Praise be to Allaah.
The time for Fajr starts
with the second dawn (the true dawn) which is the horizontal whiteness that
spreads along the horizon right and left, and the time lasts until the sun
In the answer to question
no. 26763 we discussed the
mistake that many people make by relying on timetables to define the time
for Fajr, and that most of these timetables do not give the proper time for
the true dawn. This has been stated by more than one of the scholars.
differed concerning the extent of this error. Some of them said that it is
no more than five minutes, and some said that it is approximately thirty
We do not know what the
situation is in your city, but the people of each city should appoint a
group of trustworthy scholars to find out the time for Fajr and inform the
people of it, and warn them against following timetables if it is proven
that they are wrong.
No one should claim that
the prayer is being done before the time begins unless he has proof,
especially since finding out the actual time of dawn is very difficult in
cities and inhabited areas, because the light of dawn is mixed with the
lights of the city.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may
Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a congregation who did not know
the time of Fajr and they prayed it based on information from someone whom
they trusted, but some of them had doubts.
He replied: So long as they
trust him and know that this man has knowledge about the beginning of the
time (for prayer), there is no sin on them, because they did not know that
they were praying before the time began. If they did not know and they
accepted the word of this man whom they trust, then there is no blame on
them. But one should take precautions so long as there is some doubt, and
not pray until he thinks it most likely or is certain, and he should alert
the congregation to that, and suggest to them to wait five minutes or ten
minutes, and that will not harm them, because waiting five or ten or fifteen
minutes is better than praying even one minute too early. End quote from
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 12, question no. 146.
You should advise the
people in this mosque to delay the prayer until they think it most likely
that the time has begun, and if they respond then praise be to Allaah.
But if they insist on what
they are doing – and you think that they are praying before the time for
prayer begins – then look for another mosque that starts the prayer later,
so that your not praying Fajr in the mosque will not make people think badly
of you, and think that you are sleeping and missing the prayer, and so that
you will not be depriving yourself of the reward for going to the mosque,
and so that you will not become lazy about praying later on. Then go back
home and repeat the prayer with your family in congregation after the time
begins. This is what Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him)
advised when he was asked: Do you advise me to offer the obligatory prayer
of Fajr in the mosque or at home? [Because the people in the mosque offered
the Fajr prayer before dawn].
I advise him to do two
things together: He should go to the mosque and if they offer the obligatory
prayer before the proper time, it will be naafil for him. Then he should go
back home and offer the obligatory prayer on time, and in particular he
should pray with his family. But there is something that is more obligatory,
but not everyone can fulfil this obligation, which is alerting the people of
the mosque to this serious matter… end quote.
wa’l-Noor tape no. 767, minute 32.
And Allaah knows best.