How Should I Deal with Doubt about Fajr Time during Ramadan?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


I’d just finished eating and had some water next to me that I decided to drink from, and I could hear an adhan being called in the background. I wasn’t sure if it was the main call to prayer and decided to drink my water. This was at 4:14 am. Several mosques collectively called to prayer at just a few seconds past 4:15 am.

Is my fast valid?


In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

You can assume the validity of your fast because you were sure that the night was there and had mere doubts about entering the daytime.

In this situation, we return to the important fiqh principle:

“Certainty is not lifted by a doubt.” [Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa’l Nadha’ir; Majallat al-Ahkam al-‘Adiliyya]

This means that if one is certain about something, such as the validity of our worship, which is the basic assumption for all human actions, then we will keep assuming it is valid until certain that it is not. Mere possibilities and even likelihoods do not change this.

Drinking or eating after that time while thinking that the true dawn time (fajr time) was not yet there will entail you repeating the fast of that day. No expiation (kafara) is due in that case. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

Allah, Most High, says: “You may eat and drink until you see the light of dawn breaking the darkness of night, then complete the fast until nightfall.” [Quran, 2:187]

And Allah knows best.

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then, he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually associated with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.