In the Name of Allah,
According to the agreement, it starts at real white dawn and finishes at sunset. According to the ayat and what the Prophet stated in the Sahih,
“When night advances from there and the day retreats from here and the sun sets, the faster breaks the fast.”
Sahoor, with a Fathah on the word Seen, is eaten and drunk during As-Sahar. If the letter Seen (Suhoor) has a Damma, it means to eat As-Sahoor[I]. In short, suhur is the action of eating, while sahur is what is eaten[ii].
Rulings on As-Sahoor
Most scholars see this as a recommendation. Imam An Nawawi said:
‘The scholars are unanimous that having such meal is recommended, not a duty’[iii].
Timing of As-Suhoor
And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread. [Surah al-Baqarah 2:187]
This refers to the darkness of night and the brightness of day. Midnight to dawn is when pre-dawn meals are eaten[iv]. You can eat and drink until dawn, which is the white thread of light that Allah made the last time you can eat and drink. When the second dawn comes, eating, drinking, and doing other things that break the fast are forbidden[v].
If One Does Not Fear The Second Fajr, One Should Delay Suhur.
This is due to the saying of Zayd bin Thabit: “We ate the suhur with the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) then stood for the prayer.” [The sub-narrator] said, “How much time was between them?” He said, “Enough time to recite 50 verses.[vi]’
This is ten to twenty minutes, depending on how quickly or slowly a person reads the Qur’an.
‘Amr ibn Maimun adds, “The companions of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him), would be the first to break the fast and the last to eat their pre-dawn meals.”[vii]
Ghusl Is Not Obligatory
If a man wakes up shortly before dawn and finds himself in janabah (major ritual impurity) or a woman finds her period has ended, they must start sahur and fast, delaying bathing until dawn. Click here for more information.
People who stay up late and eat sahur (pre-dawn food) early are making many mistakes[viii]:
First, they began their fasts very early.
Second: They would not pray in congregation at the mosque, disobeying Allah.
Third: They may pray Fajr after dawn, a major sin.
Virtues of As Suhoor
On the authority of Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: Allaah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Take Sahoor, for indeed within As-Sahoor there is blessing.[ix]”
The Sahoor includes spiritual and worldly benefits. The blessings can be religious (obeying the Prophet, following his example, and opposing Jews and Christians) or worldly (enjoying allowed food and drink and saving the body’s vitality and activity)[x]
If he consumes the predawn meal, it will sustain him until sunset. It gives the person who is fasting strength, and energy, and makes fasting easier. The advantages of As-Suhoor, according to Imam Al Nawawi, also include:
This person may perform ablution and voluntary prayer or stay awake, praising Allah, and prepare for Fajr prayer. A person who wakes up for suhoor will glorify and praise Allah at such a blessed time when Allah bestows His favor, answers prayer, and grants forgiveness.[xi]
On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that he said: Allaah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Indeed Allaah, the Exalted, and His angels send blessings upon those who take Sahoor. ”[xii]
On the authority of ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that Allaah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The difference between our fast and the fast of the people of the Book is the eating of Sahoor.”[xiii]
This is because the people of the Book begin their fast at midnight. They eat before midnight. No sahur for them. Believers, Allah be praised, consume late at night[xiv].
Also, there is that which has come on the authority of Abdullaah ibn Al-Haarith from a man from amongst the companions of the Prophet who said: “I entered upon the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) while he was eating Sahoor so he said, ‘indeed it is a blessing which Allaah has given you, so do not abandon it. ’” [xv]
Allaah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “All of the Sahoor is a blessing so do not abandon it, even if one of you were to only drink a sip of water. For indeed Allaah, the Mighty, and Majestic, and his angels send blessings upon those who eat Sahoor.” [xvi]
Allaah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The best Sahoor for the believer is dates.” [xvii]
Is there a Du’a for Suhur
There is no prescribed supplication for suhur. But delaying sahur until the last third of the night catches up with the divine descent when du’as are responded.
Allah Knows Best. Peace and blessings be upon the last and final prophet.
[i] Arousing the intellects with an explanation of Umdatul-ahkaam ‘the book of zakah and fasting” imaam taqiyy-ud-deen ‘abdul ghani bin ‘abdul waahid bin a u al-maqdisee, Explanation of umdatul-ahkaam By: shaykh muhammad bin Saleh al-‘uthaymeen, Maktabatulirshad Publications, USA, page 99
[ii] The Risala Ibn Abi Zayd Al Qaywarani’s Manual of Islamic Law, Translated by Aisha Bewley page 359
[iii] Sahih Muslim With Full Commentary By al-Nawawi, Vol 6 English, Al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Sahih Muslim, With Full Commentary By Imam Al-Nawawi, Translated And Edited By Adil Salahi, The Islamic Foundation & Islamic Community Milli Gorus (ICMG), Australia Distributed By Kube Publishing, Page 424
[iv]Fiqh us sunnah, Sayed Sabiq, Chapter Fasting, Page 258
[vi] Sahih Muslim 1097a
[vii] This is recorded by al-Baihaqi with a sahih chain. Fiqh us sunnah, Sayed Sabiq, Chapter Fasting, Page 258
[viii] A summary of Islamic Jurisprudence by Dr. Salih Al-Fawazan, Vol 1- page 382
[ix] Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) , Reference : Sunan Ibn Majah 1692
[x] Arousing the intellects with an explanation of Umdatul-ahkaam ‘the book of zakah and fasting” imaam taqiyy-ud-deen ‘abdul ghani bin ‘abdul waahid bin a u al-maqdisee, Explanation of umdatul-ahkaam By: shaykh muhammad bin Saleh al-‘uthaymeen, Maktabatulirshad Publications, USA, page 98
[xi] Sahih Muslim With Full Commentary By al-Nawawi, Vol 6 English, Al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Sahih Muslim, With Full Commentary By Imam Al-Nawawi, Translated And Edited By Adil Salahi, The Islamic Foundation & Islamic Community Milli Gorus (ICMG), Australia Distributed By Kube Publishing, Page 424
[xii] Reported by Ibn Hibbaan within As-Saheeh. Also reported by At- Tabaraanee within Al-Awsat. Al-Albaanee, may Allaah have mercy upon him said: “The Hadeeth is Hasan Saheeh.” Refer to At-Targheeb (no. 1066) Also Saheeh Al-Jaami’ (no. 1844) and As-Saheehah (no. 1654
[xiii] Sahih Muslim 1096a
[xiv] An Explanation of Riyadh al-Saliheen. from the words of the Master of the Messengers, Explanation, and Completion of His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad bn Salih Uthaymeen. Vol -5, page 309
[xv] Reported by Sunan an-Nasa’i 2162 with a Hasan chain of narration. Al-Albaanee graded it Saheeh within At-Targheeb (no. 1069)
[xvi] Reported by Ahmad. Al-Albaanee said: “The Hadeeth is Hasan due to other supporting narrations.” Refer to At-Targheeb (no. 1070)
[xvii] Reported by Aboo Daawud 2345 and Ibn Hibbaan within As-Saheeh. Al-Albaanee graded it Saheeh within At- Targheeb (no. 1072)