Shedding Light on the Dawn

Shedding Light on the Dawn : New,
"On the Determination of Prayer &
Fasting Times at High Latitudes
*[A5+] Large Hardback - 350 pages,
by Dr. Asim Yusuf,
by Nur al-Habib Productions.


Due Back in Stock  March 2022

Description :

The challenge of how to determine twilight prayer and fasting times at high latitudes is an issue that has vexed successive generations of Muslims since the community first began to dwell in northern lands. This work represents the most comprehensive, meticulous and balanced approach to the subject composed in any language.


"The most in-depth analysis of Prayer Times,
bringing clarity to a difficult topic."


The author has both demonstrated and collapsed the complexity of the subject by exploring it from the perspective of definitions, science, scripture and sacred law, as well as providing a literature survey of classical and modern attempts at observation, before presenting the results of his own systematic, scientifically-rigorous set of observations.

As well as providing a comprehensive set of recommendations for the issue under discussion, this work sets a standard for works on modern legal issues in general.

Table of Contents :

---A Poetic Summation,

---Executive Summary,

---Chapter [1] : Preliminaries,
------Islam and the Natural world,
------The imperative to follow Qualified Scholarship,
------Respecting Valid Differences of Opinion,

---Chapter [2] : Framing the Issues,
------Counsel to the Lay Muslim,
------Counsel to Those Who Determine Prayer Timetables,

---Chapter [3] : Defining Terms,
------Islamic legal definitions,
------Modern Astronomical definitions,
------The importance of clear definitions,
------Categories of
------Disambiguating Islamic and astronimical terms,
------The categorisation of twilight periods,
------The relationship between scientific and Islamic definitions of dawn.

---Chapter [4] : The Science of Twilight,
------The importance of the science of twilight,
------The sky at night,
------A description of twilight,
he science of twilight,
--------The properties of light,
--------Refraction of light,
--------Scattering of light,
--------Sun-Earth position,
--------A precis of geographical variation,
--------Solar transit variation across latitudes and seasons,
--------The effect of latitudinal variation on worship,
--------Long days, late prayers,
--------The observation of dawn,
--------Long twilights,
--------Persistent twilight,
--------Atmospheric variation with latitude,
--------The Optical system,
--------The Functioning of the Eye,
--------Perception and 'Just-Noticeable' Differences,
------Light pollution and dark adaption,
------A description of twilight with added science,
------Chapter 4 Summary.

---Chapter [5] : Exploring the Legal Issues,
------The entry of al-subh al-sadiq,
--------Scripture relating to al-subh,
--------The Hanafi school on al-subh,
--------Issues of practicality and geography,
--------False dawn,
------The entry of Isha,
------The Hanafi school on al-shafaq,
schools on al-shafaq,
------Astronomical timekeeping techniques,
------The non-entry of Isha,
--------The obligation of Isha in the absence of its time,
--------The location of Bulghar,
--------The position of non-obligation of Isha,

--------The position of continuing obligation,
------Disconnecting prayers from their times,
--------The Hadith of the Days of Dajjal,
--------Understandings of the Hadith,
------Classical approaches to taqdir,
---------Definitions of taqdir,
---------Taqdir as determination of a time,

---------Practical application of classical taqdir,
---------Issues with the classical approach,

-------Combining Maghrib and Isha,
---------Classical opinions on combination of prayers,
---------Combining due to non-entry of Isha time,
---------Issues with combination for non-entry,
------The effect of varying positions on the populace,
------Modern approaches to non-entry of Isha,
----Modern approaches to taqdir,
--------Applying different methods of taqdir,
------The entry of Fajr in persistent twilight,
------The fiqh of long fasts,
--------The artificially shortened fast,
--------A critique of the
artificially shortened fast,
------Principles of hardship and facilitation,
--------'Hardship begets
--------'Harm is to be averted,'
------Chapter 5 Summary.

---Chapter [6] : Astronomy and Prayer Time Determination,
------The Qur'an, prayer times and astronomy,
------Muslim engagement with astronomy,
------Astronomers, jurists and the prayer times,
--------Folk astronomers,
--------Mathematical astronomers,
--------A synthesis between the two,
--------The relationship between folk and mathematical astronomy,
------Classical astronomers on twilight,
--------What were the classical astronomers measuring?
--------Are classical and modern astronomers directly comparable?
--------Issues of variance and juristic clarity,
------The astronomer-jurists,
------A 19th century summation on juristic astronomy,
------Modern questions on prayer time determination,
--------The western Muslim community,
--------Calculation as a basis,
--------Calculation based on historical observation,
------High latitude observational studies,
--------The first attempts at a UK observational calendar,
--------The Hizb al-Ulama sightings,
--------Critique of Hizb al-Ulama,
------The Preston Observations,
------A light-meter enhanced study,
------The Open-Fajr study,
------Mid-latitude studies,
------Other mid-latitude studies,
------Chapter 6 summary.

---Chapter [7] : Analysis of Observational Studies,
------Analysis of major UK observational studies,
--------Hizb al-Ulama 1988,
--------Preston observations 2008,
------The Subh Project 2012/3,
--------Confounders of twilight observation,
--------Methodology and limitations,
--------A sample dawn-sighting observation record,
--------Results and analysis,

---Chapter [8] : Reflections & Recommendations,
------The observation of dawn and dusk,
------The use of cameras to determine dawn,
------The legal commencement of Fajr and the fast,
------The determination of al-subh al-sadiq,

------The occurence of al-subh al-sadiq in the UK,
------The legal entry of Isha,
------The determination of ghuyub al-shafaq
in the UK,
------Dealing with Isha at high latitudes,
--------The obligation of Isha in the absence of its time,
--------Taqdir of Isha in the absence
of its time,
--------Navigating a very late Isha (VLI),
--------Dealing with VLI in the presence of an Isha time,

--------Dealing with VLI in the absence of an Isha time,
--------Utilising a legal stratagem to mitigate VLI,
--------The benfits of utilising the stratagem,
--------The practical outcome of the stratagem,
--------The issues with current timetables and VLI,
--------Performance of Tarawih during VLI,
--------The length of summer fasts and hardship,
--------Artificially shortening a long fast because of hardship,
--------The commencement of the fast during persistent twilight,
--------Navigating the days leading up to persistent twilight,
------Summary conclusions,
--------Principles of time determination,
--------The time of dawn,
--------Isha and persistent twilight,
--------The onset and length of the summer fast,
--------Constructing a prayer timetable.

Appendices :
---Appendix A : What is a Madhab?
---Appendix B : Tracing the Fatwa for the People of Bulghar,
---Appendix C : An Example of Early Situational Ethics,
---Appendix D : Muslim Engagement with Astronomy,
---Appendix E : A Stratification of Observational Quality.


Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf, who goes by the pen-name of Talib al-Habib, is a Consultant Psychiatrist with a special interest in Islamic Spirituality and Mental Health. He is acknowledged as an authority on Islamic Psychology and is regularly invited to deliver lectures and seminars on the subject. He serves on the advisory panel of the Centre for Islam and Medicine, as well as in an advisory capacity to a number of community initiatives and charities.

He is the founder and director of the Path to Salvation Diploma in Classical Islamic Studies, the Sacred Texts Syllabus, and of the Islamic Ethics and Global Citizenship Initiative. He has authored four books on diverse aspects of Islam, with a focus on classical spirituality. He has received twenty years of rigorous theological training at the hands of leading scholars of Islamic law and spirituality. He has been granted ijazaat (formal authorizations) to instruct students in the art and science of Islamic thought by over thirty scholars from four continents, and has taught thousands of students across the country and overseas.

As a munshid, he was given by his spiritual guide the pen-name Talib al-Habib, which means ‘Seeker of the Beloved.’ His distinctive style is influenced by the mystical poetry of the Chishti spiritual order, as well as his ten year childhood association with the Manchester Boy’s Choir, where he received vocal and technical training. He began composing spiritual poetry and songs at the age of sixteen, and has continued to do so ever since. In early 2004, he was encouraged to compile an album of English-language spiritual songs, which culminated in ‘Songs of Innocence,’ an intensely personal journey into the experiential dimensions of Islam. This was followed by Rahma, a collection of nasheeds based around the wisdom of the Blessed Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. There followed Song of the Wayfarer, in many ways an answer to Songs of Innocence, covering many of the same themes from a different perspective. All his songs are written with vocal harmonies and daff percussion.

He was born in London and grew up in Manchester, before emigrating to South Africa with his family for a ten year stay. It was here that he met his spiritual guide, Shah Ghulam Muhyi ad-Din Kazi, and began traversing the path of traditional Islam - the methodology of uniting the practical, intellectual and experiential facets of religion - under his instruction. He returned to the UK in early 2002, where he has lived ever since. Currently, he lives in the West Midlands with his wife, two daughters and two cats.

Related : Caesarian Moon Births : New,
Also see Ramadan.


*Dimensions : 23 x 16 x 3cm.




  • Shipping Weight: 0.745 kgs
  • 8 Units in Stock

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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 21 April, 2017.

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