Ramaḍān and Fasting

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

It’s Saturday 25th April 2020. Let’s talk about ‘Ramaḍān and Fasting‘ today.

There is a very special connection between Ramaḍān and fasting. The Islamic calendar consists of 12 months, similar to the Gregorian calendar. The difference being that the Islamic calendar is based on the moon whilst the latter, on the sun.

It begins with Muharram and ends with Ẓūl Ḥijjah. An Islamic month will be either 29 or 30 days. The 9th month, which we are in now, is Ramaḍān. This is the month in which Almighty Allāh has made fasting compulsory on all able Muslims.

It is extremely important to familiarise yourself with all the laws of fasting to ensure your fasts are correct and accepted. Lots of books are available on the subject, and there is a lot of information out there from which we can educate ourselves. Learn from your local Imām. 

Many people ask me about the beginning time of the fast. When should we end our Suhūr, and when can we pray Fajr? My answer to the lay person is ‘If you follow the timetable of your local Masjid then your fast is accepted‘.

However, I also tell them what time I end my Suhūr and pray Fajr. The reason for this is because I feel it is completely wrong for those whom Almighty Allāh has blessed with knowledge to act upon a particular teaching, but not disclose it to the masses.

When do I start my fast? The majority of the Muslim world, end their Suhūr when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. This time is known as Ṣubḥ Ṣādiq. In English, we call it twilight.

Twilight is defined as: when the first ray of light appears on the horizon. According to astronomical calculations which we use for all our Ṣalāh, twilight occurs when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon.

Our SharīꜤah also advises us to carry out observations, which are termed, Mushāhadah. Scholars and experts in many countries have carried out Mushāhadahs, which have matched the 18 degrees twilight calculation.

The Holy QurꜤān states very clearly to start your fast at twilight. Therefore, that is what I personally act upon. I am happy to provide the 18 degrees timetable. Feel free to ask please.

Those who follow their Masjid timetables, rest assured, your fast is accepted, as whoever prepares the timetable is responsible. However, do seek clarification from them about why the time is different from the 18 degrees timetable, and if possible, get it from them in writing and forward to me please.

May Almighty Allāh give us all the right understanding of this very important issue upon which, the acceptance of our fast is based, Āmeen.

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جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
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وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala