Difference between Salah timetables and due times of Salah
Q 7: Here in
we have Prayer timetables indicating the time of sunrise and sunset. However, observing the sunset and the sunrise with our eyes, we find a slight difference. We contacted the Meteorological Centre in
to inquire about their way of calculating the time of sunrise and sunset. The employee said that none of the Islamic organizations had contacted them to clarify the Muslim's need to know the timing of sunrise and sunset in their Shari`ah issues such as the time of Prayers.The timing of sunrise and sunset recorded in the Swedish calendar is calculated for other purposes. They do not calculate the time of sunrise when the edge of the sun rises but when the center of the sun appears. In the same manner, they do not calculate the time of sunset when the edge of the sun disappears but when the center of the sun disappears. However, it is known that the validity of Salah is conditional on the beginning of the prescribed time. (Part No. 5; Page No. 125
It is not permissible to rely on the calculations or the timing of a Non-Muslim country in order to observe Sawm (Fast) or to offer Salah. This is due to the fact that the testimony of a non-Muslim is not accepted in religious matters. You have mentioned in your inquiry that they have their own calculations with regard to sunrise, sunset, and sighting the crescent that are not in conformity with the Shari`ah (Islamic law). This is an enough reason not to take their calculations into consideration.You must depend on yourselves in determining the timing of the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers and the sight of the crescent. This is a feasible matter, Al-hamdu lillah (All praise is due to Allah).It is not permissible to use calculations to determine the beginning or the end of Ramadan. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Fast on sighting it (the new moon) and break your fast on sighting it. However, if the sky is overcast (and you cannot see it), complete the term as thirty (days of Sha`ban).
Many Sahih Hadith (authentic Hadith) have been narrated to the same effect. Shaykh Al-Islam
Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) said that there is scholarly consensus on this point.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.