What, not even water?! YES, not even water!! Is probably the most asked question by non Muslims, then, What is Suhoor/Sehri? –
It is the pre-dawn meal that Muslims eat before they begin a day of fasting. It is a vital part of the fast. We eat a well balanced meal at Suhoor in order to remain in good health for the rest of the day during the fast. Eat in moderation, you’re not eating to simply over indulge, this defeats the purpose of fasting for Ramadan, it is to replenish the body & gear you up for the fasting day ahead. Many people skip Suhoor however, this is not favoured by Allah (SWT) because those who skip Suhoor find it difficult to complete their fast and end up cranky, have headaches, or even break the fast.
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1. Begin With Remembrance of Allah
Start with refreshing yourself, making wudu & performing the the tahajjud prayer. This is one of the easiest ways to start your day early, giving you enough time to wake up and remain alert.
2. The Only Date You’ll Have In Ramadan
Start your suhoor with DATES! Not only are they extremely good for you, they slowly release energy, allowing you to retain your strength throughout the day. Our Prophet (SAWS) said: ”How excellent are dates as the believer’s suhoor” [Abu Dawood, Ibn Hibban and al-Baihaqee; Sahih].
3. Include Whole-Wheats in Your Meal
Weetabix is your friend!! If you’re not familiar with this breakfast cereal, you really need to find some! You can have it with warm milk & honey, cold milk & a dash of brown sugar/golden syrup or even with fresh Greek yogurt & fresh fruit. Porridge Oats/Oatmeal are also brilliant & one of the easiest foods to cook. These both have numerous health benefits. They release the right amount of calories at a slow rate, giving you energy throughout the day. There are many ways to prepare oats/porridge for your Suhoor,overnight oats, hot with banana & honey, but my favourite is making a Parfait, which contains both Weetabix & Porridge, you can add anything you like, but I especially like to have both of these while fasting because they have slow releasing high energy goodness! See how to make it here – Parfait
4. AVOID Fried Foods!
Who doesn’t love a fried goody or three? 😂 but they take a longer time to digest, can cause Heartburn, leave you feeling sluggish & They fill your stomach quickly, preventing you from eating further and so it is better to avoid as best you can.
5. Utilse the 3 Ashra (10 Days) of Ramadan
Ashra means ten in Arabic. Ramadan has three parts and each part is of ten days, making it a month of three Ashras. Use these mornings to start your Duaa off to set you for the day –
- First Ashra – (First ten days of Ramadan) – Days of Mercy – Duaa – O! My Lord forgive and have Mercy and You are the Best of Merciful
- Second Ashra – (Second ten days) – Days of Forgiveness – Duaa – I seek forgiveness from Allah, my Lord, from every sin I committed
- Third Ashra – (Last ten days) – Days to seek refuge from HellFire – Duaa – O Allah! Save me from the HellFire.
6. Stay Active
You’ve probably heard of the Intermittent fasting “fad” where people trying to loose weight will fast with only water, this has a good effect, but we aren’t fasting for weight loss or fitness, more a fitness for the soul, having said that, you can still keep active & go for a brisk walk before iftar. Or, once you’ve had iftar, you can go for the more strenuous exercise such as football or basketball, as long as you’ve already restored water and glucose levels. weight training should be done after fasting, preferably just before suhoor. So you can train, eat & begin fasting.
7. Water, Water, Water!
Avoid tea or coffee. These beverages are not preferred whilst fasting. They dehydrate the body and release toxins which in turn need to be flushed with water, and are therefore not advisable while fasting. So, drink water/juices or milk instead, try milk with Honey!
The Prophet, (SAWS) said: “Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Quran is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Quran and honey.”
8. Plan Suhoor/Sehri Meals
Always remember to plan your meal in advance. This way, you will be prepared and know what exactly you have to cook early in the morning if you’re cooking. Eating right will maintain a positive attitude throughout the day. Check how to plan your meals –Meal Planning The Ramadan Series
So there are some quick steps to keep you motivated, alert & determined & healthy. If you fast, or are trying fasting for the first time, what kind of morning routine do you have? what kinds of things motivate you while fasting? Let me know in the comments below & don’t forget to share!!