The Messenger of Allaah - صلى الله عليه وسلم - said:
“If one of you hears the call [to prayer] while a cup is in his hands, let him not put it down until he has fulfilled his need from it.”
Collected by Abu Dawood: 1/549, ibn Jareer at Tabaree in ‘At Tafseer’: 3/526 and 3015, Abu Muhammad al Jawharee in ‘Al Fawaa-id al Muntaqaa’: 1/2, al Haakim, 1/426, al Bayhaqee: 4/218 and Ahmad: 2/423 and 510 through Hammaad ibn Salamah, on the authority of Muhammad ibn ‘Amr, on the authority of Abu Salamah, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah who said: The Messenger of Allaah - صلى الله عليه وسلم - said: and he mentioned the Hadeeth.
Al Haakim stated: ‘It is authentic according to the criteria of Muslim.’ Adh Dhahabee agreed with him. This is disputable however, because Muslim only collected Muhammad ibn ‘Amr’s Ahaadeeth when he is coupled with other [specific] narrators [and not unrestrictedly], for he is ‘Hassan’.
Ibn ‘Amr was not the sole narrator who narrated this Hadeeth, Hamaad ibn Salamah also said: ‘on the authority of ‘Ammaar ibn Abee ‘Aamir on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, on the authority of the Prophet - صلى الله عليه وسلم - with a similar Hadeeth, but with the addition of; “The Mu-adhin would call for the prayer when the Fajr emerged…” Collected by Ahmad: 2/510, ibn Jareer and al Bayhaqee.
This is an authentic Isnaad according to Muslim’s criteria, and there are also a lot of other Ahaadeeth that bear witness to its meaning:
[Translator’s note: From here onwards, specific information about the chains will be omitted but retained in the Arabic version of the article for those who would like to consult it, not all of the Shawaahid will be mentioned.]
1. A strong Mursal narrated by Hammaad as well…collected by Ahmad: 2/432 along with the first narration.
2. Another Hadeeth on the authority of the Messenger - صلى الله عليه وسلم - narrated by al Hasan ibn Waaqid…on the authority of Abu Waaqid who said: “The Adhaan was called while a cup was in ‘Umar’s hand, he said: “Should I drink it O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ So he drank it.” Collected by ibn Jareer: 3/527 and 3017 with two chains of narrators, this chain is ‘Hassan’.
3. Ibn Lahee’ah narrated on the authority of az Zubayr who said: “I asked Jaabir about a person who wants to fast, and he hears the Adhaan while the cup is in his hands. Jaabir said: “We used to say that the Messenger of Allaah said: ‘Let him drink.” Collected by Ahmad: 3/348…This chain is not bad as a witness [for another Hadeeth – Shaahid]…The narrators in the chain are trustworthy, they are the narrators that Muslim uses except Ibn Lahee’ah, he has a weak memory…
4. Qays ibn ar Rabee’ narrated…on the authority of ibn ‘Umar: “’Alqamah ibn ‘Alaathah was with the Messenger - صلى الله عليه وسلم - when Bilaal entered to call the Adhaan for the Salaat, so the Messenger - صلى الله عليه وسلم - said; ‘At ease Bilaal, ‘Alqamah is eating Sahoor…” Collected by at Tayaalsee (#885), at Tabaraanee in ‘Al Kabeer’… Qays ibn ar Rabee’ is in the chain he is ‘Hassan’ in a Hadeeth for a witness because he is ‘Sadooq’ within himself but is feared due to his weak memory. If he narrates a Hadeeth that is in agreement with other trustworthy narrators, his Hadeeth can be used as a witness or to strengthen another Hadeeth.
Amongst the Athaar that bear witness to this Hadeeth is what Shabeeb…on the authority of Hibaan ibn al Haarith who said: “We ate Sahoor with ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, when we were done, he ordered the Mu-adhin to call the Iqaamah.” Collected by At Tahaawee in ‘Sharh al Ma’aanee’…
[Translator’s note: All the above Shawaahid are weak and not evidence within themselves but are used by al Muhaddith al Albaanee as witnesses to strengthen the initial Hadeeth mentioned.]
[Al Albaanee states in ‘Tamaam al Minah’ 1/417]
The statement of the author [of Fiqh as Sunnah]: “If the Fajr emerges and a person has food in their mouth, they must remove it..,”
This is blindly following what is mentioned in some of the books of Fiqh, there is no evidence for it in the Prophetic Sunnah, rather it is in contradiction to the saying of the Messenger - صلى الله عليه وسلم -: “ If one of you hears the call [to prayer] while a cup is in his hands, let him not put it down until he has fulfilled his need from it. ”…
…In it is evidence that whoever has a utensil of food or drink in his hands and the Fajr emerges, that it is permissible for him not to put it down until he has taken his need from it. This case is an exception from the Ayah:
…and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night),
} [Al Baqarah: 187]
So there is no contradiction between the two, or the Ahaadeeth of this meaning or the Ijmaa’, rather a number of Shaabah and others held the opinion of this Hadeeth…
Amongst the benefits derived from this Hadeeth, is the invalidation of the innovation of ‘Imsaak’ [not eating] before the Fajr by about 15 minutes. They only do so fearing that the Ahdaan of Fajr will be called while they are eating Sahoor, had they known of this permit, they would not have fallen into that innovation, think about it.
[Translator's note] Some of the people of knowledge declare this Hadeeth to be inauthentic, amongst them are none other than Albaanee’s peers, al ‘Allaamah ibn Baaz and al ‘Allaamah ibn ‘Uthaymeen. Based upon this, they hold it to be impermissible to eat or drink as soon as the Adhaan is called acting upon the previously mentioned Ayah.
It is hard to believe that the Muslim world was once blessed to have these three signposts of knowledge alive at one time, may Allaah have mercy on them, and preserve the remaining scholars, ameen.