What Constitutes Suhoor?

Suhoor can be achieved by a large meal, a small meal, or even by a sip of water or soup.
In a report by Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri (RAA) the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,
“Sahuur is a blessed meal, do not neglect it even if it is a mouthful of drink. For Allah and the Angels bless those who observe it.” (Ahmed)

You see, what reaches Allah is the intent that you have made a genuine effort to obey Allah in fasting. This is why it is rec­ommended to make intention with the sahuur, to emulate the Prophet, and to eat the food to gain strength and energy during fasting, so as to get the reward from Allah. The hadith also contains the information that during the course of this meal the faster receives a special blessing that cannot be found else­where: that Allah (SWT) blesses your meal and that the angels seek on your behalf forgiveness for you during sahuur. Thus, with sahuur you receive both physical and spiritual blessings.

Time of Suhoor

The time for sahuur begins from midnight until the break of dawn. It is recommended, however, to delay it till shortly be­fore the time of Subh (morning) prayer.

In a hadith by Zaid bin Thabit (raa) he related that:
“We ate sahuur with the Messenger of Allah (saas) then we went to pray Subh. I asked the Messenger ‘What was the time period between sahur and prayer?’ He re­sponded ‘The time period between them is the equiva­lent of the time it takes to recite fifty verses in Al-Qur'an.’ ” (Bukhari and Muslim)

This citation is instructive in that it settles the question of whether one should stop eating before morning prayer (Subh/Fajr), or before sunrise, as we see in certain prayer times tables showing the so-called shuruq (the sunrise, which some think is the time to stop eating). The hadith is explicit. The rec­ommendation to delay Sahuur is only to the hour or so before (Subh). The mentioning of the period of recitation of fifty verses (ayats) is a cushion or a grace period in which food or drink should not be taken. All the reports that recommend de­lay of Sahuur must be understood in this way.

During the time of the Messenger of Allah (saas), the tradition of two adhans (or call to prayer) was established, and it has continued up until now in some Muslim countries. The first adhan is to indicate the beginning of sahuur: the adhan of Ab­dullah Ibn Umm Maktum (raa). The second is the adhan of Bi­lal Ibn Rabah (raa): the adhan of Salaah, a morning prayer.

However, if you hear the second adhan while you are eating or drinking, you should immediately stop eating in preparation for fasting.

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