Was it the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) that he used to leave immediately after Fajr and not wait for the time of Ishraq to set in on the days he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) intended travelling?
I haven’t seen any narration mentioning this as the habit of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam).
However, one does understand from certain Hadiths that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) would dispatch his armies early in the morning.
Sayyiduna Sakhr Al-Ghamidi (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
‘O Allah! Bless my Ummah in their [work done in the] mornings.’
He (radiyallahu’anhu) also said:
When Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) would dispatch an army, he would do so at the beginning of the day.’
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1212, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaynah, Hadith: 34306 and Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al-Ihsan, Hadith: 4754 and 4755. Also see Al-Ibtihaj, bi Adhkaril Musafiri wal Haj, pg.23)
Declared sound (hasan) by Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) and authentic (sahih) by Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah).
In light of these narrations, it would be meritorious to depart early.
(Also see Al-Ibtihaj, bi Adhkaril Musafiri wal Haj, pg.23)
Having said the above, Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has cited a Hadith stating that Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) departed for the journey of Haj after Zuhr. He quoted this in the Chapter of departing after Zuhr.
His motive being to show that it is not necessary to depart in the early part of the morning, since the Nabi of Allah Ta’ala (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) did differently on this occasion.
(Sahih Bukhari with Fathul Bari, Hadith: 2951)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar