Ramadân Series: Part 4 – The Sahûr (Pre-Dawn Meal)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

What is As-Sahûr

Sahûr refers to the food or drink that is consumed by a person at the end of the night. It is called sahûr because it is consumed at the time of sahar which is the end of the night.  (Lisân al-‘Arab 4/351)

The Sahûr is that which is eaten and drank within As-Sahar, which is the last part of the night. Suhûr – with a Dhammah upon the Sîn – is the act of eating As-Sahûr. (Shaykh Muhammad Al-Uthaymîn, Sharh Umdatul-Ahkâm 3)


The ruling of Suhûr

The scholars are in agreement that is it recommended to eat suhûr. (Imâm Muhammad Al-Mundhir, Al-Ijmâ’ 124)

The majority of the scholars hold that eating Suhûr is a recommendation. (Shaykh Muhammad Al-Uthaymîn, Sharh Umdatul-Ahkâm 3)


The virtues of Sahûr

1) A blessing within Sahûr

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ تَسَحَّرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي السُّحُورِ بَرَكَةً ‏”‏

Anas (Allâh be pleased with him) reported Allâhs Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Take Sahûr, for within Sahûr there is a blessing. (Sahîh Muslim 1095)

2) The blessed morning meal

عَنِ الْعِرْبَاضِ بْنِ سَارِيَةَ، قَالَ دَعَانِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى السَّحُورِ فِي رَمَضَانَ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ هَلُمَّ إِلَى الْغَدَاءِ الْمُبَارَكِ ‏”‏

Narrated by Al-Irbâd ibn Sâriyyah: The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) invited me to a meal shortly before dawn in Ramadân saying: Come to the blessed morning meal. (Abû Dawûd 2344. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)

3) The command (of recommendation) by the prophet

عَنِ الْمِقْدَامِ بْنِ مَعْدِيكَرِبَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ عَلَيْكُمْ بِغَدَاءِ السُّحُورِ فَإِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَدَاءُ الْمُبَارَكُ ‏”‏ ‏

Narrated from Al-Miqdâm ibn Ma’dikarib that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:”You should take Sahûr for it is the blessed breakfast.” (An-Nasâ’i 2166. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)

4) It differs from the People of the Book

عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّ فَصْلَ مَا بَيْنَ صِيَامِنَا وَصِيَامِ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أَكْلَةُ السَّحَرِ ‏”

Narrated by ‘Amr ibn al-‘Âs:The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) as saying: The difference between our fasting and that of the people of the Book is eating Suhûr. (Abû Dawûd 2343. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)

5) Do not abandon it even if you only take a sip of water


عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ السُّحُورُ أَكْلَةٌ بَرَكَةٌ فَلَا تَدَعُوهُ وَلَوْ أَنْ يَجْرَعَ أَحَدُكُمْ جَرْعَةً مِنْ مَاءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى الْمُتَسَحِّرِينَ

Abû Sa’îd al-Khudrî reported: The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) said, “The Suhûr is a blessed meal, so do not abandon it even if you take only a sip of water. Verily, Allâh and his angels send blessings upon those who take the Suhûr” (Musnad Imâm Ahmad 11101. Declared Hasan by Al-Albânî & Sahîh by Shu’ayb Al-Arnaût)


What to eat for Sahûr

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ نِعْمَ سَحُورُ الْمُؤْمِنِ التَّمْرُ ‏”‏

Narrated by Abû Hurairah:The Prophet (ﷺ) as saying: The best Sahûr for the believer is dates. (Abû Dawûd 2345. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


The time of Sahûr

The True Fajr: The light of dawn spreading across the horizon.

﴿وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ الصِّيَامَ إِلَى الَّيْلِ﴾

And eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your fast till the nightfall (Sûrah Al-Baqarah 2:187)

Ibn Kathîr said: Allâh has allowed eating and drinking, along with having sexual intercourse, as we have stated, during any part of the night until the light of dawn is distinguished from the darkness of the night. Allâh has described that time as ‘distinguishing the white thread from the black thread.’ (Tafsir Ibn Kathîr 2:187)

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّ بِلاَلاً، كَانَ يُؤَذِّنُ بِلَيْلٍ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يُؤَذِّنَ ابْنُ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ، فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يُؤَذِّنُ حَتَّى يَطْلُعَ الْفَجْرُ ‏”‏‏

Narrated by ‘Âishah: Bilâl used to pronounce the Adhân at night, so Allâhs Messenger (ﷺ)? said, “Carry on taking your meals (eat and drink) till Ibn Um Maktûm pronounces the Adhân, for he does not pronounce it till it is Fajr (dawn). (Sahîh Bukhârî 1918)

Q1: What is meant by Al-Fajr-ul-Kâdhib (false dawn) and Al-Fajr-ul-Sâdiq (true dawn)? According to which one of them do we offer Salâh (Prayer)? How can we calculate the time of Al-Fajr-ul-Sâdiq?

A: Al-Fajr-ul-Kâdhib appears as a rectangle in the sky from the top to the bottom of the horizon, while Al-Fajr-ul-Sâdiq appears in the sky spreading along the horizon. The time for offering the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer starts with the appearance of Al-Fajr-ul-Sâdiq.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ : Member – Deputy Chairman – Chairman
Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan – Abdul-Razzaq Afify – Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz (Alifta.gov.sa)


The interval between Sahûr and the Fajr prayer

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ تَسَحَّرْنَا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَامَ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ‏.‏ قُلْتُ كَمْ كَانَ بَيْنَ الأَذَانِ وَالسَّحُورِ قَالَ قَدْرُ خَمْسِينَ آيَةً

Anas narrated: Zaid bin Thâbit said, “We took the Sahûr with the Prophet (ﷺ) . Then he stood for the prayer.” I asked, “What was the interval between the Sahûr and the Adhân?” He replied, “The interval was sufficient to recite fifty verses of the Qur’ân.” (Sahîh Bukhârî 1921)

عَنْ عَدِيٍّ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ زِرَّ بْنَ حُبَيْشٍ، قَالَ تَسَحَّرْتُ مَعَ حُذَيْفَةَ ثُمَّ خَرَجْنَا إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ فَلَمَّا أَتَيْنَا الْمَسْجِدَ صَلَّيْنَا رَكْعَتَيْنِ وَأُقِيمَتِ الصَّلاَةُ وَلَيْسَ بَيْنَهُمَا إِلاَّ هُنَيْهَةٌ

Zirr bin Hubaish said:”I had Sahûr with Hudhaifah, then we went out to pray. When we came to the Masjid we prayed two Rakahs, then the Iqâmah for prayer was said, and there was only a short time between them.” (An Nasâ’i 2153. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)


Delaying Sahûr

عَنْ أَبِي عَطِيَّةَ، قَالَ قُلْتُ لِعَائِشَةَ فِينَا رَجُلاَنِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَحَدُهُمَا يُعَجِّلُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُؤَخِّرُ السُّحُورَ وَالآخَرُ يُؤَخِّرُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُعَجِّلُ السُّحُورَ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ أَيُّهُمَا الَّذِي يُعَجِّلُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُؤَخِّرُ السُّحُورَ قُلْتُ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ هَكَذَا كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصْنَعُ

Abû ‘Atiyyah narrated: “I said to ‘Âishah: ‘Among us there are two of the Companions of the Prophet, one of whom hastens Iftâr and delays Sahûr, and the other delays Iftâr and hastens Sahûr.’ She said: ‘Which of them is the one who hastens Iftâr and delays Sahûr?’ I said: “Abdullâh ibn Masûd.’ She said: ‘That is what the Messenger of Allâh used to do.”‘ (An-Nasâ’i 2158. Declared Sahîh by Al-Albânî)

Published by أبو زكريا عيسى الألباني

BSc (Hons) Microbiology | Qur'ān | Sunnah |

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