THE VIRTUES, BLESSING AND BENEFITS OF PARTAKING IN SEHRI
Amongst the most significant virtues and most praiseworthy blessings of Sehri is that Sehri/Suhoor is Masnoon/Sunnah for the fasting person. It rejuvenates and energizes a person for the fast which will soon commence upon the termination of the Sehri time which is at Subh Saadiq. Sehri serves and plays a great role in creating the enthusiasm and determination for one to observe the day’s fast.
Sehri assists one in fasting for the day as Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Seek aid with the food of Sehri for the fast of the day, and with qailulah for the Salaat of the night (Tahajjud).” It is not merely getting up or waking up for Sehri, but one should partake of something even if it is lightly such as a glass of water or a few dates. However, those who are aware that their day would be long and a bit tough should eat more in order to gain strength for the fasting day, which is ahead. (Qailulah is a short mid-day nap).
In addition to it being a noble act of following the Sunnah, Sehri is an act in which we would be opposing the way of the Christians and Jews. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Verily, the difference between our Saum and the fasting of the Ahle-Kitaab (Christians and Jews) is the partaking of the Sehri meal.”
The Sehri should be delayed to its latest – but not to the extent where one would be eating after the time of Sehri has elapsed. The time when Sehri ends, is a crucial time, which demands that all eating and drinking stop well before its expiry time such as terminating one’s meal approximately five minutes before the actual time when Sehri ends. One has to be very sure and extra careful in this regard. Thus, it is also a Sunnah to have Sehri a few minutes prior to the ‘five minutes’ which precede Subh Saadiq. It should not be after Esha. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Three things are from the Sunan/Akhlaaq of the Mursaleen (The Prophets/Ambiyaa that were sent to Mankind by Allah):
- Delaying of Sehri
- Not to delay the Iftaar (but to make haste in Iftaar)
- Placing the right hand over the left hand below the navel in Salaah.”
It would be very sad if we intentionally and neglectfully abandon such a meritorious Sunnah act. Deliberate abstention from Sehri is sinful. It is not permissible to abandon a Sunnah act without valid reason. Whilst we are not saying that people should have seven course meals at Sehri time, a light meal will suffice at Sehri.
Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Partake of Sehri, for verily, there is Barakah in Suhoor/Sahoor (the partaking of Sehri).”
In this Hadith, many benefits of Sehri are mentioned:
- Following the Sunnah. Sehri is in conformity to the Sunnah.
- One opposes the ways of the Kuffaar by participating in Sehri.
- By observing Sehri, one obtains the blessing/barkat of ease. It assists a person in his fast.
- One will not be questioned about Sehri as mentioned in a Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu that Hisaab (reckoning) will not be demanded on three acts: the food of Sehri, The food of Iftaar, and the food eaten with a guest.
- One gains strength for the A’maal of the day as well as for the fasting.
- A Hungry man is an angry man. By eating Sehri, the hunger is removed. And this in turn repels anger which is sometimes associated with hunger.
- If anyone else joins you in Sehri, it will be a means of Sadaqah.
- The time for Sehri is a very auspicious time. It is a time when Duas are accepted.
- It enables one to perform Tahajjud Salaah.
- It makes it easy for a person to perform his Fajr Salaah with Jamaat.
- It reminds one of making the Niyyat of fasting if one had not as yet made a Niyyat for the fasting.
The benefits and virtues of Tahajjud are plenty. An entire book could be compiled on the virtues and rewards of Tahajjud. Tahajjud is that Salaah which Allah Ta’ala loves as mentioned in the Ahaadeeth. In a Hadith-e-Qudsi, Allah Ta’ala said: “I am pleased with one who rises in the night and supplicates to Me (i.e. makes dua). He has abandoned his wife and the warmth of his bed for My sake.” Missing Tahajjud during the month of Ramadaan is a great misfortune.
The following incident indicates the importance of Tahajjud:
Abdullah Bin Ghaalib (rahmatullah alayh) was martyred in Jihad. After he was buried, a wondrous fragrance of musk spread out in all directions from his grave. Every friend who saw him in a dream enquired: “Where is your abode?” He replied: ‘In Jannat.’ They then asked: ‘What is the cause of the wonderful fragrance from your grave?’ He answered: “It is the fragrance of the Qur’aan and Tahajjud.”
Tahajjud has a special Noor. Someone asked Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh): “What is the speciality of the people of Tahajjud? Their faces are more radiant than the faces of others.” Hadhrat Hasan (rahmatullah alayh) said: “They adopt solitude with Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala therefore cloaks them with the garment of Noor.”
Hadhrat Shaqeeq Balkhi (rahmatullah alayh) said that he had discovered five things in five things:
- The Barkat of Rizq in Chaasht (Dhuha) Salaat.
- Light for the Qabr in Tahajjud Salaat.
- Answers for the questions of Munkar and Nakeer in the Qur’aan.
- Crossing the Siraat (in Qiyaamah) with ease in Saum and Sadqah.
- The Shade of the Arsh in solitude.
Whilst according to the Shaafi’ and Hambali Math-habs, Tahajjud Salaat in Jamaat is permissible. According to the Hanafi Math-hab, it is not permissible. Hanafis should not perform Nafl Salaat with Jamaat. One should also abstain from the Shabeenah custom which has reached Bid’ah proportions. May Allah Ta’ala grant us Tawfeeq to wake up for Sehri, perform Tahajjud and may He accept all our Duas. Ameen.