Do I have to stop eating when I hear the adhan at Suhoor?

Do I have to stop eating when I hear the adhan at Suhoor?

If you are eating when you hear the adhan or the time for suhoor has ended, finish what you have in your mouth but do not keep eating beyond that.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِذَا سَمِعَ أَحَدُكُمُ النِّدَاءَ وَالإِنَاءُ عَلَى يَدِهِ فَلاَ يَضَعْهُ حَتَّى يَقْضِيَ حَاجَتَهُ مِنْهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ أبو داود.

“When one of you hears the call to prayer while eating the pre-fasting meal and his vessel is in his hand, let him not put it down until he fulfills his needs from it.” (Abu Dawud)

There is a Tik Tok video quoting this hadith and suggesting that if you grab something such as a sandwich when the adhan goes, you can continue munching away! This is not the case. You cannot finish a plate of food or keep drinking a mug of tea. You can finish the mouthful or swallow what you have in your cup, and you can save the rest for later.

The correct understanding of this hadith is that the muezzin used to call an adhan before Fajr, to warn people to finish what they were eating before the actual adhan of Fajr. When the actual adhan for Fajr is called, we have to stop eating.

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ regarding the time when Fajr has started that you should stop eating:

We mentioned that whoever breaks dawn and has food in it (his mouth), let him spit it out and complete his fast.

Clearly, it is better to finish eating before the adhan is called and not eat beyond the adhan. Try your best to avoid eating during the adhan but if you have something in your mouth you may swallow it.

Another piece of misinformation that is floating around social media, is that you can take medication such as pills during your fast, if you take them without water – this is not permissible. You cannot take pills by mouth, however it is permissible to take injections.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.