Fasting Times and Puritanism

Very nuanced and thought-provoking discussion premised primarily on the established positions of Imam Abu Hanifa {RA} concerning the precise time fasting begins for those residing above 48.5 degrees latitude as Ramadhan approaches. Relying on the mu’tamad or most reliable Hanafi position, by praying the three affected salah consecutively, ie, Maghrib, Isha and then Fajr, one straight after the other, is thus shown to be more compatible with following one’s own madhab properly, instead of risking Talfiq or mixing different methodologies from other Madhaahib, for, in fact, aqrab al-ayyaam, nisf al-layl, sab’at ul-layl et al are actually Shawafi’ concepts and not found amongst the Ahnaaf. TaqabbalAllahuMinnaaWaMinkum.



Believing or involving the belief that it is important to work hard and control yourself, and that pleasure is wrong or unnecessary. (Cambridge English Dictionary)

It’s that time of the year again – Muslims are preparing themselves to partake in fasting for Ramadan, which this year consists of rather long hours due to the extended day length in the British summer. To add to the difficulty, we have a variety of opinions, rulings and ideas being expressed regarding what time the fasts actually begin.

According to the Hanafi School (followed by practically all Muslims from the subcontinent, from whom most British Muslims originate), the strongest opinion (‘Mu’tamad’) is the position of Imam Abu Hanifa himself – which is that the time of the ‘Isha’ prayer begins when the whiteness in the sky disappears, which is also known as Astronomical Twilight (‘Al-Shafaq al-Abyadh’). There is a weaker…

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