The ruling on the Fast of whoever ate at the time of the Athan

The ruling on the Fast of whoever ate at the time of the Athan

Question :

What is the legal ruling for fasting concerning whoever heard the Athan of Fajr and continued eating and drinking?


It is obligatory upon the believer to refrain from things that break the fast, such as eating, drinking and other than them, when it becomes clear to him that Fajr time has entered and fasting is obligatory, like the fast of Ramadhan, the fast for a vow and expiation. This is due to the Statement of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic:
"And eat and drink until the white thread of the dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread. Then complete the fast until the night."

Therefore, when the person hears the Athan and he knows that it is being called for Fajr time, it is obligatory on him to abstain. If the person making the Athan is calling it before the entrance of Fajr time, it is not obligatory on the person to abstain and it is allowed for him to eat and drink until it becomes clear to him that it is Fajr time. If he does not know the situation of the person calling the Athan, as to whether he is calling the Athan before Fajr time or after it, then it is better and safer for him to abstain when he hears the Athan. Also, it does not harm if he ate or drank something during the Athan, because he did not know (for certain) that Fajr time had entered.

It is known that whoever is within the area of cities that have electrical lights, he is not able to know exactly when the time for Fajr enters. Yet, he must play it safe by acting according to the Athan and the charts that specify the time of Fajr by the hour and minute. This is acting upon the Prophet's statement:

"Leave whatever causes you to doubt for that which does not cause you to doubt."

And the Prophet's statement:
"Whoever avoids the doubtful matters then verily he has freed his religion and honor (from suspicion)."

And Allâh is the Giver of success.

Ash-Shaykh Ibn Baz
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 3 Pages 252-253

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