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The purpose of the adhan before Fajr in the early days of Islam

Question

Is there a hadith which states that Adhan used to be given at half the night in Madinah Munawwarah in the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) so that those in the Masjid could go home and those at home could come to the Masjid?

Answer

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The adhan of Sayyiduna Bilal (radiyallahu ‘anhu) should not stop one of you from eating sehri, for verily he gives adhan at night (long before subh sadiq) so that those of you who are praying can finish off and those  who are sleeping can get up.

(Sahih Bukhari, hadith: 621)

The commentators explain that the purpose of this early adhan was so that those who were already reading tahajjud could stop and have a rest before Fajr and they could commence eating sehri (if they intend to fast) and those who were asleep could awaken and start preparing for Fajr.

(Fathul Bari, hadith: 621)

The above hadith does not have mention of those in the Masjid going home and those at home coming to the Masjid, although it is possible that some were in the masjid offering tahajjud.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar