Data format is TAB delimited . date 24 - 2 - 1997

Observing the Twilight

  • References

    Compiled by A. Cengia - Australia

    In the period of June and early July 1996 while on a quick excursion in mainland Australia the opportunity was used to make observations on the onset of twilight and dawn. For all the localities that were to be visited, the expected times of twilight for 18 degrees were worked out before hand so that it was only a matter of being prepared a few minutes early to observe and write in a note book at what time the horizon lighting conditions were changing. The particular reason for the observations was to pursue the time of '' the white thread of dawn ''. One is told that traditionally the event takes place at a specific degree before sunrise where as in some countries or continents different degrees are used. The morning observations were made at different days while in transit from one locality to an other and recorded without any concern as to what it may represent or mean in terms of personal expectations. In some localities the visibility of the morning sky was not always ideal particularly for Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart but despite any local or beyond the horizon cloud cover, reasonably accurate observations were and are still possible. Observations which carry the same time mark were taken on different days and are a useful coincidence. At the end of the excursion the data was processed as follow. :
    All the data from each locality was sorted in the order of the time it was taken. Next, the twilight times for the locality at different degrees was worked out and matched with the times of the observations corresponding with the degree time. Even with the limited number of observations, the result gives an indication of what light change takes place at what degree.
    Question mark.
    A - Is twilight the same thing as dawn.
    B - Is dawn preceded by twilight, the scattered light from below the horizon including moon light, seen faintly on the horizon even before the 18 deg. mark
    C - Is '' the white thread of dawn '' the point in time after twilight when the white light from the sun despite any clouds or moon lighting is seen to begin expanding at the horizon and climbing up the sky, when at this beginning the light contrast between night and dawn is equal to the contrast of a black and white thread.
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    An observation totally unrelated to the twilight which was found interesting. While flying near Alice Springs, in the middle of Australia at about 9000 metre in a cloud free sky, the earth below could be seen through what appeared to be a grey bubble. The horizon could not be defined except that it was somewhere over there. After descending below 9000 metre the ground and the horizon in particular became very well defined. During the twilight observations, a note was made of seeing a light path in the sky, light reflected from something which could not be seen except by the result, the same way moon light can be seen reflected on still water as a light path.

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    The raw information below was transferred from a notebook as it was entered.
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    Location = Darwin TZ = 9.5  Lat. = -12.3333  Long. = 130.8333 
            observations carried out from the city limit.    11,12,15 / 6 / 1996 
     
    18d     5.48    Black every where. One bird is heard once 
            5.50    A second bird is heard. As black shadows two large bats seen flying 
    17d     5.52    As a contrast in shadows the horizon is faintly visible without 
                    -- being defined. 
            5.52    There is no moon.  A second bird is heard. 
            5.53    Faint stars are visible where the horizon is supposed to be. All is black 
            5.56    A faint contrast line is visible at the horizon. No change in the stars 
    16d     5.57    Darkness, no horizon 
            5.57    The sky is lighter  1/4 of the way up. One bird is noisy 
            6.00    A faint brown light as a contrast, determines the horizon. 
                    -- One bird is heard. 
    15d     6.02    There are two horizons. One is about 3 centimetre higher. 
                    -- There are fires somewhere 
            6.04    The sky is lighter above the first horizon which is a cloud's edge. 
                    -- Birds are heard 
            6.04    More bird calls are heard 
     14d*   *6.05   The brown contrast is more pronounced. A second bird is heard 
            6.07    In contrast a faint shadow is seen above the horizon. 
            6.07    The outline of objects 100 to 150 metre away are shadows in the sky 
            6.08    The horizon is visible as black below the brown. 
                    -- Objects seen against the horizon are becoming defined shadows. 
                    -- The stars close to the horizon are still visible 
            6.08    The outline of the cloud is wider. 
            6.08    The outline of objects 100 to 150 metre away are strong shadows but 
                    -- not identifiable 
            6.09    The faint shadow is a cloud on the horizon with a light behind it 
                    -- becoming wider. 
    13d     6.10    The horizon sky is lighter and wider above the faint brown cloud which 
                    -- has lighter holes. 
            6.10    The sky is lighter to nearly overhead and the outline of objects 
                    -- are more defined 
            6.12    The outline of objects 100 to 150 metre away are well defined 
                    -- against the horizon 
            6.12    The outline of objects 100 to 150 metre away are well defined. 
            6.12    The light is widening and the brown is more intense 
    12.5d   6.13    The sky above the cloud is whitish. The stars are still visible 
            6.14    The horizon is widening and the sky past overhead is lighter. 
            6.14    Against the horizon, the outline of objects are identifiable 
    12d     6.15    The horizon sky is brown and becoming wider 
            6.16    The light is widening and getting higher, the stars are still visible. 
            6.17    The sky is light all over and only some stars are visible 
            6.17    The sky is lighter to 1/4 of the way up the western horizon. 
                    -- Most eastern stars are gone 
    11d     6.19    Very few eastern stars left 
            6.20    The sky above the brown horizon is becoming whitish 
            6.21    The sky to past overhead is grey white 
            6.22    Whitish clouds are visible a 1/4 of the way up the sky 
    9d      6.28    The stars above the horizon are gone 
            6.28    Only half a dozen stars are visible any where 
            6.29    The sky is white in the east, bluish overhead and blue grey to the west 
    8d      6.31    All the sky is now grey blue and only a few stars are to be seen anywhere 
            6.35    All the stars are gone except for very few 
    7d      6.37    no change 
    6d      6.40    Only one star remains to be seen. 
            18.29   SUNSET in the park overlooking the sea near the city 
    7d      18.57   The first stars seen east of overhead 
    10d     19.11   The last west star in the Ursa Minor I think is faintly visible. 
    11d     19.15   Some stars just past overhead 
    14d     19.26   The west horizon is black 
            19.28   Western sky faintly lighter then eastern side 
    15.5d   19.34   In the milky way east of overhead some patches of faint white near 
                    -- Ursa Minor are visible 
    16d     19.39   All the sky is black to the horizon 
    17d     19.41   One bird is heard 
    18d     19.44   All black, the same bird is heard 
    --------------------------------------------- 
     
                    N. T. Kakadu National Park.  ~ Lat -13.954 Long = 132.592  Tz = 9.5 
                    Cooinda lodge, Yellow River in the middle of the bush.  14 / 6 / 1996 
     
    19d     5.36    From the bush the horizon itself is not visible 
            5.36     the moon is a fine slice just obscured by the tree tops about 1 
                    -- 50 metres away 
            5.36    The sky is clear with a faint light path extending west from the moon 
            5.53    The moon is clear of the trees and the horizon sky is lighter with 
                    -- no change in star visibility. 
    16d     5.53    Some cars are driving about to the west and the first bird is heard. 
    15d     5.57    The horizon is lighter and the trees are visible as shadows 
            5.59    In the milky way just past overhead, the star clusters seen as 
                    -- a whitish cloud are disappearing 
            5.59    The other stars are visible 
     14d*   *6.01   The eastern sky is lighter then the western but there is 
                    -- no change in the shadows. 
            6.03    Some eastern stars are gone and tree branches against the eastern sky 
                    --are strong shadows. 
            6.03    The bush and the ground is all black 
    13d     6.06    The main stars in the milky way are visible and the horizon is lighter. 
            6.06    The bush is black and a second bird is heard 
            6.08    A third bird is heard and there are only a few stars in the east 
    12d     6.09    The horizon is whitish and wider, the tree branches are identifiable 
                    -- against the sky. 
            6.09    A third bird is heard and only the major stars are visible anywhere 
    11d     6.15    The ground with scattered leaves is visible, the wider horizon 
                    -- is brown with white above it 
            6.15    A few stars are still visible. Crows and other birds are heard 
    10d     6.19    The horizon is orange with strong white light above it, 
                    --grey blue overhead & grey to the west 
            6.19    A few stars are faintly visible and different birds are heard. 
            6.22    To the east the trees are easily seen but in the west the leaves 
                    -- are not easily identifiable 
    9d      6.25    The hand writing in the note book can be seen but not read. 
            6.27    The hand writing can be read 
    8d      6.29    Three or four stars are left in the sky. The bush can be seen east to west 
            6.29    One of the many friendly mosquitos is seen flying across the note book. 
    --------------------------------------------- 
     
                    Location = Alice springs TZ = 9.5  Lat. = -23.666  Long. = 133.8333 
                    Alice springs  17,18,19 / 6 / 1996 
     
    22d     5.34    All is black. Past overhead the faint star clusters are visible 
                    -- in the milk way 
            5.35    It is black and overcast and only a few stars are visible 
    21d     5.41    No horizon and all is black except for a faint hazy light path 
                    -- in the sky from the East 
            5.42    The clouds are easier to see going towards the horizon like a pathway 
    20d     5.45    A very faint horizon as a contrast in shadows 
            5.48    A faintly illuminated cloud 1/4 of the way up the horizon. 
            5.48    The overhead clouds are easier to see. A bird is heard 
    19d     5.50    The hazy light path is more pronounced 
            5.52    The pathway in the  clouds is whitish up to 1/4 of the way. 
                    -- The horizon is a faint shadow 
            5.53    A faint horizon is seen as a change in shadow contrast 
    17.5d   5.57    The pathway is wider. No other changes 
            5.58    The horizon is still a shadow but wider 
    17d     6.01    The horizon is a black shadow against a lighter sky 
            6.03    The faint hazy path is wider at the horizon which is lighter 
    16d     6.04    To the right the horizon is wider 
            6.05    The horizon is a well defined black shadow. 
                    -- There are no objects to compare against 
            6.06    Crows are heard once 
    15d     6.07    The sky is lighter and the clusters in the milky way are less dense 
                    -- The visibility of the other stars is unchanged 
            6.10    There are two black shadows about 2.5 cm above the horizon 
            6.11    Crows are herd again, there is car and bus traffic 
            6.12    The horizon is a faint blue and becoming wider 
     14d*   *6.13   Stars have become visible in the pathway which has not changed. 
                    -- More birds are heard 
            6.14    The milky way star clusters are no longer visible. 
                    -- Crows are heard, there is vehicle traffic 
            6.16    The horizon is whitish blue extending upwards 3/8 of the way 
            6.17    The horizon is easier to see as two contrasts widening north and south 
    13d     6.18    The horizon is a faint yellow white and blue above it 
            6.21    The horizon is widening but still as two shadows. More crows are heard 
            6.22    The milky way is beginning to disappear 
    12d     6.23    The clouds are lighter to 1/4 past overhead 
            6.24    The horizon can be seen at the north, in the south there are hills very close 
            6.25    The horizon is a faint yellow then white then blue and grey to the west 
            6.25    There is more definition at the horizon sun rise 
    11d     6.28    Most stars are gone except for overhead 
            6.28    Faint yellow light is expanding north to south 
            6.30    Only the brightest stars are left, the sky is dark grey in the west 
            6.30    The grey clouds at the horizon are a faint red underneath 
            6.34    More birds are heard 
            6.36    The eastern horizon is yellow and the veil seems to be overhead 
    9d      6.36    The west horizon is visible but there is not much light about. 
                    -- The crows are noisy 
    6d      18.22   The veil is 1/4 of the way above the west horizon. 
                    -- Some stars inside the veil. 
            18.22   The crescent is 1/8 of the way above the west horizon 
    7d      18.25   Ursa Minor is visible. The sky at the horizon is a strong yellow, 
                    -- above it is blue white and then blue with the rest a dark ash grey 
    --------------------------------------------- 
     
                    Location = Sydney TZ = 10  Lat. = -33.8833  Long. = 151.1667 
                    Observation from the city with the true horizon obstructed by buildings 
                    Sydney 25,127 / 6 / 1996 
     
    17d     5.35    All is black in the sky, stars are visible 
    14.5d   5.50    All is black with an overcast sky. The clouds are seen from the city lights 
    14d     5.53    Stars are seen through the cloud. All is black 
            5.53    There is a whitish transparent broken cloud extending past overhead 
                    -- like a wide pathway. 
     13.5*  *5.55   The horizon is not well defined and clouds above it are seen as dark 
                    -- shadows in the lighter sky. 
            5.55    The horizon sky seem to be cloud free. 
                    -- There is a faint light extending  1/4 way up the sky. 
    13d     5.58    The horizon is beginning to widen, it is faint yellowish in the centre and 
                    -- whitish blue higher up. 
            5.58    The outline of objects against the horizon are more defined 
            5.59    The sky in the east is faintly lighter and one star is becoming harder to see 
            6.01    The horizon and objects against the horizon are well defined 
    12d     6.02    Still overcast with no stars, the horizon is widening quickly 
            6.02    The sky a 1/4 of the way up is lighter and the horizon is well defined 
                    -- with some clouds above it 
            6.06    The horizon is becoming wider and the sky is lighter up to overhead 
    11d     6.08    The horizon is lighter and wider, the sky light is higher 
    10.5d   6.10    The main stars are still visible 
    --------------------------------------------- 
     
                    Location = Melbourne TZ = 10  Lat. = -37.8333  Long. = 145.01 
                    Observation from the city with the true horizon obstructed by buildings 
                    Melbourne 30 / 6 / 1996  and  2 / 7 / 1996 
                    When the sky is not overcast only a few brightest stars are visible 
     
    16d     6.13    Many stars are visible but only the brighter ones 
    15d     6.18    A faint horizon can be seen as a contrast below a hazy light 
    14.5d   6.21    The horizon contrast is more pronounced but not any wider 
    14d     6.23    In the clouds the horizon can be seen as a contrast below a hazy light 
            6.23    The clouds seem to have a light source behind them 
            6.23    The sky is 100% overcast. The tallest buildings are in the clouds seen 
                    -- by the city lights 
            6.24    The contrast is becoming more pronounced, the sky light is 
                    -- wider and higher 
    13.5d   6.26    Faint whitish clouds are visible a 1/4 of the way up the sky 
     13d*   *6.30   The clouds at the horizon have more light in them 
            6.31    A wider horizon is visible at the same brightness, the stars are still there 
            6.32    The sky is still 100% overcast, the horizon is a contrast in a cloud 
                    -- slowly becoming wider 
    12d     6.35    The horizon light is much brighter, wider and higher. 
                    -- The stars are still there 
    11d     6.39    The light in the east is whitish up to overhead and black past it, 
                    -- some clouds overhead 
    6d      17.40   The veil is just past overhead. The first two stars are visible inside the veil 
    --------------------------------------------- 
     
                    Location = Hobart TZ = 10  Lat. = -42.8839  Long. = 147.3289 
            observations carried out from the city boundary about 100 metre above sea level 
                    Hobart  17 / 7 / 1996 
     
    16d     6.06    A clear sky. Heavy fog is moving down the river like flowing water, 
                    -- it is less dense higher up. Arooster is heard. All is black. 
            6.08    Very faint horizon is visible as a contrast between two shadows. 
                    -- Rooster heard again. 
    15d     6.12    The horizon is a more defined contrast, identifiable with faint 
                    -- whitish clouds 1/8 way up the sky. 
    14.5d   6.16    The horizon is becoming more identifiable but only as a contrast, 
                    --the light intensity is not great. The river fog is braking up. 
                    -- The stars visibility is unchanged. 
    13.5d   6.20    The horizon line is more defined below the white clouds. 
                    -- More faint clouds higher up the sky. 
     13d*   *6.24   The white clouds at the horizon is clear sky in between the clouds. 
                    -- The sky is wider and lighter 1/4 up. 
            6.27    Very dense fog is developing and the horizon cannot be seen. 
                    -- No change in the stars. The city street lights below are beginning 
                    -- to disappear in the fog. 
    12d     6.30    The grey fog is now quite dense and getting higher, the visibility 
                    -- is about 100 metre and getting shorter. One star is visible overhead. 
     
    From the data above it is suggested that the white thread of dawn 
    for the above latitudes is either as follows or a few minutes closer to sunrise:. 
     
    14 degree for > Lat. = -12.3333     Long. = 130.8333 Location = Darwin TZ = 9.5 
    14 degree for > ~ Lat = -13.954     Long = 132.592 N.T. Kakadu National Park Tz = 9.5 
    14 degree for > Lat. = -23.666     Long. = 133.8333 Loc. = Alice springs TZ = 9.5 
    14 degree for > Lat. = -33.8833    Long. = 151.1667 Location = Sydney TZ = 10 
    13 degree for > Lat. = -37.8333    Long. = 145.01 Location = Melbourne TZ = 10 
    13 degree for > Lat. = -42.8839    Long. = 147.3289 Location = Hobart TZ = 10 
    
    
    References to '' the white thread of dawn '' and it's implications. Al-Quran Surah:2 aya 187 - S:17 aya 78 - S: 4 aya 33,34 - S:52 aya 49 and Sahih Bukhari Hadiths
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Twighlight and Dawn as the white thread of Dawn. Is one thing the same as the other or
    does one take place before the other.
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Hadith: 6. 18 -- Narrated Ibn Umar:
    While some people were offering Fajr prayer at Quba' (mosque), some-one came to them and said, "Tonight some Qur'anic Verses have been revealed to the Prophet and he has been ordered to face the Ka'ba (at Mecca) (during prayers), so you too should turn your faces towards it." At that time their faces were towards Sham (Jerusalem) so they turned towards the Ka'ba (at Mecca).

    Hadith: 1.595 Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:
    The Prophet said, "The Adhan pronounced by Bilal should not stop you from taking Suhur, for he pronounces the Adhan at night, so that the one offering the late night prayer (Tahajjud) from among you might hurry up and the sleeping from among you might wake up. It does not mean that dawn or morning has started." Then he (the Prophet) pointed with his fingers and raised them up (towards the sky) and then lowered them (towards the earth) like this (Ibn Mas'ud imitated the gesture of the Prophet). Az-Zuhri gestured with his two index fingers which he put on each other and then stretched them to the right and left. These gestures illustrate the way real dawn appears. It spreads left and right horizontally. The dawn that appears in the high sky and lower down is not the real dawn) .

    Hadith: 2.232 Narrated Masruq:
    I asked 'Aisha which deed was most loved by the Prophet. She said, "A deed done continuously." I further asked, "When did he used to get up (in the night for the prayer)." She said, "He used to get up on hearing the crowing of a cock."

    Hadith: 2.233 Narrated Al-Ashath:
    He ( the Prophet (p.b.u.h) ) used to get up for the prayer on hearing the crowing of a cock.

    Hadith: 8.468 Narrated Masruq:
    I asked 'Aisha "What deed was the most beloved to the Prophet?" She said, "The regular constant one." I said, "At what time did he use to get up at night ( for the Tahajjud night prayer )?' She said, "He used to get up on hearing ( the crowing of ) the cock ( the last third of the night )."

    Hadith: 3.139 Narrated Al-Bara:
    It was the custom among the companions of Muhammad that if any of them was fasting and the food was presented (for breaking his fast), but he slept before eating, he would not eat that night and the following day till sunset. Qais bin Sirma-al-Ansari was fasting and came to his wife at the time of Iftar (breaking one's fast) and asked her whether she had anything to eat. She replied, "No, but I would go and bring some for you." He used to do hard work during the day, so he was overwhelmed by sleep and slept. When his wife came and saw him, she said, "Disappointment for you." When it was midday on the following day, he fainted and the Prophet was informed about the whole matter and the following verses were revealed: "You are permitted To go to your wives ( for sexual relation ) At the night of fasting." So, they were overjoyed by it. And then Allah also revealed: "And eat and drink Until the white thread Of dawn appears to you Distinct from the black thread ( of the night)." (2.187)

    Hadith: 3.140 Narrated 'Adi bin Hatim:
    When the above verses were revealed: 'Until the white thread appears to you, distinct from the black thread,' I took two ( hair ) strings, one black and the other white, and kept them under my pillow and went on looking at them throughout the night but could not make anything out of it. So, the next morning I went to Allah's Apostle and told him the whole story. He explained to me, "That verse means the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the dawn."

    Hadith: 3.141 Narrated Sahl bin Saud:
    When the following verses were revealed: 'Eat and drink until the white thread appears to you, distinct from the black thread' and of dawn was not revealed, some people who intended to fast, tied black and white threads to their legs and went on eating till they differentiated between the two. Allah then revealed the words, 'of dawn', and it became clear that meant night and day.

    Hadith: 6. 36 Narrated Ash-Sha'bi:
    'Adi took a white rope ( or thread ) and a black one, and when some part of the night had passed, he looked at them but he could not distinguish one from the other. The next morning he said, "O Allah's Apostle! I put ( a white thread and a black thread ) underneath my pillow." The Prophet said, "Then your pillow is too wide if the white thread ( of dawn ) and the black thread ( of the night ) are underneath your pillow! "

    Hadith: 6. 37 Narrated 'Adi bin Hatim:
    I said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the meaning of the white thread distinct from the black thread? Are these two threads?" He said, "You are not intelligent if you watch the two threads." He then added, "No, it is the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the day.''

    Hadith: 6. 38 Narrated Sahl bin Sad:
    The Verse:--"And eat and drink until the white thread appears to you distinct from the black thread." was revealed, but: '... of dawn' was not revealed (along with it) so some men, when intending to fast, used to tie their legs, one with white thread and the other with black thread and would keep on eating till they could distinguish one thread from the other. Then Allah revealed' ... of dawn,' whereupon they understood that meant the night and the day.

    Hadith: 1.531 Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah's Apostle said, "If anyone of you can get one Rak'a of the 'Asr prayer before sunset, he should complete his prayer. If any of you can get one Rak'a of the Fajr prayer before sunrise, he should complete his prayer."

    Hadith: 1.550 Narrated Qatada:
    Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet and Zaid bin Thabit took the 'Suhur' together and after finishing the meal, the Prophet stood up and prayed ( Fajr prayer ). " I asked Anas, "How long was the interval between finishing their 'Suhur' and starting the prayer?" He replied, "The interval between the two was just sufficient to recite fifty 'Ayat." ( Verses of the Quran )."

    Hadith: 1.553 Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever could get one Rak'a (of the Fajr prayer) before sunrise, he has got the (morning) prayer and whoever could get one Rak'a of the'Asr prayer before sunset, he has got the ('Asr) prayer."

    Hadith: 1.569 Narrated 'Abdullah bin Abi Qatada:
    My father said, "One night we were traveling with the Prophet and some people said, 'We wish that Allah's Apostle would take a rest along with us during the last hours of the night.' He said, 'I am afraid that you will sleep and miss the (Fajr) prayer. ' Bilal said, 'I will make you get up.' So all slept and Bilal rested his back against his Rahila and he too was overwhelmed (by sleep) and slept. The Prophet got up when the edge of the sun had risen and said, 'O Bilal! What about your statement?' He replied, 'I have never slept such a sleep.' The Prophet said, 'Allah captured your souls when He wished, and released them when He wished. O Bilal! Get up and pronounce the Adhan for the prayer.' The Prophet performed ablution and when the sun came up and became bright, he stood up and prayed."

    Hadith: 1.592 Narrated Hafsa:
    When the Muadh-dhin pronounced the Adhan for Fajr prayer and the dawn became evident the Prophet ordered a two Rakat light prayer ( Sunna ) before the Iqama of the compulsory ( congregational ) prayer.

    Hadith: 1.831 Narrated 'Aisha:
    Allah's Apostle used to offer the Fajr prayer when it was still dark and the believing women used to return (after finishing their prayer) and nobody could recognize them owing to darkness, or they could not recognize one another.

    Hadith: 2. 46 Narrated Aisha:
    Once in the middle of the night Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) went out and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed with him. The next morning the people spoke about it and so more people gathered and prayed with him (in the second night). They circulated the news in the morning, and so, on the third night the number of people increased greatly. Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) came out and they prayed behind him. On the fourth night the mosque was overwhelmed by the people till it could not accommodate them. Allah's Apostle came out only for the Fajr prayer and when he finished the prayer, he faced the people and recited "Tashah-hud" (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His Apostle), and then said, "Amma ba'du. Verily your presence (in the mosque at night) was not hidden from me, but I was afraid that this prayer (Prayer of Tahajjud) might be made compulsory and you might not be able to carry it out."

    Hadith: 2.105 Narrated Ibn Umar:
    Once a person asked Allah's Apostle about the night prayer. Allah's Apostle replied, "The night prayer is offered as two Rakat followed by two Rakat and so on and if anyone is afraid of the approaching dawn (Fajr prayer) he should pray one Raka and this will be a Witr for all the Rakat which he has prayed before." Nafi' told that 'Abdullah bin 'Umar used to say Taslim between (the first) two Rakat and (the third) odd one in the Witr prayer, when he wanted to attend to a certain matter (during that interval between the Rakat).

    Hadith: 2.108 Narrated 'Aisha:
    Allah's Apostle used to pray eleven Rakat at night and that was his night prayer and each of his prostrations lasted for a period enough for one of you to recite fifty verses before Allah's Apostle raised his head. He also used to pray two Rakat (Sunna) before the (compulsory) Fajr prayer and then lie down on his right side till the Muadh-dhin came to him for the prayer.

    Hadith: 2.109 Narrated Anas bin Sirin:
    I asked Ibn 'Umar, "What is your opinion about the two Rakat before the Fajr (compulsory) prayer, as to prolonging the recitation in them?" He said, "The Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to pray at night two Rakat followed by two and so on, and end the prayer by one Raka Witr. He used to offer two Rakat before the Fajr prayer immediately after the Adhan." (Hammad, the sub-narrator said, "That meant (that he prayed) quickly.)"

    Hadith: 1.516 Narrated Abu Al-Minhal:
    Abu Barza said, "The Prophet used to offer the Fajr (prayer) when one could recognize the person sitting by him (after the prayer) and he used to recite between 60 to 100 Ayat (verses) of the Qur'an. He used to offer the Zuhr prayer as soon as the sun declined (at noon) and the 'Asr at a time when a man might go and return f rom the farthest place in Medina and find the sun still hot. (The sub-narrator forgot what was said about the Maghrib). He did not mind delaying the 'Isha prayer to one third of the night or the middle of the night."

    Hadith: 1.535 Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
    The Prophet used to pray the Zuhr at mid-day, and the 'Asr at a time when the sun was still bright, the Maghrib after sunset (at its stated time) and the Isha at a variable time. Whenever he saw the people assembled (for Isha' prayer) he would pray earlier and if the people delayed, he would delay the prayer. And they or the Prophet used to offer the Fajr Prayers when it still dark.

    Hadith: 1.542 Narrated Abu Musa:
    My companions, who came with me in the boat and I landed at a place called Baqi Buthan. The Prophet was in Medina at that time. One of us used to go to the Prophet by turns every night at the time of the Isha prayer. Once I along with my companions went to the Prophet and he was busy in some of his affairs, so the 'Isha' prayer was delayed to the middle of the night He then came out and led the people (in prayer). After finishing from the prayer, he addressed the people present there saying, "Be patient! Don't go away. Have the glad tiding. It is from the blessing of Allah upon you that none amongst mankind has prayed at this time save you." Or said, "None except you has prayed at this time." Abu Muisa added, 'So we returned happily after what we heard from Alllah's Apostle ."

    Hadith: 2.210 Narrated Az-Zuhri:
    Salim told me, "'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, 'I saw Allah's Apostle delaying the Maghrib prayer till he offered it along with the Isha prayer whenever he was in a hurry during the journey.' " Salim said, "Abdullah bin Umar used to do the same whenever he was in a hurry during the journey. After making the call for Iqama, for the Maghrib prayer he used to offer three Rakat and then perform Tasllm. After waiting for a short while, he would pronounce the Iqama for the 'Isha' prayer and offer two Rakat and perform Taslim. He never prayed any Nawafil in between the two prayers or after the 'Isha' prayers till he got up in the middle of the night (for Tahajjud prayer)."

    Hadith: 7.3739 Narrated Anas bin Malik:
    The Prophet said, If supper is served and the Iqama for ( Isha ) prayer is proclaimed, start with you supper first."
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