How to Understand the Hadith about Rooster Crowing?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat 


There is a hadith along the lines of praising a rooster when it brays as it has seen an Angel, how do we understand this hadith?


I pray you are well.

The hadith you mentioned is narrated as follows: “When you hear the crowing of the rooster as Allah [to give to you] from His generosity (fadl), because it will have seen an angel. When you hear the braying of a donkey seek refuge in Allah from the Devil, because it will have seen a devil.“ [Bukhari]

Animals are able to perceive things humans cannot. Their senses are different to ours and more attuned in many cases. It’s not uncommon for them to be aware of matters through indications before they happen, such as the cases of dogs sensing that their owners will have a heart attack beforehand.

Roosters can see angels, so we were told to ask Allah at the time of their crowing because the chances of having the supplication answered are greater. This is either due to the angel saying ‘amin’ to our du’a, or because prayers are answered in the presence of the righteous.

Donkeys are able to see the rebellious jinn, who are termed ‘shaytan.’ In their presence donkeys may bray, and so it is a reminder to the believer to seek refuge in Allah from the devils who may attempt to cause one doubts through their whispers. [‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari]

We ask Allah to grant us the best He gives to His beloved servants through His generosity, and to protect us from all that would distance us from Him.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.