Ajman, Sharjah in fix over Ramadan timings

AJMAN/SHARJAH — With the onset of Holy month of Ramadan, residents of Ajman and Sharjah residing in Al Nuaimia and Umm Khanoor areas bordering the two emirates will be in a fix once again on the correct timings to follow for Fajr prayers and Imsak due to a 14-minute time difference observed between the two emirates.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Wed 13 Sep 2006, 9:23 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:23 PM

From the first day of Ramadan, there will be a 14-minute difference observed in Fajr prayer timing and the Imsak time between Sharjah and Ajman, Khaleej Times learnt. Currently, there is a 13-minute time difference between Fajr Azaan (call for prayer) in Sharjah and the Fajr Azaan in Ajman.

Residents of Al Nuaimia in Ajman and Umm Khanoor area in Sharjah who live on the border of the two emirates with only a street separating them expressed concern about the correctness of their prayers and fasting period. “We don’t know which emirate’s timings to follow since the Azaan and Imsak announcements can be heard by us from the mosques located in Nuaimia (Ajman) and also Umm Khanoor (Sharjah) at an interval of 14 minutes,” residents complained, saying the problems persists since Ramadan of 2004.

Residents have urged the UAE federal government to take urgent action to resolve such disputes before the start of the holy month.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Rahma Ali Rahma, legal inspector of Ajman Auqaf and Islamic Affairs office, admitted having received a large number of complaints from residents of Al Nuaimia regarding the time difference in prayer timings being followed in Ajman and Sharjah.

“A committee was formed to investigate the issue and determine who was wrong — the Islamic Affairs office in Sharjah or the General Authority in Ajman,” he said, disclosing the investigation revealed that Sharjah timings were wrong as they were late by 13 minutes even during normal days.

Ahmed Al Munaisi, Head of the Mosque Affairs, section of Ajman Auqaf and Islamic Affairs office, said Ajman timings were fixed a long time ago and earlier Sharjah too followed the same timings. But, over the past two years, Sharjah authorities have changed their prayer timings on their own, Munaisi said. The matter was also referred to the UAE General Authority of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Abu Dhabi but there has been no response from them, as yet, he disclosed.

Meanwhile a resident of Al Khanoor in Sharjah complained the Azan call everyday for Fajr prayer is at 4.37am, while in Ajman it is at 4.50am.

Mohammed Al Sayed, a resident of Al Nuaimia area in Ajman, said he fails to understand the difference in Azan timings between Ajman and Sharjah which are neighbouring emirates. If the difference of Fajr timing in Dubai and Ajman is only four minutes, how can there be a 14-minute difference between two neighbouring emirates.

He added that he can easily walk up to a mosque for prayers in Sharjah while he is residing in Ajman. But he cannot observe his prayer in Sharjah even though the mosque is located close to his residence in Ajman because it will be too early in Sharjah and perhaps also the wrong time according to the Ajman Auqaf authorities.

Farouq Shaikh, a resident of Umm Khanoor in Sharjah, said he usually waits for both the Azans to finish and then offer his Fajr prayers. But, this cannot be possible during Ramadan because there is a specific timing for Imsak every day.

Haja Hafssa, a resident of Al Nuaimia, said the UAE General Authority of Auqaf and Islamic Affairs should immediately take action to resolve this problem before Ramadan starts and direct Muslims in both emirates to follow one timing specified by them. When the General Authority could synchronise Friday Khutaba (Juma sermon) then why can’t it set up unified prayer timings for each emirates as well according to the sunrise and sunset, he added.

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