Prayer times in the abnormal summer period in Edinburgh
In the high latitudes in the north of Europe, North Asia and Canada the astronomical signs that signal the start of Ishaa’ and Fajr prayers do not occur for some days in the summer time. This happens because of the shallow depression of the sun below the horizon in this period, which is the reason for the bright summer nights you may have witnessed in Edinburgh. This lasts for three months, starting in May and ending in August.
There are a number of ways that scholars suggested to estimate prayer times when their signs disappear. The methodology used in the Mosque for this year is the opinion of the Muslim World League’s Islamic Fiqh Council [Local Copy] in which the time of the prayer, when its sign disappears or becomes extreme, is estimated based on the time of the same prayer over the normal parts of the year.
That is, the estimation for Ishaa’, for example, is based on the average percentage of the time of Ishaa’ to the length of night in the nine months when Ishaa’ can be observed. The situation of Fajr is similar.
Other mosques may adopt other methodologies, like fixing Fajr time for the full abnormal period around 1:17 am which is also an acceptable approach. We opted for the above solution to make it easier for people to fast in Ramadan. The important thing to remember is to stick to one approach for the full summer, and Allah knows best.