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I have seen many times the congregation time for fajr on 29th Shabaan is 5:40 AM and 1st Ramadan its 5:10/15 AM. Similarly the time for 29th Ramadan 5:00 AM and 1st Shawwal 5:20 AM.

Other days the time difference from day to day relative to sun is only 5 minutes. But when ramadan comes they pray early. Azaan times also change like congregation time in Ramadaan.

Do they have something specific to pray early in ramadan or has abu hanifah given any instructions to do that? Doesnt this amount to hypocrisy in applying different rules to suit your ease?

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    What is the reason for claiming that is a Hanafi practice? It seems to me logical to pray fajr early, if people are awaken for tahajjud and sohor. – Medi1Saif Apr 16 at 14:30
  • There aren't any "rules" specifying how long to wait before starting the congregation. – Crimson Apr 16 at 15:05
  • @crimson, please read my question description with ample time – Preordainment Apr 16 at 18:36
  • @Medi1saif ,in India we have 2 muqallids, shaafis and hanafis , shaafis pray early fajr throughout the year. Only hanafis pray to their convenience. – Preordainment Apr 16 at 18:46
  • @Preordainment and what's wrong with that, I even think it is good as people may have the opportunity to get the reward of a congregation as long as they wake up for fajr and before shuruq. – Medi1Saif Apr 22 at 21:59
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As far as I know, the Hanafis typically pray Fajr later outside of Ramadan due to the following hadith:

Rafi bin Khadij said:

قَالَ:‏‏‏‏ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ:‏‏‏‏ أَسْفِرُوا بِالْفَجْرِ، ‏‏‏‏‏‏فَإِنَّهُ أَعْظَمُ لِلْأَجْرِ 

"I heard Allah's Messenger saying: 'Perform Fajr at AI-Isfar, for indeed its reward is greater.'"

- Jami` at-Tirmidhi 154

Al-Isfar means when the dawn breaks and lights (i.e. before sunrise).

But in Ramadan they pray it earlier due to this hadith:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ إِنَّ بِلاَلاً يُنَادِي بِلَيْلٍ، فَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يُنَادِيَ ابْنُ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ ‏"‏‏.‏

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Bilal pronounces the Adhan at night, so keep on eating and drinking (Suhur) till Ibn Um Maktum pronounces the Adhan."

- Sahih al-Bukhari 620

The reason for the 2 adhans is explained in the answer provided by @Medi1Saif in the question Did Masjid e Nabawi had two Muezzins during the Prophet's lifetime simultaneously?:

The idea for the two adhans is that the first adhan for fajr is held before the time "Bilal pronounces the Adhan at night" so that people can wake up prepare themselves to go to the mosque etc. or as clearly described in the hadith to be prepared that a second call -on time- "till Ibn Um Maktum pronounces the Adhan" comes and that will be the call for the start of fast. This practice is still in use in many Muslim countries and considered as sunnah.

This suggests that they prayed after suhur ended, which is earlier than Al-Isfar.

So according to Hanafis, outside of Ramadan fajr is best prayed at Al-Isfar and during Ramadan after suhur ends, in accordance with these ahadith and the Sunnah.


Sources: [1] and [2]

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    <comments deleted> Comments are intended for constructive criticism and seeking clarification for the purposes of improving the post they're on, not for argument and debate or extended discussion of tangential points. The question is explicitly asking for the Hanafi reasoning behind an action, which necessitates a tacit acceptance of Hanafi methodologies. Arguing about those methodologies, no matter how much one may disagree with them, is not appropriate behaviour here. – goldPseudo Apr 17 at 5:45
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    Might I also add that all 4 of the main Sunni madhabs are accepted amongst all scholars, that they each use different evidence to support their practices. They all accept that one may follow any of these madhabs. You seem like you are trying to criticise Hanafi methodology just because it is different to the Shafi'is. Your use of language is somewhat trying to demean the Hanafi madhab. Please beware of this, all madhabs are permissible, you will find this in many places. Are you really in a position to think it amounts to hypocrisy? – Muslim_1234 Apr 17 at 9:02
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Note the following:

  • The time for Fajr is from dawn to before sunrise. If it is offered anywhere in this time it is permitted and valid and there is no blame.

  • The preferable time for Fajr is different among the schools. According to the Hanafis إسفار (praying when the light has spread) is preferable. While according to the majority تغليس (praying in darkness) is preferable. There are ahadith supporting both views, and anyone who acts on either of them or even both of them is acting on the sunnah.

    أسفروا بالفجر فإنه أعظم للأجر

    Delay fajr till whiteness for it fetches the maximum reward

    Jami at-Tirmidhi

    This hadith is Sahih, see e.g. Ibn Hajar, Al-Albani, Ibn Hibban \ Al-Arnaa’oot etc.

    The Hanafis also cite that by delaying, there will be ease and safety for the people and more people will get to join the congregation. A bigger congregation is preferable to a smaller one.

  • Choosing a less preferable but permissible course of action, to serve some interest, is neither forbidden nor hypocrisy. You may e.g. find the hadith where the Prophet ﷺ offered isha early to make it easy, even though he said that delaying was preferable.

The practice among some Hanafis is that they choose to hold fajr congregation early in ramadan (unlike the rest of the year). Their reasoning is that during ramadan the people are already awake and idle after suhoor. If there is a significant delay before the salah then there is a chance that many will fall asleep and miss the congregation. Hence the benefit of a bigger congregation is now achieved by holding it early.

Some of them have also cited that many of the ahadith on تغليس are in the context of fasting:

كنت أتسحر في أهلي، ثم يكون سرعة بي، أن أدرك صلاة الفجر مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

I used to take the "Suhur" meal with my family and hasten so as to catch the Fajr (morning prayer) with Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)


Reference:

قوله: (كنت أتسحر في أهلي، ثم يكون سرعة بي أن أدرك صلاة الفجر مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم) ولعل هذا التغليس كان في رمضان خاصة، وهكذا ينبغي عندنا إذا اجتمع الناس، وعليه العمل في دار العلوم بديوبند من عهد الأكابر

فيض الباري على صحيح البخاري

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    @Preordainment Hadith is sahih. I have already answered your question in my post, whether to accept it or continue this meaningless polemic is upto, you I will not engage. – UmH Apr 17 at 10:44
  • Where does the second hadith mentions Ramadan, prophet fasted more than 30 days outside Ramadan. – Preordainment Apr 28 at 4:56
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Excuse me, Hanafis do not do this universally. It may just be where you are.

Also, the adhaan can be given any time after fajr time begins--so if they give it a few minutes later, that doesn't mean the time itself started later.

When Ramadhan comes around, bringing the congregation time earlier or later can be needed to facilitate ease for the people. This was a maxim of the our Prophet, such as when he told the people to shorten the congregational Salah so as to be easy for the muqtadis/followers; this doesn't mean you shorten you tahajjud or sunnah. It's for the people's ease.

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