# When is the correct time to start my fast?

What is the correct time to begin my fast? I recently received an email with a time table given.

In short it claimed that the only true time for the start of fasting is when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon, not 12 or even when 1/7th of the night remains.

In light of the above time table, does the schedule give the correct time to begin my fast? Or can I continue to use SalahTimes.com

• It's not really clear what you're asking. Jul 25 '12 at 19:34
• @ashes999 I got a bit carried away, is that better? Jul 25 '12 at 19:44
• does the time table also include a variation depending on where you live? that makes a big difference Jul 25 '12 at 19:49
• @NesreenA no it doesn't but the time table I'm using is different by about 2 hours. Compare and contrast Jul 25 '12 at 19:56

In every area the sun rises and sunsets at different times based on the time zone, technically the sun does rise when it's 18 degrees below the horizon.

Astronomical dawn: the moment after which the sky is no longer completely dark; formally defined as the time at which the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon in the morning.

But this does not mean the chart is accurate based on your area. The chart should have variation depending on where you live, otherwise its not accurate since the sun rises and sets at different times in different areas based on when it's located 18 degrees below the horizon.

A better way to calculate is, to use a calculator in which it varies based on where you live and puts into account the mathematical definition of sunrise and sunset, the chart you provided has an option to use the degree rule, so it can be used if you want it based on your area and the degree rule.

Sources: Wikipedia article of Dawn

• I'm wondering about the degree rule, I am not certain whether Salah Times calculates it at 18 or 12. Is it still valid? Jul 25 '12 at 21:22
• "Astronomical twilight is the time when the center of the sun is between 12° and 18° below the horizon." taken from wikipedia this means that during that time the sun is transitioning from 12-18 so between any of those degrees it would be accepted this is the reason for variation at certain charts Jul 25 '12 at 21:31
• their FAQ states that they use the 18 degree rule for all prayers exept i3sha which is using the 17 degree rule Jul 25 '12 at 21:46
• Their FAQ says that it varies depending on the method of calculation. Jul 25 '12 at 21:49