Skip to content

It is Sunnah to delay the Suhoor (Pre-Dawn Meal) – Shaykh al-Albaani

June 24, 2015

“My Ummah will continue to be upon good for as long as they hasten to break the fast and delay the pre-dawn meal.”

The other matter which I want to remind you of is what occurs in the previous hadeeth, “And they delay the pre-dawn meal” meaning: what is required here is the opposite to the case of the Iftaar. So he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬ commanded us to hasten to perform the Iftaar. But as for the Suhoor, then it should be delayed. But what happens today is totally contrary to this, since many people eat their Suhoor before the appearance of Fajr by perhaps an hour. This is not befitting. This is contrary to the Sunnah shown by the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬and by his practice. So the Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬used to leave the Suhoor so late, that one of them would almost hear the Adhaan and he would still be eating because he had delayed the Suhoor.

Indeed there is an authentic hadeeth reported from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬which shows the ease afforded by Islaam, to be counted as one of the principles of Islaam, which the Muslims are proud of, especially with regard to the matter of Fasting, since Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, concluded the Aayahs concerning Fasting with His Saying:

‘Allaah desires ease for you, and He does not desire to make things difficult for you’. So from this ease is his (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬saying, “If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel is in the hand of one of you, then let him not put it down until he fulfils his need from it.”

” If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel” the vessel containing food, whether it be milk, some drink, water, anything which a person may take as Suhoor, and he hears the Adhaan, then he should not say, Now the food is forbidden due to the Adhaan being heard. The person who has had enough, it is not allowed for him to then have any more, whether it be a drink, or some fruit, when he has had his fill of whatever he was eating.

But as for the one who hears the Adhaan and he has not yet taken what he needs from the food and the drink, then the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬made that lawful for him. So he clearly said, in the clear and eloquent Arabic language, “If one of you hears the call to Prayer, and the vessel is in his hand, then let him not put it down until he fulfils his need from it.”

And what is meant here by the call is the second call, the second Adhaan. It is not the first Adhaan, which they wrongly call the Adhaan of Imsaak (i.e. withholding). We must know that there is no basis for calling the first Adhaan the Adhaan for withholding (imsaak).

The second Adhaan is when we are to withhold, and this is clearly stated in the Quraan, since Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:

‘And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes clear to you from the black thread of the night.’

So eating becomes forbidden at the start of the time of the Fajr Prayer. There is no separation between these two things. There is no withholding from food and drink for a quarter of an hour, or less than that, or more than that, before the start of the time for the Fajr Prayer. Not at all.

Because the Prayer becomes due when the true dawn appears, and food becomes forbidden for the fasting person when the true dawn appears. So there is no separation between these two matters at all.

So therefore there occurs in the hadeeth agreed upon by al-Bukharee and Muslim, from the hadeeth of Abdullaah Ibn ¹Umar Ibn al-Khattaab -radiyallaahu `anhu, that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬said, “Let not the Adhaan of Bilaal deceive you…” meaning, the first Adhaan, “…because he gives the Adhaan in order to awaken the person who is sleeping, and so that the person who wishes to eat the pre-dawn meal can do so. So eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktoon gives the Adhaan.”

Ibn Umm Maktoom, whose name was ‘Amr, was a blind man, and he was the one about whom the Saying of Allaah, the Exalted and Most High, came down:

‘He frowned and turned away, that a blind man had come to him’ to the end of the Aayaat. So he used to give the second Adhaan, the Adhaan which means that eating becomes prohibited and that it is now time for the Fajr Prayer.

How did he used to give the Adhaan when he was blind? This is a question, which naturally occurs to some people. ‘Amr Ibn Umm Maktoom used to climb on the roof of the mosque, but he could not see the dawn, so he would wait until someone passing by saw the dawn. So when someone saw that the dawn had appeared and spread across the horizon, they would say to him, It is morning. It is morning. Then he would give the Adhaan.

So you will notice here that the Adhaan of ‘Amr ibn Umm Maktoom was after the Fajr had appeared, and had been seen by the people whilst they were walking in the streets. So when it was said to him, “It is morning. It is morning,” he would give the Adhaan.

So therefore there is latitude in the affair, since the muadhdhin would be delayed in giving the Adhaan until he heard the people telling him, “It is morning, it is morning.” And then Allaah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬said: “If one of you hears the call to Prayer and the vessel is in his hand, then let him not put it down until he has fulfilled his need from it.”

So Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, spoke truly when He said at the end of those Aayahs related to Fasting: ‘Allaah desires to make things easy for you, and He does not desire to make things difficult for you.’ and ‘…that you should complete the number of days, and that you should glorify Allaah by mentioning takbeer for His having guided you, and that you should be thankful. ‘

So therefore from the Fiqh that is to be criticized, and which runs contrary to this Sunnah, is that a person says, “If someone hears the Adhaan and has some food in his mouth, then he must spit it out.” So this is over strictness, and (ghuluww) exceeding the limits in the Religion, and the Lord of all of the creation admonished us, and reminded us, in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬that we should not exceed the due limits in our Religion. So He said, in the Noble Qur·aan:

‘O People of the Book! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not say anything about Allaah except the truth.’

And our Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬said to us, or he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬said, “Beware of (ghuluww) exceeding the limits in the Religion. Because those who came before you were destroyed by their exceeding the limits in their Religion.”

So Allaah¹s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬has made it clear to us that there is latitude and a margin of ease in the matter of a person’s taking suhoor, to the extent that he said: “If one of you hears the call to Prayer whilst the vessel is in his hand, then let him not put it down until he has completed his need from it.”

So it is opposition to Allaah and to the Messenger that a person says that one who hears the Adhaan whilst he has food in his mouth must spit it out onto the ground. This is not from the Sunnah. Rather this is contrary to the Sunnah, and is contrary to the clear command of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬.

And I have been asked many times, so I will not leave open the need for such a question, but rather I will precede you in (answering) it, by stating that this hadeeth is to be found in some of the most famous books of the Sunnah. From them being the Sunan of Aboo Daawood, and it is the third book from the well-known six books. The first of which is Saheehul-Bukhaaree, the second being Saheeh Muslim, and the third being the Sunan of Aboo Daawood.

This hadeeth is to be found in it, and it is likewise reported by Aboo ‘Abdillaah al-Haakim in his Mustadrak, and it is likewise reported by the Imaam of the Sunnah, Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, rahimahullaah, in his tremendous book known as the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad.

So the hadeth is not a strange hadeeth, rather it is a well-known hadeeth, and was reported by the Imaams of the Sunnah in the early times, and with an authentic chain of narration.

So here I say, to conclude this talk, since perhaps some of you have questions, which we will answer if Allaah wills, so I will conclude it with his (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬saying “Allaah loves that His allowances be acted upon just as He loves that His prescribed duties be carried out,” and in one narration, “Just as He hates that disobedience to Him be committed.”

So there are two narrations, “Allaah loves that His allowances be acted upon just as He loves that His prescribed duties be carried out”, and the second narration is, ” as He hates that disobedience to Him be committed.”

So therefore the Muslim should not practice false piety, and (as a result) refrain from obeying the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in that which he encouraged us upon and clarified to us.

The above is posted from(Beautiful Talk) Sunnahs Neglected in Ramadaan– Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee rahimahullaah , Translated by Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Comments are closed.