Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”
Sahoor is the Arabic word meaning predawn meal. Sahoor is one of the most important meals in the blessed month of Ramadan because it is what fuels your body in order to last 12 hrs till sunset without eating. Now some may be lazy to wake up before Fajr prayer to eat. However Sahoor not only makes fasting easier but it comes with immense blessings. Our Prophet (sallallahu alai wa salam) said,
“Eat Suhoor; Indeed, there is a blessing in Suhoor.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Some of these blessings are the following:
- It prevents fatigue and headaches during the daytime.
- It reduces extreme hunger and thirst.
- 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.
One should also delay sahoor as close to fajr prayer as possible so they don’t grow hungry before fasting time.
Prophet Muhammad salallah wa alai wa salam advised ‘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).”
You don’t have to eat a full meal at sahoor; it could be as little as a cup of water.
Abu Hurayrah, reported that the Prophet salallah wa alai wa salam said:
“The best Suhoor is (to eat) dates.”
If one cannot find dates, then water would be sufficient for one to attain the blessing promised by the Prophet salallah wa alai wa salam.
One should choose wisely when picking what foods to eat at Sahoor because some foods get digested much more quickly than others thus leaving you weak and hungry again. However other foods that is high in nutrients will give you energy and keep you full.
Things you should eat and things you should avoid:
- Dates- Best fruit you could eat for Sahoor, says our beloved Prophet Muhammad sal Allah wa ala wa salam. Packed with sugar, fiber, and nutrients.
- Complex carbohydrates Oats, wheat, lentils, grains and other complex carbohydrates are slow-releasing and can help give you the feeling of fullness for the greater part of the day.
- Bananas and other fruit-rich in fiber and good carbohydrates are also recommended. Bananas are also a good source of potassium and other essential nutrients.
- Water-Make sure you drink plenty of water after Iftar and at Suhoor to make sure you are hydrated during the fasting hours.
- High-fiber foods Fiber-rich foods also digest slowly and include cereals, figs, bran, whole wheat, grains, seeds, potatoes, vegetables and almost all fruit (especially apricots and prunes). …mmm I’m getting hungry!
- Avoid fried foods- Deep fried and fatty foods are sure to make you feel lethargic and bloated during the day, so it is better to swap them for baked goods. Yes!
- Avoid caffeine- As caffeine is a diuretic that stimulates faster water loss, leading to dehydration, it is best to avoid caffeine-based drinks such as strong tea, coffee and colas. Sorry Guys!
- Protein-rich foods High protein foods like eggs, yogurt or meat are also recommended as they can help keep you going all day.
- Avoid sweets- Avoid heavily processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour), as well as fatty food like cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets. I said it…No Chocolate!
It takes the body 7-9 hours to digest these types of foods, and thus one’s hunger would be delayed. Also, these types 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.
*Just as a last note to those who may say, “I thought fasting was to feel the hunger!” Well if you think about it, even if you ate everything I just advised you to, you will still be hungry, because you consumed energy throughout your day. So if you do not eat wisely you will not be able to do your daily activities. This is merely just to help you obey Allah in your duty to him as well as continue your day to day activities. If you don’t eat well then fasting becomes too difficult and now you may have an excuse to not fast!
Follow this and insha Allah God willing Ramadan will be not too easy nor too hard, but a blessing from up above. Ramadan Mubarak !