Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Thirty Lessons Of Ramadan: Seventh Lesson On Sehri [Pre-Dawn Meal] Part 7

By Mufti Abdul Malik Misbahi, New Age Islam Translated into English by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam Lesson 7 on Sehri No matter how frequently we express our gratitude to our Lord, it is nothing in comparison to the mercy He has granted us. Ramadan is a month filled with many blessings and values for us. He gave us the glad tidings of reward for eating Sehri and commanded us to fast in His service. What else is there if not blessings atop blessings? [Translator’s Note: When fasting (Sawm) is required, Muslims typically have a meal before the true dawn, whether it is during or outside the Islamic month of Ramadan. This meal is referred to as Sahur, Suhur, or Suhoor as well as Sahari, Sahri, or Sehri, which literally means “pre-dawn meal” or “pre-fasting meal”.] It is recorded in a noble hadith: Eat Sehri because there is a great deal of blessing in it. (Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi) The Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: The distinction between our fasting and that of the People of the Book is that we consume food at “Sehri,” but they do not.” (Muslim and Abu Dawud) It is also related that the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The major blessings are in three things: in Jama’ah (company), in eating Thareed, and in Sehri.” (Tabrani) [Note: Because the word “Jama’ah” is used in this Hadith in a comprehensive sense, we can infer that it refers to “Salaat” with “Jama’ah” as well as all the good works carried out in groups because doing so attracts the assistance of Allah. A delicious dish called “hareed” is made by cooking meat and baked bread together. The third thing mentioned in this Hadith is “Sehri”.] The beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) further said, “Eat Sehri and fortify yourself for the fast, and sleep in the afternoon (Qailula), to let you wake up in the later hours of the night (for “Ibaadah”).” (Ibn Majah, Bayhaqi) The Beginning Of Sehri Sehri was not initially a notion in Islam. A person on a fast could only take food and liquids after sunset until he fell asleep. He was no longer allowed to consume anything to eat or drink after he dozed off. Yet, Allah, the Almighty, fashioned a circumstance in order to make a concession [Rukhsah] in this case for the benefit of His servants. The following has been stated in the books of hadiths and interpretations: Hazrat Sarma bin Qays (may God be pleased with him) was a hardworking farmer. He once worked all day in his field while fasting, then came home in the evening, asked his wife for food, and went to bed by himself. When she brought him dinner, he was asleep. He refused to eat when he was awakened for eating food because it was prohibited to eat or drink after sleeping and waking up in those days. The next day he fasted. As a result, he lost strength and eventually fainted during the day. In response to his suffering, the divine command was revealed: “…And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the night [i.e., sunset].” [2:187] Taking Dates And Water In Sehri Is Sunnah Hazrat Anas bin Malik says that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say to me at the time of Sehri, “I intend to fast; therefore feed me something”, I would offer him some dates and a pot of water.” (Mishkat, Kitab al-Sawm) When Does The Time Of Sehri Start? According to the renowned Arabic lexicon “Qamoos,” the word “Sehr” refers to meals consumed in the early morning. According to Hazrat Allama Ali bin Sultan Muhammad, also known as Mulla Ali Qari, some experts contend that the time of Sehri starts from the middle of the night [until the start of the true dawn]. (Mirqat Al-Mafaatih, Sharh Mishkat al-Masaabih, vol. 4, p. 477) It is preferable to delay eating Sehri. As it is narrated in the revered Hadith on the authority of Hazrat Sayyiduna Ya’la bin Murrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Three actions are cherished by Allah, the Exalted: (1) breaking the fast early; (2) Delaying Sehri; and (3) Placing hands together during Salah (while standing).” (Al-Targheeb wa Al-Tarhib, Vol. 2: p. 91, Hadith 4) What Time Does “Delay” Signify In Sehri? Delaying Sehri is Mustahabb, hence doing so will yield greater rewards. Yet, it shouldn’t be delayed so much to cause doubts about the true dawn. Now the question of how long a “delay” actually now arises in the mind. Hazrat Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan says in his “Tafseer Naimi” that it alludes to the sixth part of the night. Consequently, the question is, how can you figure out the sixth part of the night? Here is the response. The period of time between sunset and dawn is referred to as night. Take one day, for instance, when the sun set at seven in the evening and dawn broke at four. Thus, the nine-hour interval from sunset to dawn is called night. Now divide these nine hours of the night into six equal parts. The total running time is 1.5 hours for each part. As such, it will be regarded as a “delay” in Sehri if the pre-dawn meal (Sehri) is taken before dawn during the last hour and a half of the night (i.e. between 2:30 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.). The time for Iftar and Sehri typically varies every day. The sixth part of the night may always be determined using the stated method. If you took Sehri earlier at night and even made your intention to fast, you are still permitted to eat anything you like for the remainder of the night. You won’t need to make a new intention (niyyah) after that. (Continued) ------ Mufti Abdul Malik Misbahi is the author of multiple books. He has also lectured and held positions such as Mufti, Shaykhul Hadith, president, founder, and director at a number of institutions, including Dar Uloom Ghousia in Hubli, Karnataka, and Darul Uoom Solemaniya Rahmaniya in Bikaner Darul Uloom Reza-e-Mustafa, Bihar, Madrasa Shah Khalid, Vanwa Libo Muslim League, Fiji (near Australia), Madina Educational Society, Rajasthan. He currently holds the positions of Mufti in the Sunni Darul Ifta in the Madina Masjid, General Secretary of the Raza Foundation, Director of the Darain Academy, Founder of the Afkar-e- Raza Institution, and Chief Editor of the Do-Maahi Raza-e-Madina (Urdu, Hindi) in Azadnagar, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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