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During the Holy month of Ramadan, as dawn appears in the early hours of the morning, angels send blessings upon those who have chosen to partake in the Sunnah meal of Suhoor.

Suhoor, also known as Sehri, is the pre-fasting meal eaten before dawn during the month of Ramadan. When we eat Suhoor it allows us to maintain focus and feel fuller during a taxing day of fasting. The timing of Suhoor ensures that Muslims have sustenance throughout the long day of fasting ahead.

Suhoor is not just a meal eaten to provide nourishment for the day’s fast, it is a time for the family to gather in the spirit of togetherness and faith. It is a vital practice deeply rooted in the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).


Suhoor Dua

When fasting it is of the utmost importance that we are clear about the intentions of our fast. It’s best to make our niyyah, or intentions clear to ourselves, and to Allah, by reciting the following dua.

وَبِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَّوَيْتُ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ

Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri ramadan

The meaning of this dua in English is: “I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan”. This simple dua conveys the fasting person’s intention of keeping the fast for the coming day.


Fasting: A Divine Command

The sacred act of fasting is mentioned explicitly in the the longest Surah of the Holy Quran, Surah al-Baqarah. Within this Surah Allah outlines his commands to us Muslims succinctly.

“… eat and drink until the white thread (the light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (the darkness of night). Then complete your Sawm (fast) until nightfall.”[Surah Al-Baqarah]

This simple yet informative passage of the Quran gives clear instruction and is a direct command from our Creator, guiding us along the straight path of Islam.


The Importance of Suhoor

Suhoor is not just the meal that fuels us for the full day of fasting ahead, it carries much more significance than that. It is a Sunnah of the Prophet to partake in Suhoor, this saying of the Prophet highlights its importance.

Eat suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing – [Bukhari]

To gain the full blessing of Suhoor it is important that we do not skip this vital communal event that brings the Muslim Ummah ever closer together. Another great aspect of Suhoor is that you must be awake just before Fajr time in the early morning, so shortly after Suhoor you will be able to perform the Fajr prayer.

Nourishment During Fasting

Fasting begins at dawn, requiring abstinence from food and drink until sunset. To endure this period without feeling overbearing hunger, it is crucial to eat Suhoor. If a healthy meal is made it can provide essential nutrients, including high protein foods, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, Protein rich foods, such as eggs and lean meats, help stave off hunger throughout the day, ensuring that individuals remain energetic and focused.

Spiritual Connection and Blessings

Suhoor is not only about nourishing the body but also about deepening one’s spiritual connection with Allah. It is a time for reflection, prayer, and seeking blessings. During the early hours when Suhoor is eaten, angels send blessings to those who are fasting, creating a profound sense of spiritual well-being.


The Suhoor Meal

During the long hours of the day in Ramadan it is normal for us to feel hungry, but the easiest way to combat this is to begin the day by eating the pre-fasting meal of Suhoor. Although some Muslims choose to skip Suhoor altogether and just eat Iftar after sunset, this may lead to hunger, dehydration and exhaustion during a long day of fasting.

Diverse Foods for Good Health

A well-rounded Suhoor should include a variety of foods. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, meat or eggs and whole grains to ensure a balanced intake of vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre. These foods promote better health and help you feel fuller throughout the day.

Hydration is Key

Staying hydrated is vital during Suhoor. Drinking water and hydrating beverages with all your meals helps maintain energy levels and prevents dehydration during the fasting hours. Aim to consume sufficient fluids without overdoing it.

Simple Foods: Dates and Oats

Eating dates is a Sunnah of the Prophet not only when you break your fast with Iftar, but also at Suhoor time, so consider incorporating dates into your Suhoor meal. When eaten, Dates provide a natural source of energy. Oats, with their high fibre content, release energy slowly, keeping you fueled throughout the day.


Food and Drink to Avoid During Suhoor

When considering what to eat and drink for Suhoor it’s extremely important that don’t just consider the taste. If you’re craving certain foods it’s best to consider their effects on the body first.

Salty food

If you feel like eating salty food during Suhoor it’s probably best to avoid doing so. When you eat foods with high salt content it draws water from your body, dehydrating you and making you thirsty. So it’s important to limit your consumption of salty foods during Suhoor.

Caffeinated Drinks

Drinking a coffee or an energy drink during Suhoor is not a good idea. It gives a burst of energy and focus at the worst time of day, just before you get some much needed sleep for the long day of fasting ahead. You can also experience a caffeine crash later in the day, leading to tiredness, trouble focussing and irritability.

Processed Foods

Processed foods are often high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. They are usually also low in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. When craving sugary treats it’s better to opt for eating fruits instead.


Sleeping and Suhoor

The practice of Suhoor can vary among individuals and communities, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether people stay awake for it or wake up at night specifically for Suhoor. It depends on personal habits, cultural traditions, and daily schedules.

Staying Awake for Suhoor

Some people choose to stay awake for Suhoor, especially if they have a habit of praying or engaging in other acts of worship during the early hours of the morning. They may consume their Suhoor meal and then stay awake for prayers, recitation of the Quran, or other spiritual activities before the Fajr (dawn) prayer.

Waking Up for Suhoor

Many people prefer to set an alarm and wake up for Suhoor just before Fajr time. They may eat their pre-fasting meal, pray Fajr, and then go back to sleep to get additional rest before starting their day.

Sleeping After Suhoor

After eating Suhoor, some individuals choose to go back to sleep for a while, especially if they have the flexibility in their daily schedule to do so, or if dawn is early. This can help them manage their energy levels during the day when fasting.

The choice between staying awake or going back to sleep after Suhoor often depends on factors like personal preference, work or school schedules, and individual routines. It’s essential to strike a balance that works for one’s physical and spiritual well-being during the fasting month of Ramadan.


The Significance of Suhoor in Ramadan

Suhoor is a vital component of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. This pre-dawn meal prepares the body and mind for a day of self-discipline and devotion to Allah.

By adhering to this Sunnah practice and making mindful food choices, Muslims can experience the blessings of Suhoor, ensuring they feel nourished, energetic, and spiritually connected throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

Suhoor is a reminder of Allah’s blessings and a source of strength for the full day of fasting that lies ahead. May Allah accept our fasts and grant us the strength to observe Ramadan with sincerity and devotion.

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