When does the day start?

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When does the day start?
02/08/02 at 12:06:57
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
This sounds like a silly question, but someone just confused me about when the day starts: does the night precede the day or does the day precede the night?  Al yauwm (the 24 hour period) is made of Al-layl (night) and an-Nahar (daytime) so when does al yauwm start? I always assumed that the night is the beginning of the day (hmm, that sounds loopy!) meaning after maghreb it'll be Saturday night, because we start praying taraweeh for example the night before we start fasting in Ramadan, but my brother in law who's very knowledgeable told us it starts at fajr, because in the Qur'an it day always precedes night, and whenever something is valid for a 24 hour period (like wiping over the socks) it's valid for "a day and a night".
So? you all as confused as I am now?  
Re: When does the day start?
02/08/02 at 17:01:51

Hmm.. Interesting question!

I'd have to agree with you.  Since we follow a lunar calendar, i.e. a calendar based on the moon, I'd say the night is the beginning part of a yaum.  Because it is during the night that the moon comes out.  Wallahu a'lam.

I remember attending a lesson a loooong time ago about the tafseer of one of the ayaat in the Qur'an which tells us to guard our "middle prayer" ([i]Salaatul wusTaa[/i]).  From what I remember, there was some discussion in the tafseer about which prayer was meant by the middle prayer.  Some of the mufassireen said it was the Asr prayer, because it was during the middle of the day.  Some said it was the prayers that a man has to offer during the middle of his life!  Because that is the time when he is young and more prone to follow his desires and stray away.  Still some others said that it was the fajr prayer, because the Islamic day starts with Maghrib.  And thus Maghrib is the first prayer, Isha is the second, and Fajr is the third (middle) prayer!

Wallahu a'lam! :)

Wassalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.
Re: When does the day start?
02/08/02 at 22:48:39
Assalaamu alaikum,

Hmm, this question reminded of something I read on when Jumuah starts and ends and when to read soorah al-Kahf. Here is a excerpt of that Q&A:

The soorah may be read during the night or the day of Jumu’ah. The night of Jumu’ah starts from sunset on Thursday, and the day of Jumu’ah ends at sunset. Therefore the time for reading this soorah extends from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Friday.  

Re: When does the day start?
02/08/02 at 22:58:53
[quote]I'd have to agree with you.  Since we follow a lunar calendar, i.e. a calendar based on the moon, I'd say the night is the beginning part of a yaum.  Because it is during the night that the moon comes out[quote]

Yup I'd say it depends on which calendar you follow

If you follow the lunar calendar then magrib is the first prayer and asr is the last..so the night precedes the day...We follow the lunar calendar

and if you follow the solar calendar then fajr is the first prayer and isha is the last..the day precedes the night

maybe someone can look up the tafseer for the many verses in the Quran that talks about the night and day.. like the following:

You cause the night to enter the day, and you cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And you give provision to whom You will without account (ie limit or measure) (Ali-Imran vs 27)

He created Heaven and Earth in truth. He wraps the night over the day and wraps the day over night and has subjugated the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. Unquestionably, He is the Exalted in Might, the Perpetual Forgiver. (al Zumar vs 5)

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