When does the time for fasting start, with imsak or adhan? Is it permissible to eat until adhan ends?

The Details of the Question

In Ramadan, adhan is called at the time of imsak; at other times, it is called half an hour or forty-five minutes after imsak. Some people regard eating up to the time of adhan permissible when they fast on the days other than Ramadan. Is it permissible?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Both fasting and the time of Fajr prayer begin with Imsak (the time when the day's fast begins). So, it does not make any difference whether the adhan (call to prayer) is announced earlier or later.

In the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, since it is more virtuous to perform the Fajr (morning) prayer a little later, in the other months than Ramadan, they start performing the morning prayer after reciting the adhan after the imsak time. However, in the month of Ramadan, it is recited earlier to announce that the time for fasting has started.

If the adhan is recited at the same time with imsak, one must quit eating and drinking as soon as s/he hears the adhan. Otherwise, the fasting may be invalidated. The best way is to quit eating and drinking before the adhan.

The one who eats or drinks while the adhan is being recited by thinking s/he could do so must fast one day as qada after Ramadan.

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