What People Are Saying About The Book
Dr Asim's research is a fresh, ground breaking and bold endeavour both as a trained scientist and
Islamic scholar. He has thoroughly studied and extensively discussed in forums his findings with
others with an open mind over the years.
Now he has finally with academic prudence and scientific pragmatism placing his work directly into the hands of the English speaking world especially of the UK. We feel that he has empowered future scholars and activists to look afresh at the moon sighting and prayer timing methodologies with better informed scientific understanding and scholarly diligence.
We pray and believe that this contribution will help bring this matter to point of scholarly consensus. Hopefully it will help bring about a reassuring geographic unity for the Muslim communities. The wider public and government seek plain clear clarification on our legal guidance as a minority people under the ever increasing spotlight living in non-Muslim lands with leadership expectations upon the scholars to direct at both local and national levels.
Allaahumma zid fa zid
Aameen bi jah Sayyidul Mursaleen
A timely and detailed exposition on a subject matter which is at the heart of Muslim worship affecting millions. One would have thought that there would be no need to shed light upon the dawn but due to the difficulties faced there is an urgent need for research in this area. Dr. Asim Yusuf brings skills from his scientific and fiqh background to take a holistic approach in his study; physics, fiqh and observations are discussed in order to tackle this multifaceted topic. His work demonstrates the required ijtihad in these areas which are not detailed in the tradition to a great extent. A significant contribution to this area of research.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
During the latter half of my formal studies coming up to the mid-nineties, I became increasingly aware of the controversy surrounding the determination of prayer times. After the conclusion of my formal studies in 1997, my own study and knowledge of this area of applied fiqh rapidly gathered pace and I began to note my own thoughts and ideas with recommendations for possible solutions. However, there were limitations to my enquiry with several lines noted for further investigation. Discussions with ulama that had either written on the subject or were otherwise acquainted to some degree, tended not to yield any further knowledge worthy of mention. However, my own occupational constraints did not allow me to purse the lines of enquiry I had identified with any real consistency and so I remained somewhat stalled for the last c. 15 years. Then, in a chance encounter with Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf in August 2015 at a roundtable discussion on a totally unrelated matter, I had a short conversation at the conclusion of the roundtable discussion initiated by Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf on my understanding of prayer times. Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf mentioned his research in the area and I immediately requested that he allow me access to his hitherto unfinished work. Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf kindly agreed if I agreed to provide comment and feedback.
I went through the unfinished work line by line with an unsatiable desire to continue to read on and on. All the lines of enquiry that I had noted and that had remained stalled for c. 15 years [and others besides] had been superbly dealt with Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf. In particular, the science of twilight and the experience of the Hanafis of the Bulghar region.
I found that the tone that Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf has maintained throughout the work is respectful and remains true to discussion of the issue at hand rather than the personalities behind the various positions, which, sadly has not been a feature of many other works. As this work is imminently going to print, I have not been able to read the finished work line by line, but have been able to read select portions. I have not been left disappointed with the quality of work that I had expected further to my reading of the unfinished work. Indeed, the finished work has exceeded my expectation both in breadth and depth.
The issue is clearly a matter of ijtihad and the reader may agree or disagree with some or all of the conclusions of the author. The conclusions of the author are also not the final word on the matter. However, what is beyond doubt is the intellectual rigour and professionalism with which the author has approached the matter for which he is to be commended. Personally, I am not aware of a more thorough study of the matter in Arabic, Urdu or English and, each time I refer to it, a spontaneous prayer erupts for the author from the depth of my heart. The work is indispensible reading for anyone - layman, casual enquirer and even scholar, who wishes to further his/her understanding of this complicated area.
I pray that Allah, Most High, accepts the work of Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf, makes it a means of deliverance for him, his parents, family and his teachers. Aameen.
This is an outstanding piece of scholarship, erudite, well-written and well-researched. The readers are taken on a quest to find true dawn amidst all the confusion. With the author as the torch-bearer, readers are navigated with much dexterity and agility thorough the perilous waters of history, astronomy, legal theory and fiqh. Through the deft guidance of the author, readers will observe the twixt of the red and white, and the glimm’ring gleam of the twilight when it gleams with the journey culminating in Shedding light upon the dawn. This book will be the most authoritative and decisive on the subject for many years to come.
This is a landmark work. The author has expertly interwoven detailed discussions of jurisprudence, astronomy and history, drawing on classical and modern sources to address an issue of the utmost importance to Muslim devotion that has been poorly treated to date. Throughout, the author not only provides a readable, lucid and balanced presentation of the relevant facts and debates, but in so doing, presents a living example of the retrospective, thorough and cautious approach of classical Islamic scholarship whose wisdom and discussions he so brilliantly portrays. This is a work of genuine scholarship that will be of interest to Islamic scholars, academics, Muslim scientists and laymen seeking to better understand the underlying issues. The author has spared no effort in providing arguments, documenting major contributions to the discussions presented and guiding the reader along the, at times, complicated issues it presents. While readers are free to walk away with a different preference to the executive summary suggested by the author, these readers will concur that they walk away from this book enriched, better informed and better prepared to tackle questions of prayer and fast times that govern the central devotional acts of the Islamic faith. Dr Asim Yusuf has presented an exceptional gift to the British Muslim community; may God bless him.
I received the book yesterday, can't put it down. This is a topic I've been absolutely fascinated with
for several years, I've looked at the equations used in the timetables, built spreadsheets and graphs
to try to understand how they deal with the anomalous times between May and August, looked at the photos
published by the Open Fajr people, read all the various positions, nisf al-Layl, aqrab al ayam, etc.,
but Dr Asim brings together the fiqh, the science, the astronomy, and the practical, all in one place.
An absolutely seminal piece of work, not simply for clarity on how to determine fajr times but also fundamentally and deeply instructive to the English speaking ulema. This is the type of work we (the lay Muslims) expect and need, and indeed are crying out for, from the English speaking ulema - research that is of practical benefit to us living in the 21st century UK. So much effort has gone into translating classical works into English, which is fine to a point, but the real need is for the ulema who have understood and operationalized the principles outlined in those volumes of classic works to apply them to the problems we face as a community living in the West. Congratulations to Dr Asim, may Allah increase his good and bring more benefit through him to the Muslims of the West.
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