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When does a new day start as per the Quran?


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April 19, 2023, 04:55:46 am N. Truth Seeker: Ameen, ameen ya Allah.  Very comforting dua, Subhan'Allah.
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JazekAllah khair my sister Ruhi.  This du's is exhilerating.  SubhanAllah.
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Author Topic: When does a new day start as per the Quran?  (Read 5403 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: December 23, 2010, 06:29:01 am »



As indicated in the Noble Quran, every new day starts at dawn. 

This should not be confused with the citing of the new moon for the start of the new Islamic lunar month.  The commencement of a new day and commencement of a new month are different issues. 

The first day of the new Islamic month can only be confirmed when the finest crescent appears on the sky after sunset.  But this does not usher the start of a new day, it only announces the new month, and the first day of this new month begins from Fajr of the following day. 

It's also important to keep in mind that citing the new moon at sunset by no means interferes with the existing and continuing 'day.'  In other words, darkness or brightness of the atmosphere has no bearing on changing the date or status of the prevailing day until the arrival of dawn of the following day.  For instance, people might consider that the night of Friday begins when the sun sets on Thursday.  Or, some may think, the night of Friday begins after midnight on Thursday.  Both are incorrect.  It's only darkness that begins after sunset, and that darkness continues after midnight.   But these are not the beginnings of a new day.   This aspect has been elucidated in the Glorious Quran.  The terms 'day' and 'night' simply refer to brightness and darkness of the surroundings, not to the status of the existing calendar day.  Brightness and darkness do not infringe upon each other to change this status.

"It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit."  36:40

(For further explanation of Verse 36:40, check our post: The sun is not stationary as proven by astronomical study)


Referring to Verse 97:5 of Surah Al-Qadr: 

"(The night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn."

The above verse clearly illustrates that the new day begins at the "rising of the dawn."

Keeping in mind that each new day begins at dawn, the duration for Isha prayers is the longest of all the five prayers of a day.  The time for Isha prayer starts approximately one hour and 15 minutes after Maghrib prayer (sunset) and extends approximately 30 minutes prior to Fajr of the following day.  While it might be advisable to offer Isha prayer before midnight and before it gets too late and one feels tired, the time for Isha prayer lasts almost throughout the night until about 30 minutes before Fajr.   For learning more on night prayers (salaat al-leil), please read Night Prayers.

Tarawih prayers begin a day prior to fasting.  That's because the finest crescent for the start of the new month is observed at sunset, and if it is cited, that's when the Tarawih prayers start because the new month of Ramadan starts with it.  On the same basis, one may ask, why doesn't fasting begin the same way?  The reason obviously being, the new month cannot be determined before sunset and by that time much of the day has already passed.  Thus, one can only begin fasting from the following day.

Similarly, announcement is made for the end of the Tarawih prayers of Ramadan when the finest crescent for the following new month of Shawal is observed at sunset.  This announces that the month of Shawal has begun and Ramadan has ended.  Thus, at the citing of the crescent moon for Shawal, Tarawih prayers end. 

It's important to mention that concerning a particular issue, even though Allah Almighty has asserted it very clearly, yet our Islamic lawmakers confuse it with the Western system of reading the clock.  Again taking the example of verse 97:5  of Surah Al-Qadr, it is obvious that midnight is the continuation of the same calendar day until dawn.  When the date for a particular night is announced which requires staying awake and offering extra night prayers, our ulemas go according to the non-Muslim rules.  For example, the Quran mentions the day of Leilatul Qadr being on the month of Ramadan, which could be any day of Ramadan.  However, our ulemas officially recognize the 27th day of Ramadan as Leilatul Qadr.  This is the "Night of Power" as stated in verses 97:2-3, which is when the revelation of the Glorious Quran began.  On Leilatul Qadr we are obligated to worship extra hours at night, after offering the Isha prayer, until Fajr of the following day.  Therefore, since the 27th day of Ramadan officially declared as Leilatur Qadr begins on the 27th, its night should also be after sunset of the same day until Fajr of the 28th.  But instead, our ulemas observe the Night of Power offering extra prayers (salaat al-leil) from the night of the 26th day after finishing the Isha prayer on the 26th until the Fajr of the 27th day.  Hence, according to this practice, we are actually keeping awake on the night of the 26th and not on the 27th.



Appendix:
Please also check some more essential info in my final post of this topic along this thread HERE.  Thanks.
Ramadan 13, 1443  (Apr.14, 2022).


Heba
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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2010, 06:52:54 am »



Thankx Heba.  Very useful clarification for me.  I was always a bit confused between the usual western clock calculation and ours.  I get it very well now.  I would say that the secular clock calculation of midnight starting a new day is basically for facilitating workplace & flight schedules as in modern times, and of course for facilitating our daily schedules for punctuality.  But considering that every new day begins after 12.00 a.m. is simply like chopping off a part of a time-period prematurely.  After all, there's no practical difference between 12.00 a.m. and 1.00 a.m. or 3.00 a.m.  It's the same old continution of the still & quiet night.  According to this western clock calculation, 12.00 a.m or 1.00 a.m. or 2 a.m are often referred to as "wee hours of the morning" but there's nothing of 'morning' in them.  These hours are the dense of the night.  You only feel morning has arrived when that slight change of color starts to appear on the sky.  and that's when you feel the new days is beginning.   In the practical sense, even the westerners take it the same way.  In everyday conversation, prose and poems it's always the dawn or very early morning that's looked upon as the start of a new and fresh day.
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2010, 07:02:25 am »



Yes, brilliant piece.  It's the best clarification i've read of this subject.  I've read many others too but they omit something or the other leaving it unfinished.

.... our ulemas officially recognize the 27th day of Ramadan as Leilatul Qadr.  This is the "Night of Power" as stated in verses 97:2-3, which is when the revelation of the Glorious Quran began.  On Leilatul Qadr we are obligated to worship extra hours at night, after offering the Isha prayer, until Fajr of the following day.  Therefore, since the 27th day of Ramadan officially declared as Leilatur Qadr begins on the 27th, its night should also be after sunset of the same day until Fajr of the 28th.  But instead, our ulemas observe the Night of Power offering extra prayers (salaat al-leil) from the night of the 26th day after finishing the Isha prayer on the 26th until the Fajr of the 27th day.  Hence, according to this practice, we are actually keeping awake on the night of the 26th and not on the 27th.


You've perceived very correctly sister.  No one has so far brought up this point.  and logically u r right, it does mean that we are actually offering our salat-al-leyl on 26th.  It would have meant keeping awake on the night of the 27th if we were following the western clock rules for according to that a new day starts after midnight.  That's what our poor ulemas have gotten mixed up with even though we are not supposed to be following this rule.  lol.
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2010, 01:29:56 am »



Salams and hi there to all!  A query please.  I was talkin to a friend yesterday.  She asked me about that gap of 30 minutes between Isha and Fajar.   What is it's purpose and would those 30 minutes be taken as the continuation of the same day or the following day or something in between?  I said I'll ask and respond.  Your feedback pls  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2010, 04:24:44 am »



Yes, very useful post and very well analysed & explained.  Thanks sister Heba.  Particularly that bit about the confusion of our jurists is so correct. 

Sister Ruhi, regarding your query, those 30 minutes are definitely the continuation of the same day.  The reason why approximately that much time is kept as a deadline for Isha is because it's not a good idea to combine any two prayers.  This would mean missing one of the two prayers and offering it as 'Qaza' along with the following prayer.  Unless one is short of time or caught in some compelling situation, everyone must try their best to offer all prayers at their prescribed times as given in the Quran.  Hence that period of 30 minutes between Isha & Fajr is one's own decision to serve as a separating line between those two prayers.  Some people might think Isha prayers should be completed even before 30 minutes prior to Fajr.  However, normally 30 minutes or so is considered enough.  But no doubt it's best to offer Isha as early as possible, that is, about one and a half hours after Maghrib when the time for Isha starts. 
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2010, 04:30:04 am »



Many thanks sis.  That makes lot a sense .....
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2010, 07:42:15 am »



Let me add one more point to sister Ruhi's question.  As sister Zeynab explained, the last 30 minutes (or so) prior to Fajr is certainly a continuation of the same day .... also, by that time the night becomes old and is almost tapering off, merging with morning of the next day.  Therefore, this very last portion of the night is actually too late to offer Isha prayer.  It's one of those periods which isn't for any obligatory or fard prayer, similar to the gaps between the other 4 prayers.  E.g. The time for Maghrib (sunset ) prayer lasts for approximately 40 minutes after sunset.  The time for Isha follows approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes after sunset.  Thus, that period between Maghrib and Isha is not the prescribed time for any obligatory prayers.  One can only offer nafl prayers at such times.  If anyone does offer fard prayers during these gaps, it can only be counted as 'Qaza' or late prayer. 
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2010, 09:30:14 am »

Thanks again sis.   Perfect clarification.
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2010, 10:46:48 am »



also, by that time the night becomes old and is almost tapering off, merging with morning of the next day.  Therefore, this very last portion of the night is actually too late to offer Isha prayer.

Very correct, thanks for adding this point sister Heba.

Tarawih prayers begin a day prior to fasting.  That's because the finest crescent for the start of the new month is observed at sunset, and if it is cited, that's when the Tarawih prayers start because the new month of Ramadan starts with it.  On the same basis, one may ask, why doesn't fasting begin the same way?  The reason obviously being, the new month cannot be determined before sunset and by that time much of the day has already passed.  Thus, one can only begin fasting from the following day.

Similarly, announcement is made for the end of the Tarawih prayers of Ramadan when the finest crescent for the following new month of Shawal is observed at sunset.  This announces that the month of Shawal has begun and Ramadan has ended.  Thus, at the citing of the crescent moon for Shawal, Tarawih prayers end. 

Yes right, Tarawih prayers start on the same evening when the new moon for Ramadan is cited although the first of Ramadan is on the next day from Fajr.  Similarly, Tarawih prayers end as soon as the new moon for Shawal is cited in the evening even though the first of Shawal is on the following day from Fajr.  Aren't these also a part of the same confusion presuming that the new day begins from sunset or midnight instead of Fajr?
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2010, 11:15:43 am »



Yes right, Tarawih prayers start on the same evening when the new moon for Ramadan is cited although the first of Ramadan is on the next day from Fajr.  Similarly, Tarawih prayers end as soon as the new moon for Shawal is cited in the evening even though the first of Shawal is on the following day from Fajr.  Aren't these also a part of the same confusion presuming that the new day begins from sunset or midnight instead of Fajr?

Absolutely correct observation, I would say.  That's why I mentioned in my original post that citing of the new moon is only the announcement of the beginning of the new month, but the first day of that new month begins from Fajr of the following day.  You're right.  This practice of beginning Tarawih prayers the same evening after citing the new moon and ending it the same evening after citing the Shawal moon is not correct.  It's obviously the same confusion that's come from the western time calculation. 
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2022, 05:59:09 pm »



Ramadan 13, 1443  (April 14, 2022):   As-Salam Alaikum.

With many Muslims a bit confused when precisely would be the night of Ramadan 27th for offering additional prayers on Leilatul Qadr, it will be on the night of 27th Ramadan soon after Isha until shortly prior to Fajr of the 28th. 


The following is a brief recap explaining this topic:

Though the Islamic system has 24 hours in a single day (like other systems), the Islamic method of calculating a single day is from dawn to dawn, NOT 12.01 a.m. to 12.01 a.m.  That idea of 12.01 a.m. - the concept of the start of a new day which currently pervades the world - is pre-Islamic in origin.  Some say it was started by the Greeks over 100 years BC.  Some surmise it was started by the ancient Egyptians.  Most likely it began in the ancient Egyptian society with the use of their sundial, a time device which helped them to decipher the approximate period of time of a day by reading the shadow of the sun that fell on the sundial.  When the sun was at the highest point overhead in the sky, the shadow went straight on top of the sundial.  This was read as mid-day or noon as we call it today.  As the sun moved past the that highest overhead point, the shadow also began to move in the other direction until it disappeared completely which was at sunset.  From that time onward until dawn the sundial didn't work.  This was read as night-time which is erroneously calculated as the "next 12 hours."  It's erroneous because from sunset until the shadow of the sun appears again is not a flat 12 hours.   That depends on the time of the year.  In winter when sunset is early and sunrise is late, it could be as long as 13 hours or longer before we see the shadow of the sun even in places that aren't too far up north.  In summer when sunset is much later and sunrise earlier, the gap could be 10 hours or less.  Anyhow, coming to the next point of this Egyptian system of calculating time, though their sundial didn't work after sunset, yet they had to explain time even when there was no shadow on the sundial.  Since the highest point of the sun was noon completing the first 12 hours, the other cycle of 12 hours was assumed to be from noon to midnight, after which the count of 12 started again on a new day and thus the concept of 12.01 as a new day or early morning.   Later on, with more innovations:  Since in the northern hemisphere the sun rises in the east and goes down in the west, thus the shadow going from the left to top and then moving to the right brought the idea of the clock and clockwise direction.

In Islam as already stated, though a day has 24 hours, every single day stretches from dawn to dawn.   Thus, if you offer your Isha prayer one hour or two hours past midnight, you will still be very much on time for Isha because the new day starts at Fajr. Until then it is the continuation of the same day.  You can offer Isha until 15 or 20 minutes prior to the start of Fajr, only to keep a little distance between Fajr prayer and Isha of the previous day. 

Therefore, within the non-Islamic calculation it is the fundamental idea of splitting a day into two cycles (12.01 a.m. to 12.01 a.m.) that brings the strange concept of 12.01 a.m. as "early morning of the next day" while in Islam every single day of 24 hours is simply from dawn to dawn, starting with the earliest glimmer of light in the sky;  whether or not you split the day into two cycles has no bearing on the beginning of a new day.  I reiterate, a new day begins at dawn and lasts until shortly (a few minutes) before the dawn of the following day. 

Hence, if for the purpose of unanimity within our pan-Islamic world, we agree upon observing Leialtul Qadr on the 27th day of  Ramadan, and we wish to offer additional prayers on the night of the 27th, the time bracket for our additional prayers and observance of Leilatul Qadr (according to the Islamic calculation) must be soon after Isha of the 27th until shortly before the start of Fajr of the 28th.

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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2022, 06:41:29 pm »



Big thanks dear Sister Heba.  This additional input has been very deftly recapped.   That one-minute past midnight concept of early morn has basically started from the ancient Egyptian sundial.  The Egyptians had a face drawn at the center of the sundial, and they followed the timings by reading the sun's shadow on that face in the sundial.
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2022, 06:43:39 pm »




You're welcome dear Sister Ruhi. 

Yeah, you're right.  The image of a face at the center of the sundial was reportedly very common.
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2022, 06:50:39 pm »



Very well elucidated for Ramadan 13, 1443.   Thank you dear Sister Heba.  Very informative contents unveiling the facts.    Alhumdulilah.  Allah bless. 
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2022, 06:52:02 pm »



Most welcome dear Sis ..
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