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IT is Allah’s mercy that He blessed us with two meals during this month of fasting so we could recharge and energize ourselves. We should educate ourselves about the meals to reap the best out of it, In sha Allah.
Making the intention:
The intention (niyyah) means resolving to fast. It is essential to have the intention the night before, night by night, in Ramadan [Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Da’imah, vol. 10, p. 246, Islamqa.com]
Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever does not have the intention of fasting before Fajr, there is no fast for him.”
The differentiating element:
Not having suhoor is contrary to the Sunnah;
“The difference between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is the (meal of) Suhoor.”
One should try his/her best to have Suhoor, at least with dates or a sip of water.
There is a blessing in suhoor. The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Have Suhoor, as indeed there is a blessing in it.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
and he ﷺ also said:
"Allah and his angels definitely send salutations on those who eat Suhoor."
[Ibn Hibban and At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat, hasan by Al-Albani]
Moreover, Suhoor is in a blessed time, the last third of the night, which is the best time to make dua and seek forgiveness.
The Prophet ﷺ said: "Our Lord, The Blessed, The Superior, comes down every night to the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying:
"Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?"
Don’t forget to grab a date when in Suhoor; it will grab you a reward of Sunnah, and of course the energy that comes with it, In sha Allah! The Prophet ﷺ said:
“How excellent are dates as the believer’s suhoor”
[Abu Dawood, Ibn Hibban and al-Baihaqee; saheeh]
Have you heard of being rewarded for delaying something? Delaying Suhoor is a part of the Sunnah as the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Hasten to (eating) Iftar (in Ramadan immediately when the time is due), and delay (eating) Suhoor.”
‘Amr ibn Maymoon, said:
“The Companions would break their fasts immediately at sunset (without any delay) and would delay eating Suhoor (until as close to Fajr as possible).”
One must stop eating when he/she is sure that the dawn has appeared.
Benefits of Suhoor:
- It prevents fatigue and headaches during the daytime.
- It reduces extreme hunger and thirst.
- It prevents the fasting person from feeling lazy, sluggish or in need of sleep.
- It prevents the loss of body cells.
- It energizes and stimulates the digestive system.
- It helps the body maintain its sugar levels while fasting.
- It spiritually assists the believer to fulfill fasting as an act of worship.
It is recommended to have foods that are rich in protein, fats, fibre and whole grain as these foods take at-least 7-9 hours to digest.
Have meats, whole wheat or grains, olive oil, cheese and eggs as a part of this meal. The body takes several hours to digest these types of foods, and thus your hunger would be delayed. They supply the body with the required energy throughout the day.
Do not consume large quantities of sugar or salt, because sugar triggers hunger, while salt triggers thirst.
It is also preferable to have salads that contain a high level of fluids, such as lettuce and cucumber, because they help the body maintain fluids for a longer period of time, which will reduce thirst and prevent dehydration.
Additionally, these types of vegetables are a good source for vitamins and minerals.
Now here you must hurry up! (Everyone wants to hurry up here anyway.)
The Prophet ﷺ said:
"The people will continue to be in good condition as long as they hasten to break the fast."
[Bukhari and Muslim]
Anas ibn Malik said: “The Prophet ﷺ used to break his fast before praying by eating fresh dates, and if there were no fresh dates he would eat dried dates; if there were no dried dates, he would have a few sips of water.” [al-Sawm, 632; classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh Abu Dawood, no. 560, Islamqa.com]
This differentiates us from the Jews and Christians and keeps us on the Sunnah, as the Prophet ﷺ said: "The people will remain upon goodness so long as they hasten to break the fast. Hasten to break the fast, for the Jews delay it." [Ibn Majah, no. 1698]
What to eat:
It is recommended to break the fast with dates; the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
"Whoever has dried dates, then let him break the fast with that, and whoever does not, then let him break the fast with water, for indeed water is purifying."
[Jami’-at-Timidhi, no. 694]
Du’aa before Iftar:
Make a list of all you desire of this world and the hereafter, you don’t want to miss out this special time for sure!
The Prophet ﷺ said,
“When the fasting person breaks his fast, his supplication is not turned back.”
[Sunan Ibn Majah, no. 1753]
And wait until you read this hadeeth; He ﷺ also said: “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.” [Jami’-at-Tirmidhi, no. 3598]
And when you break your fast. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to say when breaking his fast:
“Dhahaba al-zama’ wa abtalat al-‘urooq wa thabata al-ajr in sha Allah (Thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain if Allah wills).”
[Abu Dawood, no. 2357]
Reward of a fasting person:
This act of worship is not worth leaving out. Just by providing Iftar to a fasting person to break his/her fast, you can get a reward equal to that of a fast. That’s good business folks!
The Prophet ﷺ said:
"Whoever gives someone something to break the fast with, he would have the same blessings as the fasting person and this would not reduce the blessings of the fasting person in any way"
[Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi]
“And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you –refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
[Quran 59: 7]