al-sadiq), which is when light spreads horizontally across the horizon. [Maraqi, Radd al-Muhtar]

Note, however, that this is not normally visible in cities, because of the amount of lighting and atmospheric pollution.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani