importance of sehri (Sahri); Benefits of fasting in islam

The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] would eat Sehri:

In Ramadhaan the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] would eat Sehri and would declare it a blessed meal.

Syeduna Anas narrates:

“The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] ordered me to bring him some food at the time of sehri so I brought dates and water. He then ordered “See if there is anyone who will eat with me.” I called Zaid bin Thaabit who pleaded ‘Yaa Rasoolallah, I have already eaten and made the intention to fast.” The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] replied “We too are going to fast” so he joined the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] in sharing the Sahri.”

(Nisai)

It is narrated from Zaid bin Haarith [radi allah anho]:

“We would eat Sehri with the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam].”

Syeduna Aisha [radi allah anha] narrates that at Sehri the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] would say:

“Bring us the blessed meal.”

(Nisai)

A companion narrates:

“I went to the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] at the time of Sehri, when I entered the Prophet’s room he was eating Sahri and said;

“It is but a blessing that Allah has bestowed upon you so do not lose it.”

(Nisai)

It is narrated by Arbaadh bin Saariya [radi allah anho]:

“The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] invited me to Sehri in Ramadhaan by saying:

“Come! Join in the blessed meal.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

The Prophet described Sehri as a blessed meal:

The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] described the Sehri as the morning’s blessed meal, as mentioned in the above narrations.

Syeduna Ma’aadi Karb [radi allah anho] narrates:

“When ordering us to eat Sahri the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said

“Verily it is the blessed morning meal.”

Arbaadh bin Saariya [radi allah anho] narrates:

“The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] invited me to join him in Sehri by saying “Come and join in the blessed meal.”

(Nisai)

He would perform Sahri with Dates:

Like Iftaar the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] performed Sahri with dates, but with not too many, often it was just two dates and water. Syeduna Aisha [radi allah anha] describes the Prophet’s Sahri:

“Often it was not more than two dates.”

(Ma’a Rasool fi Ramadhaan)

Syeduna Anas [radi allah anho] narrates:

“The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] ordered me to prepare Sahri because he intended to fast so I brought dates and a pan filled with water.”

(Nisai)

The Prophet declared Dates as the Best Sehri:

The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] described eating dates at Sahri as the best Sahri. Syeduna Abu Hurayra [radi allah anho] narrates that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“The best Sahri of the believer is dates.”

(Abu Dawud)

Imam Tibraani narrates from Syeduna Saaib bin Yazeed and Syeduna Uqba bin Aamir [radi allah anhoma] that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

The best Sehri is dates.”

(Al Mo’jam ul Kabeer)

Can Sahri be performed with any food?

The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] has not specified anything for the Ummah’s Sehri. Syeduna Jaabir [radi allah anho] narrates that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“Whoever intends to fast should perform Sahri with something.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

Syeduna Ali [radi allah anho] narrates that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“Perform Sehri, even if it is one sip of water.”

(Al Kaamil of Ibn Adi)

sehri

The difference between Muslims and the People of the Book:

The Sehri has been declared the difference between the fasts of the Muslims and the fasts of the Ahl ul Kitaab (People of the Book). Syeduna Umar bin Aas [radi allah anho] narrates that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“The difference between our fasts and the fasts of the people of the Book is the eating of Sahri.”

(Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud)

The Prophet taught the Ummah to partake in Sehri:

To avoid difficulties the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] taught his Ummah to eat Sehri in Ramadhaan. Syeduna Anas [radi allah anho] narrates that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“Perform Sahri for verily there is barakah (blessing) in Sahri.”

(Muslim, book of Siyaam)

Syeduna Abu Saeed [radi allah anho] narrates that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“All of the Sehri is barakah, so do not miss it.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

Allah’s mercy is upon those who perform Sehri:

The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“Perform Sahri, even if one sip of water for surely Allah and His angels send mercy upon those who perform Sahri.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

He would supplicate for blessings in Sahri:

The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] supplicated for barakah in his Ummah’s Sahri. Imam Dar ul Qutni in ‘Al Ifraad’ quotes the following dua of the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] narrated by Syeduna Abu Amaama [radi allah anho]:

“O Allah, bless my Ummah in their Sahri.”

After this he ordered the eating of Sahri, even if it was just one sip of water or one date because the angels supplicate for those who perform Sahri.

(At’haaf Ahl ul Islaam)

The Prophet would make dua for those performing Sehri:

Along with supplicating for blessing in the Sehri itself he also supplicated for those people who perform Sahri. Imam Tibraani narrates the following dua of the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] from Syeduna Abu Saeed [radi allah anho]:

“Oh Allah, send blessings on those who perform Sehri.”

(Athaaf Ahl ul Islaam)

He would describe the wisdoms and benefits of fasting:

  •  The Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] described the benefits of fasting as a wholly blessed meal. What meal could be more blessed than the one which helps and aids obedience to Allah!
  •  He described it, as stated above, as contrary to the practice of the People of the Book.
  •  It assists the fasting person. Abdullah Ibn Abbaas [radi allah anho] narrates that the Prophet [sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam] said:
  • “Seek the help of the Sahri in your day’s fast and seek the help of the Siesta in your night Qiyaam.”

(Ibn Majah, Al Mustadrik)

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