Salah Times Explanation (Revised)

Details of The Salah Timetable (Adopted as from September 2008)


“Let not respect for people prevent a person from speaking the truth when he knows it.” (Tirmidhi)    

As we can see from the verse taken from the Quran above, the knowledge of the correct starting and ending times for prayers, and more importantly for fasting, is a very critical and fundamental need for all Muslims.  It was very unfortunate that the timetable for Salah we had previously adopted, the ‘claimed Mushahadah’ timetable of the Hizb ul Ulama had many inconsistencies and contradictions, and once we became aware of these it had become incumbent upon us to search for an accurate timetable which would ensure that our Ibaadaat were being performed  at correct times specified by our Holy Shariah. 

In recent months with the Hadith of our beloved Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam in mind  

“leave what is doubtful for that which has no doubt”,  

we embarked on a mission to rectify the Salah times to the best of our abilities, and for this we met leading Ulama  and Mufti’s who are experts in this field, and Alhamdulillah, taking on board the advice of these experts we decided  to adopt the timetable prepared and endorsed by our elders from over a Hundred years ago, the likes of Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi Saheb, Mufti Muhammad Shafi Saheb, Allamah Yusuf Binnori Saheb, Allamah Zafar Ahmad Uthmani Saheb, Mufti Wali Hasan Tonqi Saheb, (May Allah Ta’aala shower his mercy upon them) are amongst those under whose guidance this timetable was set. 

Below are answers to two Fataawa on the timetable issue of two renowned Mufti’s of this era: 

Answer #1:  By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Saheb  

After a good deal of research and continuing observation my father Mufti Muhammad Shafi as well as other 99% of the Ulama in Pakistan and India are unanimous on the point that the time of Isha and Fajr begins when the Sun is 18 degree below the horizon. This basis has been confirmed by scientific as well as religious research carried by a large number of scholars in both fields. 

Answer #2: By Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb  

A depression angle of the sun of 15 degrees for the start of Fajr should be used with extreme caution. It is much safer to stick to 18 degrees. It is only if local observations in a place have shown that the is no morning twilight visible in a particular place until the sun depression angle is 15 degrees or less (throughout the year) that 15 degrees may be used. If this is not the case, then 18 degrees should be used.                              

Note: The 18 degrees timetable mentioned in the above Fataawa is the timetable we have adopted as from September 2008. Alhamdulillah, Observation  (Mushahadah) of Subh Sadiq by Ulama in the UK and India and Pakistan has also proved the above to be correct.  

Note: The English term for ‘Subh Sadiq’ is Astronomical Twilight 

For your knowledge:  

The Salah times based on 18 Degrees has not only been adopted by the Indian subcontinent but also by the responsible authorities in the Arab world including Saudi Arabia, the Subh Sadiq times used in the Haramain Sharifain are based on a time, when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. (Source: research on Subh Sadiq and Shafaq Pg 91, 92, and 93. By Moulana Yaqub Qasmi) 

In 1313 Hijri (1896) Maulana Lutfullah Saheb who was the Mufti of Rampur wrote a book ‘Hill ud Daqaaiq fi Tahqeeq is Subhis Sadiq’, in this book he also pointed out that Fajr time begins and Sehri ends (Subh Sadiq) when the sun is 18 Degrees below the horizon, this was also reiterated by another book written in that era by Munshi Muhammad A’alaa who named his book ‘Subh Sadiq’ both these books were endorsed by the Akaabir of Ulama  e Deoband the likes of Sheikh ul Hind, Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Mahmud ul Hasan Saheb, Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri Saheb and Mufti Aazam e Hind, Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Aziz ur Rahman Saheb (May Allah Taalaa shower his mercy upon them) 

(Source: research on Subh Sadiq and Shafaq Pg 80,81. By Moulana Yaqub Qasmi).  

May Allah SWT always guide us on the Sirat e Mustaqeem and forgive us for our mistakes. Aameen. 

Prayer Timetable Starting 1st September 2008 –1429 / 1430 AH. 



As we can see from the verse taken from the Quran above, the knowledge of the correct starting and ending times for prayers, and more importantly for fasting, is a very critical and fundamental need for all Muslims. The aim of this brief report is to provide a basic overview to the reasons behind the times calculated on the prayer timetable available from Seven Kings Masjid, London. 

 Astronomical and Persisting Twilight

During most of the year, the start times for Fajr and Isha are based on when the sun sets to and rises from an angle of 18° to the horizon, which is called Astronomical Twilight. However, for parts of the world that lies above 48°latitude (including the United Kingdom). During the months of May June and July, the sun does not set below the angle of 15°to the horizon; hence there is no true Fajr and Isha. This phenomenon is called Persisting Twilight. 

Persisting Twilight

At extreme latitudes the twilight may persist between sunset and the next sunrise for certain months of the year. In these months the sun does not go below the horizon by a sufficient amount to abolish twilight. Hence there is no true night. Under these  circumstances, Islamic theologians have provided four methods that can be used to calculate Fajr and Isha times.  

1. Nearest latitude(Aqrab Al-Balad) – add the interval between sunset and isha for a location on latitude 48 degrees to the local sunset time to obtain time for local isha. Similarly the interval between fajr and sunrise for a location on latitude 48 degrees is subtracted from local sunrise to obtain local fajr time.  

2. Nearest day  (Aqrab Al-Ayyam) – use fajr and isha times from the last day when it was possible to calculate these times in the normal way for that location.  

3. Middle of night(Nisf Al-Lail) – split interval between sunrise and sunset into two halves. Isha is offered before the midpoint (e.g. 15 minutes before) and fajr is offered after the midpoint.  

4. One seventh of night(Sube Al-Lail) – split interval between sunset and sunrise into seven segments. Isha is offered after the first segment and fajr is offered after the sixth segment.  

Fajr and Isha Calculations. 

The following information shows the times of the year for which we have adopted these methods to calculate the start times of Fajr and Isha. 

Fajr        1 January – 22 May  Astronomical Twilight (18°)
               23 May – 21 July  Nearest Day (Aqrab-Al-Ayyam)  
               22 July – 31 December Astronomical Twilight (18°) 

Isha         1January – 5 March  Astronomical Twilight (18°) 
               6 March – 8 October  One Seventh of Night (Suba-Al-Lail) 
               9 October – 31 December Astronomical Twilight (18°) 

The One Seventh of Night method divides the period from sunset to sunrise into seven segments. Isha is offered after the first segment. This has been used because of the hardship faced by UK Muslims during the summer period when the days are extremely long and the nights are too short (in accordance with Islamic Law). 

For further references refer to (SUBAH SADIQ and SUBAH KADHIB) written by Professor Abdul Latif. 
To find out more details of twilight you can also refer to ‘Greenwich’.

This timetable has been set under the guidance of: Mufti Shafi, Mufti Wali Hassan Tonqi, Mufti Raza Ul Haq, Moulana Yusuf Binnori, Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi and  Moulana Zafar Ahmad Usmani.(May Allah Taalaa shower his mercy upon them)