Makkah: Prominent Saudi scholar Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manie,
adviser at the Royal Court and a member of the Council of Senior
Religious Scholars, has demanded Islamic scholars and academies
to deal with some erroneous fatwas (religious edicts) issued in
northern Europe regarding the time of obligatory prayers in
regions where night is much longer than daytime.
“We should not abandon our Muslim brothers in northern Europe,
Russia and America. We must cooperate and discuss with them, and
assist them in all their religious issues,” Al-Manie said while
speaking at a seminar organized by the Islamic Fiqh Academy, a
subsidiary of the Muslim World League, in Makkah.
The topic of the
discussion was prayer and fasting timings in countries lying
between 48 and 66 degrees latitude in the northern and southern
hemispheres, Al-Madinah daily reported Tuesday.
Generally, the Muslim prayer times are based on sunrise, sunset
and the twilight glow in a place. Clear and definitive directions
on prayer timings is also needed as a growing number of Saudi
youths is studying in northern cities of Canada and Britain, where
the sun’s rising and setting patterns are different from the
Kingdom and most other Muslim countries.
Some scholars think the
timing in Makkah could be followed in such situations.
vital for people living in geographical locations between 48 and
66 degrees latitude to learn their correct timings for obligatory
prayers and fasting,” the sheikh said.
The scholar said some time ago, when he visited a northern
European city, he found Muslims there worried about the fatwa
issued by some other source about the prayer times, even though
the source was reliable. Al-Manie said reliable did not always
“No doubt, a view expressed by a scholar could be
either right or wrong, as the prophets of Allah are the only
humans free of errors,” he said.
They told him they were combining
the Maghreb (evening) and Isha (night) prayers every night saying
they were “compelled” to do that because they had to go to sleep,
as the time of Isha prayer was very late.
The sheikh said their
reason for combining the two prayers was not valid enough. Going
to bed early was not a religiously permitted excuse to combine two
prayers in a single go.
However, this is an issue that required
detailed study, as in some regions the sun does not appear for
five or six months, he said.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh,
who was participating in the discussions, observed that it is
permissible to combine prayers if a situation demanded it.