Learn about the fasting practices of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
Sehri – The Pre-Dawn Meal
Sehri also known as suhoor – the pre-dawn meal when a person closes his fast. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would eat this meal during Ramadan and He ﷺ declared it a blessed meal. Sayyiduna Anas RA narrates: ‘The Prophet ﷺ ordered me to bring him some food at the time of sehri so I bought dates and water.’ He ﷺ then ordered ‘see if there is anyone who will eat with me.’
From this narration we understand that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would have a light meal of dates and water at the of sehri. Now we often see people indulging in the best of delicacies, filling themselves for the day ahead, however we see that this is not from the Sunnah. The purpose of Ramadan is to control the desires. Thus, it is essential we follow this practice of eating light and abstaining from overindulgence. Also, Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah RA narrates that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said “The best sehri of the believers is dates.” Thus, we should adopt this practice of The Messenger of Allah ﷺ and try to close the fast with dates.
Another sunnah we learn from this narration is that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would not eat alone rather with those around him. Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to create this brotherhood that Islam teaches, use this as an opportunity to share meals and quality time with your Muslim brethren and family. We also learn that the pre-dawn meal is a blessed meal. Often, we see people miss the pre-dawn meal due to fatigue or tiredness, however we should try our best to practise this emphasised sunnah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ referred to this meal as blessed so we should try our best to attain as many blessings as possible during the month of Ramadan. The meal of sehri is also the key difference between the fast of the nation of The Prophet ﷺ and those that came before. Sayyiduna Ali (Allah is pleased with him) narrates that The Prophet ﷺ said ‘The difference between our fasts and the fasts of the people of the book is the eating of sehri.’ So we understand from this narration that a quality of a believer is to partake in the pre-dawn meal.
May Allah allow us to practise this Sunnah of The Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Ameen
Practices during the day whilst fasting
During the day the Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would occupy himself ﷺ with the recitation of the Qur’an. This was already the case outside the month of Ramadan, however The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would increase in recitation during this beloved month. We should not spend this month as a time to catch up with missed tv shows or a time scrolling on social media; this month should be used to enhance your connection with the Qur’an. This month our goal should be to learn the last chapter of the Qur’an if we have not already done so. Our goal should be to learn portions of the Qur’an and try to gain understanding of The Qur’an. Do not waste this month as it can be your last Ramadan.
Lesson: Follow the Sunnah and increase your recitation of The Qur’an during the day.
Iftar – Opening the Fast
The opening of the fast is based on the setting of the sun. Allah (almighty) says in the Qur’an “Complete the fast until the night” (Qur’an 2:187). The night begins with the setting of the sun. Sayyiduna Abu Darda RA narrates ‘When The Prophet ﷺ fasted he would order a man to stand on a high place and when that man proclaimed the sun had set he would open the fast.’ From this we understand The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would open the fast at the time of the setting of the Sun.
After The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was certain the sun had set he ﷺ would open the fast without any delay. Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah RA narrated that The Prophet ﷺ said that Allah (Almighty) proclaimed ‘I love my servants who are swift in iftar.’ Be amongst those who are loved by Allah (almighty) and do not delay the opening of your fast.
Lesson: Be prepared for the opening of the fast. If you are travelling or at work have food and water nearby so you can fulfil this Sunnah of swiftly opening the fast.
May Allah allow us to benefit from this month of Ramadan and allow us to practise Ramadan and fasting the same way the Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would do so. Ameen