Quesiton 10 : Assalamu alaikum shaikh, I have a question if you could please answer.
I have an AlFajr Athan clock which I use to determine when to stop and start fasting. It is easier to know by the athan when to stop and start the fast. I noticed the Kuraby times published are slightly different to the athan clock. The Kuraby Mosque time to start the fast is a couple of minutes earlier and to finish the fast is four to five minutes later. Should I go by the Kuraby mosque times for starting and stopping the fast or can I continue to use the athan clock ?
Answer : Walaikumussalam Brother,
Beginning time of prayer is different in ways to beginning date of Ramadan. For Ramadan, we are required to not begin till we sight the moon, at least one or two trustworthy people, for much wisdom and benefit. As for beginning and end of prayer time, we are not required to sight the sun, the moon or the shadow ourselves, rather the knowledge of it is sufficient because the Quran and the Prophet (s.a.w) only indicated the knowledge of time not sighting.
Given that, what I would suggest is to check from a reliable website when exactly do times begin for Fajr (ie end of Suhur) and Maghrib (end of fast). Then compare this to any calendar or Adhan alarm clock you have. Whichever is consistent with the real timings of prayers that you know from the reliable website, you can then follow that one for the rest of the times in Ramadan and beyond.
Those who put the time for start of fast few minutes earlier and the end of fast a few minutes later are doing so out of good intentions and soncere concern to not keep eating once fast time has begun nor to eat before fast time has ended. And indeed for this i would suggest checking the time of your clock now and then to ensure it is accurate so that you dont eat during fasting time. An easy way of checking accuracy of our clocks is to google search every few days for present time in my city and verify and update my clocks with it. But beyond that assurance from checking the accuracy of our watches and our calendar timings, neither the Prophet (s.a.w) nor the Sahabah showed us to be even more cautious to the extend we mark the prayer times different on a calendar or consistently delay breaking fast bu a margin of few minutes not approved by the Prophet (s.a.w) who lived the same reality as us, as was the case with his Companions.
I would not condemn those who alter the timetables like that for their good intentions but also I would not follow them in delaying as though it is desired by Allah since neither the Prophet nor his companions delayed out of extra caution.
Allah knows best.