15 or 18 degrees for Fajr?


(I would prefer Shaykh Jibril to answer this question please)

Dear esteemed mashaykh, Assalamu’alykum,

Which is the correct method to follow for Fajr times in the northern latitudes eg. UK. I am asking since there is a significant debate in UK suggesting that shafaq ahmar (astronomical twilight) comes in before the ’15 degrees below the horizon’ method (due to our extreme northern latitude) and that therefore we should be following the 18 degrees method for Fajr calculation, with 15 degrees being more suitable for countries along the equator. Is this the case or is 15 degrees acceptable for us? (this became an issue recently when fasting in Ramadan, as timetables for start of fajr varied widely from the different Mosques, some following 15 degrees, others 18 degrees)

May Allah (swt) reward you adundantly. Ameen.



wa `alaykum salam,

Dr. Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is a specialist in falak and replies that the question is not an either/or but rather involves anywhere between 15 and 18 degrees for non-equatorial latitudes, depending on the time of the year. People in the UK should put their questions to him.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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