When does a new day start as per the Glorious Quran?

As indicated in the Noble Quran, every new day starts at dawn.

This should not be confused with the citing of the new moon for the start of the new Islamic lunar month. The commencement of a new day and commencement of a new month are separate issues.

The first day of the new Islamic month can only be confirmed when the finest crescent appears on the sky after sunset. But this does not usher the start of a new day. It only announces to be ready for the new month. The first day of this new month begins from Fajr of the following day.

It's also important to keep in mind that citing the new moon at sunset by no means interferes with the existing and continuing 'day.' In other words, darkness or brightness of the atmosphere has no bearing on changing the date or status of the prevailing day until the arrival of dawn. For instance, people might consider that the night of Friday begins when the sun sets on Thursday. Or, some may consider, the night of Friday begins after midnight on Thursday. These are the widely accepted concepts. But both are logically incorrect. It's only darkness that begins after sunset and continues after midnight. But these are not the beginnings of a new day. This aspect has been elucidated in the Glorious Quran. The terms 'day' and 'night' simply refer to brightness and darkness of the surroundings, not to the status of the existing calendar day. Brightness and darkness do not infringe upon each other to alter this status.

"It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit." Chapter 36:40 - Surah Ya-Sin

Referring to Verse 97:5 of Surah Al-Qadr:

"(The night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn."

The above verse plainly illustrates that the new day begins at the "rising of the dawn."

With each new day beginning at dawn, the duration for Isha prayers is the longest of all the five prayers of a day. The time for Isha prayer starts approximately one hour and 15 minutes after Maghrib prayer (sunset) and extends approximately 30 minutes prior to Fajr of the following day. While it's advisable to offer Isha prayer prior to midnight before it gets too late when one may feel tired, the time for Isha prayer lasts almost throughout the night until about 30 minutes before Fajr, though the deadline for Isha prayer might vary slightly from person to person.

Tarawih prayers are required begin a day prior to fasting, soon after the finest crescent for the start of the new month is observed at sunset. More on this a little later. However, on the same basis one may ask, why doesn't fasting begin soon after citing the new crescent moon? The simple reason which may come to one's mind is that the new month cannot be confirmed before sunset and by that time much of the day has already passed. So, one can only begin fasting from dawn of the following day. But logically and most importantly, the reason is that the first day of the month of Ramadan starts from the following Fajr and not from sunset when the new moon is cited.

Now here's a confusion by our jurists that needs to be stated. Even though God Almighty has clearly elucidated the starting time of a new day, yet our Islamic lawmakers confuse it with the Western system of reading the clock. Again taking the example of verse 97:5 of Surah Al-Qadr, it is obvious that midnight is the continuation of the same calendar day/date until dawn. Yet when the date for a particular night is announced which requires staying awake and offering extra night prayers, our ulemas adhere to non-Muslim rules. For example, the 27th day of Ramadan is officially recognized as Leilatul Qadr. This is the "Night of Power" as stated in verses 97:2-3, which is when the revelation of the Glorious Quran began. On Leilatul Qadr we are obligated to worship extra hours at night, after offering the Isha prayer, until Fajr of the following day. Therefore, since the 27th day of Ramadan begins on the 27th, its night or darkness must also start after sunset of the same day until Fajr of the 28th. But instead, our ulemas observe the Night of Power for offering extra prayers (salaat al-leil) from the night of the 26th day after finishing the Isha prayer until the Fajr of the 27th day. Hence, according to this practice, we are actually keeping awake on the night of the 26th and not the 27th.

The practice of starting and finishing times of Tarawih prayers involves the same contradiction of logic by mixing up two different time systems. Tarawih prayers begin on the same evening as the new moon is cited, although the first of Ramadan starts the next day from Fajr. This indicates that Tarawih prayers are made to start from a period prior to the first day of Ramadan. Similarly, Tarawih prayers end as soon as the new moon for Shawal is cited at sunset even though that's a day for fasting, and the first day of Shawal begins from the following Fajr. According to Quranic principles this would indicate the omission of Tarawih prayer on the final evening of Ramadan by mixing it up with Shawal.


  1. Assalamu alaykum. The islamic new calender day starts after maghrib while the actual day starts with fajr. The western new day starts after midnight so its not correct to claim that islamic lawmakers have confused it with the western system of clock. The logic used in this article could easily be debunked by claiming the following strange logic "how can a new day start at fajr when it's still dark outside, after all, a day must be bright".

    1. Quote:
      "The islamic new calender day starts after maghrib while the actual day starts with fajr."

      There is no such thing as a "new calender day" being separate from the "actual day." What is determined during Maghrib or sunset is the confirmation that the last day of the previous Islamic month has ended with the appearance of the new crescent moon. Consequently, the first day of the Islamic month begins from Fajr which is also the first calender day of that month.

  2. Walaikum As-Salaam. You had left many more comments earlier which were doused in a combative spirit and personal accusations. Thus they have been deleted. Not to mention of your lack of discernment. You haven't even been able to understand this post correctly.

    Many Islamic law makers famous for their copy-cat policies and lack of common sense have either followed or gotten perplexed between the two calendars.

    You are yourself no less confused than your law makers. Quoting you:

    'The logic used in this article could easily be debunked by claiming the following strange logic "how can a new day start at fajr when it's still dark outside, after all, a day must be bright". '

    That is exactly the point which both you and your lawmakers are overlooking. The new day according to the Noble Quran does not start when it's pitch dark. The Quran explicitly states that you can eat sahoor in Ramadan until the "white thread" of the dawn is visible or can be distinguished from the "black thread." The term "white thread" refers to brightness and "black thread" to darkness of the night or leil.

    Wa Kulū Wa Ashrabū Ĥattá Yatabayyana Lakumu Al-Khayţu Al-'Abyađu Mina Al-Khayţi Al-'Aswadi Mina Al-Fajri ۖ Thumma 'Atimmū Aş-Şiyāma 'Ilá Al-Layli (2:187)

    "eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall"

    Hence, sahoor can be eaten until the first glimmer of light appears along with the slight bluish color on the sky. This is truly and accurately the time of dawn or Fajr. The white thread of dawn or the first glimmer of light appears approximately one hour prior to sunrise, which is the deadline for sahoor in Ramadan and the actual time for starting to offer the Fajr salat. The length of duration of Fajr salat lasts for approximately up to 40 minutes, even though it might become quite bright by them, but that doesn't invalidate the Fajr prayer. It's only Isha, salat al-leil nafl and tahajjud that must be offered during complete darkness of the night, NOT Fajr. Fajr time ends when the mildest initial rays of sunlight begin to appear in the atmosphere which is approximately 15 to 20 minutes prior to the official timing of sunrise. After this period, it's morning and no more Fajr or dawn.

    (continuted .....)

    1. The jurists on the other hand, have kept Fajr timing at 1 hour and 50 minutes before sunrise when even the moon can be seen shinning on a moonlit night and the stars are visible glittering on a cloudless sky. This period is night or leil, NOT Fajr. Here is where the mullahs have gotten confused. According to the clock, a new day starts after 12 night when it's totally dark. Thus, the lawmakers felt Muslims too should begin their new day when it's dark, so they shifted it a few hours ahead, but not enough to take it beyond the boundaries of nightfall.

      The jurists also insist that during Ramadan, you must stop eating your sahoor at least 20 minutes prior to "Fajr" (referring to the wrong Fajr time fixed by them starting 1 hour and 45 or 50 minutes prior to sunrise time, as I've already explained) and making up their own pointless rules totally unwarranted by the Quran. This is how incorrect the jurists' calculation is because they have completely overlooked the Quranic instructions.

      Therefore the "logic" you are suggesting which would debunk our argument is precisely what we stand for. It's not required to debunk our argument, but to prove it. It debunks the stance of the jurists. Fajr, which is the start of a new day, does not start when it's pitch dark. It starts with the first glimmer of light.

      Thank you. You have only proven the very limited nature of your own mind.

      Additionally, you accuse us of being brash (within our own premises), when you (as a guest) have spammed many of our entries with sub-standard and hostile responses which have been deleted. Future comments from you won't be released as you have made it ample clear that you are here only to fight, not for any amicable, fruitful or intelligent discussions. Snotty noses like you aren't welcomed in our Quran alone blog nor are they respected. If you don't agree with Quran alone or with any or our political views, suit yourself and stay away from here. But if you spam aggressively as you recently did, you will only be wasting your own time.


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