Recently a number of local Imams and students of knowledge gathered to discuss the different fajr timings that are used in the prayer timings charts. After discussion and actual observation of fajr they issued the following:
In preparation for this year's Ramadan calendar, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California tasked a team of brothers from the Southern California community to go out into the Mojave desert to observe the timing of Fajr. Their observations, which have been recorded in a separate report, corroborated the view that the beginning of Fajr approximately corresponds to the time the center of the sun makes a 15 degree angle with the horizon. The conclusions were discussed and verified with Dr. Khalid Shaukat, from moonsighting.com, and Dr. Ahmed Salama, a NASA physicist and astronomer.
Based on the information above, the Shura Council makes the following recommendations to the community:
1. The timing of Fajr should be calculated according to the 15 degree method.
2. As a precautionary measure, imsak (beginning of the fast) should be observed 5 minutes before the 15 degree time.
3. Fajr prayer should not be performed before the 15 degree time.