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The Birmingham Openfajr project and start time of fajr

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 19th May 2016 10:29
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

openfajr.org/

These guys have done a lot of excellent, serious and persistent observation for fajr start times throughout the year and have come out with a yearly fajr timetable.

It however does not follow any formula, which means it does not follow the 18 degree rule - it is observation based.

Many mosques including Birmingham central mosque have adopted their timetable.

For those that are clued up about this issue, please download their full report and let us know what you think.

They have given comparison graphs for their timetable and other timetables including the 18 degree rule one.

Would it be better to follow their timetable as it is based on serious observation with lots of specialists involved or stick to 18 degree calculations?

Normally I stick to 18 degree calcs, this year I think I am planning on following these guys as it is very convincing research, atleast for a layperson like me.


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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 20th May 2016 15:04

Ryder wrote:
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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

May Allah Ta’ala reward all those who are working to assist British Muslims in fulfilling their obligations to Allah Ta’ala.

There are a number of Ulama & Scientists looking at the methodology of this research project and a detailed report and analysis will be published in time.

For the time being from the limited information available, we have some initial concerns around the location, it states on their site:

openFajar wrote:

Method

A specialist "all-night camera", designed for astrophysics research (with a 180° fish-eye lens with CCD detector capable of discerning low ambient light variance at the horizon), was mounted at a site within Birmingham. The camera was programmed to take photographs every minute of the sky, and all photographs spanning a calendar year have been published on the project website.

[/quote]

It is highly unusual for someone to try to observe Subh-Sadiq in the middle of the city! It is even more so when we are dealing with Birmingham which is one of the most light polluted cities in UK, take a look at the light pollution in Biringham (see map below):

We don’t know of any studies or observations which are conducted in the middle of a city. Nevertheless, we will get the details and issue a full report.

In the meantime, Allah Ta’alah has obligated Muslims to follow Scholars and there has been much research into observation and the Fatwa stands at 18 degrees, even those Ulama who advocate 15 degrees advise to stop eating (and begin fast) at 18 degrees.

1st Query:

I just want to point out their camera was not placed in the city centre. Further down in the report it says:

[quote=openFajar] The camera was mounted at a site in Birmingham in a residential district approximately 4 miles south from the city centre, so that the view of fajr to the east was not overlooking the city centre. The camera was set up in September 2014 and was tested: this included the appraisal of photographs with different exposure lengths to confirm congruency with actual observations, and the exposure length of each photograph was then set at 10 seconds. We started publishing photographs from December 2014 on the website.

The camera was benchmarked against actual [controlled human] observations by the research team, at the location of the camera, and additionally at 4 other sites at the southern and eastern borders of the city, and across the seasons, to confirm that the photographs were congruent with actual observations.

Response:

I didn't mean that the Camera is literally dead smack in the Centre of Birmingham but I meant that it is within city limits (residential areas). I apologize for creating confusion so here are some more maps for illustration. The map below is centred on Bullring (North is up) and gives you directions of a few cities around Birmingham (distance as the crow flies), keep in mind that the Camera is down (South) somewhere. There is no way that this Camera is anywhere outside of the light pollution area from the available information. Please superimpose the two maps in your mind and check for yourself.

The map below gives you distance (travelling and as the crow flies) between Bullring and Edgbaston Cricket Ground in roughly Southern direction. The famous residential areas of Moseley, Spark hill and King’s Heath are highlighted to give you distance perception (in the Southern direction).

Based on all available information this Camera is in the middle of the city (in a residential district) and I don’t mean dead smack mounted on top of Bullring but “middle of the city” i.e. the opposite of being in the outskirts and away from light pollution.

I don’t know anyone who observes astronomical phenomenon in the city limits because your results are usually skewed due to light pollution.

All of this change when the precise location of the Camera is revealed which we don’t have at the moment.

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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 20th May 2016 15:39
جزاك الله خيرا wifaq for looking into this. I look forward to your analysis.

I just want to point out their camera was not placed in the city centre. Further down in the report it says:

Quote:

The camera was mounted at a site in Birmingham in a residential district approximately 4 miles south from the city centre, so that the view of fajr to the east was not overlooking the city centre. The camera was set up in September 2014 and was tested: this included the appraisal of photographs with different exposure lengths to confirm congruency with actual observations, and the exposure length of each photograph was then set at 10 seconds. We started publishing
photographs from December 2014 on the website.

The camera was benchmarked against actual [controlled human] observations by the
research team, at the location of the camera, and additionally at 4 other sites at the southern
and eastern borders of the city, and across the seasons, to confirm that the photographs were congruent with actual observations.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 27th May 2016 11:30

Ryder wrote:
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DRAFT: Still being Revised!

Question: I have come across a Project based in Birmingham called “OpenFajr”, I would like your analysis and opinion on the data and its findings.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

Introduction:

We would like to begin by extending our gratitude to you for asking this question. May Allah (SWT) give you the best of rewards (Ameen).

We would like to also extend our gratitude to Dr Shahid Merali and his team for their hard work in generating Interest amongst British Muslims. We particularly like the fact that the background of the research and data is easily accessible for scrutiny.

We make Dua for the team and hope that it becomes a means for their success in this world and the next (Ameen).

We would be sending them an email about this article with our gratitude for their hard work.

Let’s now turn to our critique of OpenFajr an why we believe that this research is not suitable for determining the correct timings for Subh Sadiq (True Dawn).

Read in Full

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