The Ruling Concerning the One With Food in his Mouth when the Time of Fajr Comes in
Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’
Muhammad Nasir uddeen al-Albaani
Abbas Abu Yahya
Muhammad Nasir- Deen Al-Albaani (d.1420A.H) -Rahimullaah- said:
The Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said: ‘If one of you hears the call to prayer and the vessel is still in his hand, then he should not put it down until he has taken his need from it.’
[Collected by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Hakim and he authenticated it, and Dhahabi agreed with him.
This is evidence that if a person has the vessel of food or drink in his hand, and Fajr time comes up, then it is permissible for him to take what he needs to from that food and drink. This situation is exempt from the Ayaah: <<And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night] >> [2:187]
Therefore, there is no conflict between this Ayaah and the meaning of those types of Ahadeeth and between this hadeeth. There is no consensus to oppose this issue rather, a group from the Companions and other than them, are more towards the majority which is the benefit that can be derived from this hadeeth. That is the permissibility of eating food and drink until the Fajr time becomes clear, and the whiteness starts to spread in the pathways.
And indeed from the benefits of this hadeeth is the invalidity of the Bida’ (innovation) of withholding from eating and drinking before Fajr by about quarter of an hour. There are people who do this, fearing they will catch the Adhan of Fajr while they are in Suhoor (eating and drinking before Fajr with the intention of fasting).
If they had known this concession, they would not have fallen in to this Bida’, so reflect.’
[From: ‘Tamam al-Mina fee Taleeq ala Fiqh-us-Sunnah’ p.417]