Translation of Fatwah Fajr & Isha Times – Mufti Sham-ul-Hudaa Sahib
Isha & Sahari in difficult days
O Allah guide me to the truth & correct conclusion
- There are days in which the white western light (shafaq abyad gharbi) disappears very late, which causes difficulty, in these days it is permissible to pray namaz-e-Isha according to the opinion of Sahibain, at the disappearance of the red light (shafaq ahmar). The end of Sahari is when the eastern white light (shafaq abyad sharqi) appears, which is when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon, this is also when the white western light disappears (when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon). This is proven by centuries of eye witnessing by scholars & experts in this field & also the opinion implemented in most Muslim countries & also the opinion supported by hundreds of qualified earlier & latter fuqaha, including Imam Muhaqqiq Ahmad Raza, scientists support this view as well.
- There are days in Britain & Europe etc, in which the sun doesn’t drop 18 degrees below the horizon, & the white western light (shafaq abyad) joins the fajr-e-sadiq, in fact in some areas in certain days the red light (shafaq ahmar) doesn’t disappear & then subh sadiq begins. In these days the ‘half-night formula’ can be used to solve the issue of Isha namaz & sahari; this means divide the time between sunrise & sunset into 2 parts, pray Isha namaz & do sahari before the first half finishes, and the time of fajr begins at the beginning of the second half. This has been explained by Imam Qutbul-Deen Sherazi in Tuhfa-e-Shahiyah p.434. Also Imam Allamah Abdul-Ali Barjandi says “When the sun is in the western half consider it in the shafaq & when it is in the eastern half consider it in the morning”. (Sharh Chaghmaini p.221). A leading expert of Tauqeet in the recent past Imam Allamah Mufti Sayyid Afzal Husain writes “From sunset to half the night will be the white light (shafaq abyad) & from half the night to sunrise is subh sadiq”. (Taudih-ul-Aflaq p.62)
This view is also supported by the issue of the permissibility of making intention for fasting until midday (nisful-nahar shar’i), this isssue is known to all students of fiqh.
- It would be wrong to solve this issue using the Hadith-e-Dajjal (taqdeer – fix a time ourselves) & the ‘closest city or closest days’ (aqrab bilad / aqrab ayyam) principle. This opinion has been refuted in detail by Khatamul-Fuqaha Ibn Abidin Shami. Also this hadith is against logic (khilaf-e-qiyas) therefore it is not correct to base opinions (qiyas) on it (Raddul-Mukhtar v.1 p.337). Sultanul-Ulama Imam Mulla Ali Qari Hanafi has also refuted this idea (Mirqat v.1 p.195). Imam Qadi Iyad Maliki etc have clarified that this rule only applies to that specific day (Sharh Sahih Muslim lil-Nawawi v.2 p.401). There is no Hanafi Mufti who has supported this opinion based on hadith-e-dajjal. The hadith-e-dajjal only refers to namaz & is not connected to the end of sahari.
If hanafis were to shift to the Shafi’i opinion in this issue & base their view on hadith-e-dajjal then it would be necessary for us to abide by their definition of estimation (taqdeer), because this is necessary when adopting the opinion of a different school of thought, as is mentioned in reliable fiqh books. Reliable shafi’i fiqh books mention ‘if there is no time for Isha & fajr begins before the disappearance of the light (shafaq), & before fajr there is only enough time to pray maghrib namaz or for a faster to eat, then in this case the faster should eat & do qada of maghrib namaz later’.
Here in Britain & Europe we have a lot more time than that, therefore it is incorrect to fix a time for sahari ourselves.
- Also it would be incorrect to solve our issue with the ‘seventh part of the night principle’, this is worse than ‘a drowning man trying to grab a splinter’. Imam Ahmad Raza says “this seventh of the night principle is one of the invalid & unacceptable formulas, because sighting by the naked-eye & principles base on eye witnessing prove the invalidity of this formula”. (Dar-ul-qubh ‘an darki-waqtil-Subh / Fatwa Razawiyyah v.10 p.571/625)
- Also in normal days, to set Isha 1:20/1 ½ hours after sunset & fajr namaz time at 1:20hr/1 ½ hr before sunrise, is completely invalid, incorrect, inaccurate & miles away from the truth. Imam Muhaqqiq-wa-mudaqqiq Ahmad Raza has explained the complete inaccuracy of this opinion in Fatawa Razawiyyah v.5 p.151.
It is also ‘impractical’ to apply the ‘seventh of the night or 1:20 hr’ formula to a specific place at a specific time in Europe.
“The public won’t agree” or “there won’t be a lot of time for tarawih” are invalid & unacceptable excuses. It is our religious duty & obligation to convey the truth to the public once it has become clear & doubtless.
We can only convey (the truth) And Allah knows the best
Shamsul-Huda (may Allah forgive him)
Darul-Ifta Kanzul-Iman Heckmondwike U.K.