Answered by: Maulana Mujahid Hussain
Assalamwalaikum. It is clearly mentioned in a sahih hadith that whoever catches one rakah of fajr before sunrise has caught up with the prayer, then why according to Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) prayer is said to have been annulled if performed in the way above?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحي
The Hanafis do not oppose the hadith, rather they interpret the hadith in a different way. We say the hadith means who ever has found the time equivalent to one rakat before the sunrise has found the time of fajr, meaning if a non Muslim was to accept Islam, or a child was to become Baligh or a woman on her periods became pure whilst there is the time of even one rakat left before sunrise then the salah is necessary upon them and they must do qadah.
As evidence we use the following hadith
عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم " إِذَا طَلَعَ حَاجِبُ الشَّمْسِ فَدَعُوا الصَّلاَةَ حَتَّى تَبْرُزَ، وَإِذَا غَابَ حَاجِبُ الشَّمْسِ فَدَعُوا الصَّلاَةَ حَتَّى تَغِيبَ ". " وَلاَ تَحَيَّنُوا بِصَلاَتِكُمْ طُلُوعَ الشَّمْسِ وَلاَ غُرُوبَهَا، فَإِنَّهَا تَطْلُعُ بَيْنَ قَرْنَىْ شَيْطَانٍ ". أَوِ الشَّيْطَانِ. لاَ أَدْرِي أَىَّ ذَلِكَ قَالَ هِشَامٌ.
Narrated by Ibn `Umar:
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "When the (upper) edge of the sun appears (in the morning), don't perform a prayer till the sun appears in full, and when the lower edge of the sun sets, don't perform a prayer till it sets completely. And you should not seek to pray at sunrise or sunset for the sun rises between two sides of the head of the devil (or Satan).
أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَنْهَى عَنِ الصَّلاَةِ عِنْدَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَعِنْدَ غُرُوبِهَا.
Narrated by Abdullah:
I heard the Prophet forbidding the offering of prayers at the time of sunrise and sunset
أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ، كَانَ يَقُولُ لاَ تَحَرَّوْا بِصَلاَتِكُمْ طُلُوعَ الشَّمْسِ وَلاَ غُرُوبَهَا فَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَطْلُعُ قَرْنَاهُ مَعَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَيَغْرُبَانِ مَعَ غُرُوبِهَا وَكَانَ يَضْرِبُ النَّاسَ عَلَى تِلْكَ الصَّلاَةِ
Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Dinar from Abdullah ibn Umar that Umar ibn al-Khattab used to say, "Do not intend to do your prayer at either sunrise or sunset, for the horns of Shaytan rise with the rising of the sun and set with its setting." Umar Radiallahu Anhu used to beat people for that kind of prayer.
These ahadith are clear in stating there is no salah at the time of sunrise hence the hadith you mentioned cannot mean that if a person was to pray one rakat before sunrise then pray the second one during sunrise his salah is valid simply because these ahadith clearly states there is no Salah at sunrise time
Only Allah Knows best.
Written by Maulana Mujahid Hussain
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Hadith Birmingham