As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 7


Sunnah of fasting

Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) is the name for the food taken at late night before Fajr. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) ordered taking the meal of suhoor saying, “The distinction between our fasting and the fasting of the People of Book is the taking of the pre-dawn meal (suhoor).” [Saheeh Muslim (1096)]

The Excellence of Suhoor is that it is a blessing from Allah. A companion of Allah's Messenger said, “I entered upon the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and he was taking the suhoor and he said to me, “It is a blessing which Allah has given to you, so do not leave it.” [(Saheeh) Ahmad (5/270) and An-Nisa'ee (4/145)] The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said, “Take Suhoor as there is a blessing in it.” [Agreed upon]
Even drinking a cup of water instead of a meal for Suhoor has blessings, for, it implies obeying the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and following his Sunnah. Furthermore, Suhoor adds to the physical health, and provides the essential nutrition and strength to sustain the body during the long tiring hours of the day. [See, Fatawa as-Siyam, p.40]

The best form of Suhoor is dates as understood from the following Hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), “How excellent are dates as the believer's suhoor.” [(saheeh) Abu Dawood (2/303)]

Delaying Suhoor is a Sunnah: The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, “The people will remain on the right path as long as they hasten the Iftar (breaking the fast) and delay taking Suhoor.” [Abu-Dawood]

Hastening in Iftar (breaking the fast) as soon as the sun sets (as explained earlier) is from the Sunnah. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, “My Ummah (nation) will not cease to be upon my Sunnah as long as they do not await the stars when breaking the fast.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (4/173) and Saheeh Muslim (1093)] and he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said, “The Deen will not cease to be uppermost as long as the people hasten to break the fast, since the Jews and the Christians delay it.” [(hasan) Abu Dawood (2/305) and Ibn Hibban (224)]

Breaking the fast before praying Salaat al-Maghrib: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to break his fast before offering the (Maghrib) prayer…” [(saheeh) At-Tirmidhee]

Recommended foods for Iftar: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to break his fast before offering the (Maghrib) prayer with some fresh dates, if he didn't get any, then dried dates, and failing that too, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would drink a few mouthfuls of water.” [Saheeh Muslim] Breaking the fast with salt in not established in the Sunnah.

The virtues of Dua at the Time of Iftar: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said extolling the time of Iftar for supplication, “Indeed, the fasting person has at the time of breaking the fast, a supplication that is not rejected.” [Ibn Majah and al-Hakim] One should supplicate to Allah hoping that it will be answered, and knowing that Allah does not respond to a heedless and inattentive heart.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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