Early in the morning, before the whistling and chirping of the birds can be heard and the warm glow of the sun can be seen radiating as far as the eye can see, lies a special time in the month of Ramadan. It is so early in fact that it precedes the breaking of dawn and is a time during most months of the year during which people sleep through. Yet as Muslims enter the month of Ramadan, hushed whispers can be heard at this time, the loud ringing of alarm clocks buzzing noisily only to be silenced swiftly, as eyes snap open and feet touch the ground, soft giggles from children as they jump out of their beds in glee and tired yawns from elders as they move sluggishly towards the kitchen. This is the special time of Suhoor; the early morning meal that Muslims eat in preparation for the long fast ahead.
Suhoor is an Arabic term that literally means ‘of the dawn’ and in Ramadan refers to the pre-dawn morning meal. It is somewhat considered a very early breakfast, which must be eaten before dawn and before the Fajr prayer. And so, Muslims from all over the world, living in different countries and at different time zones all unite in their efforts to wake up for Suhoor, a blessed time indeed as it prepares the body for the long fast until sunset and often abates crankiness and weakness during the fast.
For many Muslims, Suhoor signifies a time to cook some of the yummiest and most tantalizingly delicious breakfasts of the year and enjoy a large feast as a family together. Water is essential to drink at this time as it protects the body from dehydration and fatigue. Dates are also a good snack to eat as they contain loads of energy and many healthy sugars.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) advised Muslims to wake up for the Suhoor meal as there are blessings in it, and God’s mercy and forgiveness descends upon the believers at this time. And indeed, it is a blessed time as it also falls during the last third of the night which happens to be one of the best times to supplicate to God Almighty and make du’aa. So if one has the chance to pray 2 voluntary units of prayer, then what a rewarding deed this would be!
So, dear brothers and sisters, we hope you take delight in the unique and special time of Suhoor during the mornings of Ramadan, and fill and replenish your bodies with food to last you till sunset! Though take care to not fill yourselves too much!
We ask God Almighty to bless our partaking in this blessed prophetic practice that only comes once a year and to allow us to make the most of the Suhoor time.
1. Aim to wake up 15-20 minutes earlier than the time needed to eat, and pray 2-4 rak’ahs of Tahajjud prayer.
2. Make Du’aa! Indeed there are countless blessings in making du’aa during this time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’” [Bukhari]
3. Eat a balanced meal. Not too much and not too less. Make sure not to over eat, in fear of becoming hungry later on! God Almighty makes the Ramadan fasts easier than any other fast during the year.
4. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2-3 glasses of water (or zamzam), to protect yourself from dehydration. The less you drink, the more your kidney will have to work, so give your kidney a break and drink enough!
5. Serve others food, help make breakfast, clean up the kitchen – to earn extra rewards and blessings during this time.