A word about the Fajr prayer time on PrayTime.info


Definition of the time for Fajr prayer (when to stop eating for fasting)

There is consensus among all schools of thought (Jafari, Shafi’i, Hanbali, Hanafi), with the exception of the Maliki, that the time for the morning prayer begins at day-break (al Fajr al-Sadiq) and lasts until sunrise.

Here is a more detailed definition of the time of the Fajr prayer: "Just before dawn a column of whiteness rises upwards from the east. It is called the first dawn. When this whiteness spreads, it is called the second dawn (the true dawn or al Fajr al-Sadiq), and the prime time for Fajr prayers. The time for the Fajr prayer lasts till sunrise."

Why do different prayer time tables have different times for the Fajr prayer?

The differences in the prayer time tables for the Fajr prayer are NOT due to differences in the fiqh of madhib, rather they are due to the use of different parameters to calculate the time of the true dawn.

There are different opinions on what angle to use to calculate the time of Fajr. The angles that are commonly used in Muslim communities have been approved by Muslim scholars based on their local observation.

The first person who suggested using these angles for computing Fajr and Isha times was Abu-Reyhan Biruni, who suggested using between 15-18 degrees for computing Fajr and 16-18 degrees for computing Isha. Thus far, nobody has been able to come up with a universal angle that works for all locations around the world. For example, the well-known Muslim associations of the US and Europe, ISNA and MWL, are using angles of 15 and 18 degrees respectively for computing Fajr. On PrayTime.info, the Jafari method uses an angle of 16 degrees. Thus, it is mainly the calculation parameters that are different among Muslims not the fiqh of different madahib. The best way to confirm calculated prayer times is to determine the proper angles by observation.

What to do as a precaution?

As a precaution, you may stop eating some time before the Fajr prayer and pray some time after it. We suggest to customize the calculation details by picking 19.5 degrees for computing the Imsak time and 15 degrees for computing the Fajr prayer time. You can customize your settings (including the calculation method) by clicking on 'Change' under the 'Settings' panel on the left hand side of the main page.

The following table shows several conventions for calculating Fajr currently in use in various countries:

Convention Fajr Angle
Shia Ithna Ashari (Jafari) 16
University of Islamic Sciences, Karachi 18
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) 15
Muslim World League (MWL) 18
Umm al-Qura, Makkah 19
Egyptian General Authority of Survey 19.5