Relying on Prayer Timetables

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

Is it permissible to practically rely on a prayer timetable or must one independently evaluate whether the time has entered?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Yes, it is permissible to rely upon a prayer timetable if it was produced by someone well-versed in astronomy. Based on this, if one has a reliable clock, it is permissible for one to look at the prayer’s start time according to the timetable and then check one’s clock. If the times agree, one can pray based on this and one is not obliged to independently evaluate [m: that the time has entered]. [1] This is what has been codified in the books and is the position of the exacting Shafi’i scholars of Hadramawt. Furthermore, our shaykh, the erudite scholar and exacting jurist, Muhammad Ali Al-Khateeb (Allah perpetuate his benefit) has issued this fatwa to me.

Amjad Rasheed

(Translated by Moustafa Elqabbany)



[1] For a number of reasons, including year-to-year variations in prayer times, large metropolitan areas covered by a single calendar, and inaccurate clocks, it is best to wait several minutes after the time listed on a prayer timetable to ensure the time of the prayer has entered. For fasting, it is safest to stop eating several minutes before the time listed for fajr.

هل يجوز الاعتماد عملياً على قائمة أوقات الصلاة أم يجب الاجتهاد؟ :السؤال الجواب : نعم يجوز الاعتمادُ على التقويم المعمول للصلوات إن كان صادراً عن عارف في الفلك ، وعليه فمتى كان عند الشخص ساعةٌ مجربةٌ فله النظر في الوقت المحدد في ذلك التقويم لدخول الصلاة والنظر في الساعة المجربة فإذا توافق الوقتان صلى بناء على ذلك ولا يجب عليه الاجتهاد ، هذا هو المنصوص عليه في الكتب وعليه عمل علماء الشافعية المحققين في حضرموت ، وبه أفتاني شيخنا العلامة الفقيه المحقق محمد علي الخطيب أدام الله نفعه

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