The Time Between Suhur and Fajr – Seven Points

Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani
Anas reported that Zayd bin Thabit said: “We had suhur with the Prophet, and he then got up to pray.” Anas then asked: “How much time was there between the adhan and the suhur?” He answered: “Fifty verses.”

In ‘Fath al-Bari’ (4/164), Ibn Hajar made the following points on this hadith:

* al-Muhallab and others said: “Shown in this narration is the fact that they would measure time with physical actions, and the Arabs would measure time with actions, such as their saying that such-and-such took the same amount of time that it would take to milk a sheep, or the amount of time it would take to slaughter a camel. So, Zayd bin Thabit similarly estimated the time using the recitation of the Qur’an, indicating that this time was used for the worship of reciting the Qur’an.”

 

* Ibn Abi Jamrah said: “This is in indication that they would spend their time engrossed in worship.”

* In it is also an indication that the suhur is to be delayed, as this serves the purpose of the suhur. Ibn Abi Jamrah said: “The Prophet would look to that which was easiest for his people, and would do that. This is because if he did not have suhur, they would have imitated him in this, and that would be too hard upon them. And if he were to have taken suhur in the middle of the night, this would also have been hard upon those who are heavy sleepers…”

* He also said: “And in it is the virtuous one honoring others by having them eat with him, as well as the permissibility of walking at night if there is a need to do so, as Zayd bin Thabit did not live with the Prophet.

* In it is they would gather to eat suhur together.

* In it is the best manner of addressing another when making a point, due to Zayd’s saying: “We had suhur with the Prophet…,” and he did not say: “We and the Prophet had suhur…,” and this is due to his realization that his use of the word ‘with’ would show that they were his followers.”

* al-Qurtubi said: “In it is a proof that they would finish up their suhur before the time of Fajr.”

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