Not Obligatory to Turn on the Lights at Maghrib or ‘Isha’
Fatwa No: 450304

  • Fatwa Date:15-11-2021 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 10, 1443
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Question

As salamu alaikum. Someone told me that we should turn on the lights in our house when it is time of adhan of maghrib.They mean when it is dark.Some people also say that we should also turn on the lights when it is time of adhan of isha and fajr prayer because there is darkness at that time.I want to know that if it is from the quran and the sunnah ? One of my friends also told me that we should not lay down during adhan.is it correct or can I answer the adhan laying down? Jazakallahu khairan.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is neither obligatory to turn on the lights at Maghrib (sunset), nor at the time of the Athan (call to prayer) of ‘Isha’; as far as we know, there is nothing in the Sharee’ah that suggests the obligation of any of them.

What is mentioned in Islamic texts is the command of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to the Companions to put off their lamp when going to sleep because the lamps had a wick and the mouse/rat might have pulled that wick on their bed, and it would break out fire in the house.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “When night falls, restrain your children (from going out) … and put off your lamps.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The narration by Al-Bukhari reads: "When you go to bed, put off your lights, for the mischief-doer (i.e. the rat) may drag away the wick and burn the dwellers of the house."

All of these commands are not obligatory, as the jurists said. Al-Manawi said in Faydh al-Qadeer: “All the commands are for guidance.” [End of quote]

We do not know any impediment that prevents a person from remaining lying down when hearing the Athan (call to prayer). The person who hears the Athan while he is lying down is not required to sit or stand. Indeed, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to remember Allah and recite the Quran while reclining with his head in ‘Aa’ishah’s lap.

‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said: “The Messenger of Allah used to put his head in my lap when I was menstruating and recite the Quran."

The Athan is a from of remembrance of Allah and it is not greater than the Quran, which is the word of Allah Almighty.

As for what was reported about the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) that “He used to get up abruptly when the Muath-thin called the Athan, and if he had a need for Ghusl, he would perform it, otherwise he would perform ablution and go out [for the prayer]”, and the narration by Muslim which reads: “When the first Athan was called, he would get up abruptly.”; this sudden and abrupt rising up [as if jumping] does not mean that it is prohibited or disliked to lie down when hearing the Athan, but it is for taking the initiative for the prayer and preparing for it by performing ablution or Ghusl if one is Junub (in a state of sexual defilement).

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Sharh Muslim:

His saying ‘getting up abruptly’ means that he stands up quickly, which indicates an interest in worship and endeavoring for it hurriedly while being active.” [End of quote]

As far as we know, none of the scholars said that it is forbidden or disliked to lie down when hearing the Athan by providing evidence of this Hadeeth.

Allah knows best.

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