Sehri is derived from the word Suhur which is an Arabic word. Suhur means to eat the meal early in the morning. Muslims do Sehri early in the morning before fasting in Daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. There are many Hadiths in which rewards and virtues of Sehri are explained.
Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) is reported to have said: “Verily, Allah and His Malaikah send mercy upon those who eat Suhur”.
Sehri is the differentiating factor between the fast we keep and the fast of Christian/jews.
Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) also said: ‘The difference between our fasting and that of the Ahlul-Kitaab (Jews and Christians) lies in our partaking of food at “Sehri” which they do not.”
Sehri brings prosperity and in this Hadith Prophet Muhammad SAWW has clearly mentioned the differentiating factor of christian’s fast and Muslim’s fast which is Sehri.
Sehri is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and by doing Sehri we are following his Sunnah. Through Sehri, we are opposing the ways of Ahl-e- Kitab. Sehri is not just about eating food so that you can fast for the whole day, but it provides strength to the body. It is not an easy task to wake up in the mid of the night and eat the food. This is the only time when the prayers are accepted. It is the best time to remember Allah and offer your prayers.
People must keep away their focus from eating food and focus on the rewards of Sehri. Yes, it is important to take healthy meal in Sehri and avoid oily and heavy food so that you cannot get any trouble in your prayers. But the real purpose of Sehri must always be in your mind that it is not just about eating food, but it is about gaining rewards from Almighty ALLAH.
There is a bad practice observed by some people who keep on eating food in Sehri till Azaan is going on; this is totally a wrong practice.
Now look what Quran says about it.
… and eat and drink until the white thread(light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), …} [Al-Quran, 2: 187]
Try to finish your meal 10 minutes before Azaan.
Sehri is Sunnah of our Holy Prophet (SAWW) so we should follow it the right way. One must understand the real meaning of Sehri and try to offer his/her prayers at that time as much as he/she can because that is the best time of acceptance of prayers. It is obligatory for the fasting person to refrain from things which breaks the fast from Dawn until the sunset.
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