By Ishola Balogun
The Prophet (s.a.w) was reported by Anas to have said: “eat something for sahur even if it is a date. For there is in it barakah.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Isn’t it great that Allah is rewarding us for eating?
The kindness of Allah cannot be overemphasised when one ponders on the blessings in the act of eating sahur during Ramadan. For Almighty Allah (SWT), it is not enough blessings that HE provides us with food on our table, but HE further blesses anyone who wakes up in the first rays of dawn to eat the same food to commence fasting. This meal is given a distinctive name- sahur, which is derived from the word sahar that denotes the part of night before dawn.
The prophet taught his companions and by extension, every Muslims that they should begin their fasting by taking something. It does not necessarily have to be heavy meal, in fact, overeating negates the spirit of fasting. It is advised to wake in the pre-dawn period to appropriately kick-start fasting by eating sahur among other things. Eat moderately even as you remember those who could not afford a meal for that purpose.
If you have more than what you eat moderately, give another who is seeking for anything for sahur. You can go the extra mile by asking the closest Muslim around you.
Some people have asked whether there is need to wake up for sahur if one has nothing to eat. What is however appropriate is to wake up, carry out other activities of the Ramadan night and when it is time for sahur, get some water to drink. In it, there is barakah.
It should be noted that there is no sin in not waking up for sahur if it was done inadvertently. Again, the inability to take sahur does not vitiate fast.
Another common argument now is the appropriate time for sahur. Dear brothers and sisters, sahur is not breakfast and should not be treated in like manners. While breakfast is the dawn meal, sahur is pre-dawn meal.
Much as we know that the night is free for eating and drinking, Allah has described the time for the end of sahur as indicated in Quran 2 vs. 187 “…eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread.” The prophet also said; “Eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktum makes his call to prayer. He does not make it until the break of dawn.” (Al-Bukhari) Ibn Umm Maktum was famous with the last call to prayer before Subhi. We could discern from the above injunctions that in this part of the world, the break of dawn starts some minutes past five. Be that as it may, ulamas have advised that sahur should be taken in this part of the globe between 4:45 and 5:05am. Next time you are eating sahur, be rightly guided.