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Until what time can one eat for 'sahoor' (or sehri)


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September 12, 2016, 03:17:09 am N. Truth Seeker: Wa salam sisters. So kind of u to remember. Alhumdulilah that Allah gave us another chance to live thru the blessed month of Zil Hajj.  Was a busy time for all of my family.
September 11, 2016, 08:26:43 am Zeynab: Wa'salaam my dear Sis Heba Smiley  Yes, Alhumdulilah, the 10 days of this blessed month went well by the Grace & Mercy of Allah. I wish the same for all.
September 11, 2016, 02:20:02 am Heba E. Husseyn: Salam my dear MV team and other sis and bros.  I pray the first 10 days of the bless month of Zil Hajj has passed well for all.  Hajj culminates in about 2 days. InshAllah.
August 22, 2016, 09:50:39 pm Zeynab: Wa'salam.  Thanks brother Smiley  Sis Heba helped me a lot too.
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June 11, 2016, 06:35:43 am Zeynab: u r absolutely right sis Ruhi.
June 11, 2016, 06:32:29 am Ruhi_Rose: I came across a pinterest page on the Quran which says "The Quran is the central religious text of Islam."  Let me put it this way: Quran is the ONLYText of Islam. If u r following the Quran, u don't need anything else.
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Author Topic: Until what time can one eat for 'sahoor' (or sehri)  (Read 26992 times)
Ruhi_Rose
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« on: September 21, 2007, 05:40:19 pm »

 BismEm


 salamem  everyone.  Hope you're all fine  Smiley

There seems to be some confusion, if not contradiction, concerning the timing of sahoor (sehri) - the term given to the early morning breakfast during Ramadan.  In the lectures of our so-called "scholars," some say one must stop eating 30 minutes before the timing of Fajr prayer, some say 20 minutes before it, some say at least 10 to 15 minutes before and so on.  I was under the impression that one can eat till Fajr time exact.  In fact that's what my family and I do.  The Noble Quran also says the same that one can eat till the 'white thread' of dawn is visible.   It's so simple and clear.  So why this confusion even for the sahoor timing?
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 06:50:25 pm »

BismEm


 salamem  everyone.  Hope you're all fine  Smiley

There seems to be some confusion, if not contradiction, concerning the timing of sahoor (sehri) - the term given to the early morning breakfast during Ramadan.  In the lectures of our so-called "scholars," some say one must stop eating 30 minutes before the timing of Fajr prayer, some say 20 minutes before it, some say at least 10 to 15 minutes before and so on.  I was under the impression that one can eat till Fajr time exact.  In fact that's what my family and I do.  The Noble Quran also says the same that one can eat till the 'white thread' of dawn is visible.   It's so simple and clear.  So why this confusion even for the sahoor timing?


Walaikum salaam dear Ruhi.  Alhamdulilah I'm fine, I pray the same for you. 

Concerning your query, you and your family are right.  You can easily eat until Fajr time.  In reality, if you concentrate on the words of the Glorious Quran, it says (as you've rightly quoted) that one can eat till the white light of the morning is visible.  This white light or white thread of dawn means the first glimmer of the early morning light.  Thus, if we follow the Quran meticulously (which we should), in that case  sahoor should be beyond the Fajr time that's observed today.  Nowadays, in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries, the azan for the Fajr prayer or the Fajr prayer timing is observed at least 30 minutes before this white thread of morning is visible.  At that time it's absolutely dark.  On a clear night, even the stars are visible in sky during the Fajr time marked in my prayer calendar.  Sunrise takes places approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes after the timing marked for the Fajr prayer.   The Fajr azan (call for dawn prayers) takes place at least 1 hour before the first appearance of dim light in the morning.  So, even if we stop eating at the Fajr time as marked in the calendar or at the time when the Fajr azan sounds, we would still be finishing sahoor well before the required time as stated in the Quran. 

Similarly, we also offer our Fajr prayers before the required time as specified in the Quran.  The Quran refers to the Fajr time as dawn.  The term 'dawn' according to the dictionary means the first slight appearance of light. 

For example, tomorrow, September 22nd 2007 - the Fajr time in the prayer calendar is 5.45 morning and sunrise is at 7.04.  So, just look at the difference.  At 5.45 it's pitch dark, almost night.  If you look out of the window, you'll see it as night not dawn.  The first slight light of morning will start appearing by 6.15 at the earliest.  It will then keep getting a little brighter and brighter and finally the first rays of the sun will be seen about 10 minutes before 7.  Thus, dawn or Fajr in the true sense of the term as mentioned in the Quran, should be from 6.15 a.m. approximately.

However, even in keeping with the system introduced by the clergy, sahoor an easily be taken till Fajr time.  All this nonsense about finishing sahoor 30 minutes or 20 minutes before Fajr comes from Hadith.  I have read a few Hadiths that say things to this affect.  That's where they borrowed the idea from.  So, just ignore it and eat till Fajr .. and according to the Quraan, it's even longer. 

The following verse of the Quran clearly indicates the appearance of dawn, which is referred to as the "setting time of the stars."


" .. and hymn the praise of thy Lord when thou uprisest,
And in the night-time also hymn His praise, and at the setting of the stars."
(52:48-49) At-Tur


In verse 49, "night-time" refers to either Isha or Tahajjud, and "at the setting of the stars" refers to Fajr.  Thus it is clearly stated that Fajr time takes place when the stars begin to set which is later followed by the ray of sunlight (morning). 
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 03:36:05 am »

As-Salam Alaikum folks!  Hope fasting is going well for all, InshAllah. 

We know that hours of fasting in summer are long.  But it wouldn't be that hard at all if it wasn't for our jurists who love to make matters much harder. 

Speaking on sahoor timings, June 8th 2016, our third fast in the month of Ramadan 2016.  Fajr marked on prayer calendar is 3.45 a.m.  Sunrise is at 5.36 a.m.  According to these timings, the gap between Fajr (dawn) and sunrise is 1 hour and 50 minutes approximately. 

I peeped out of the window at about 4.40 a.m. (or maybe 4.45 a.m.) it was still quite dark with just a slight glimmer in the atmosphere.  This is apparently the period the Noble Quran refers to as ".. and eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn." (2:187). We can eat sahoor up to this time.  But officially our jurists have decided Fajr to be at 3.45 a.m. and most of them insist that we must finish sahoor at least 20 minutes prior to 3.45 a.m.  You can thus imagine how much they make us rush for nothing, and most importantly, in violation of the information in the Noble Quran.  According to Verse 2:187, it's very explicit that we can easily eat sahoor until 4.40 earliest.  Instead, we are forced to finish sahoor around 3.30 a.m. 

Around 5.00 a.m. when I again looked out of the window, it was a little brighter with a slight orange glow across the horizon.  But still dark and absolutely no sign of a single ray of sunlight.  Our "ulemas" will say it's too late for Fajr.  But this is actually an extension of dawn starting from 4.45 or 4.40 a.m.  Fajr ends and morning starts only after the first rays of sunlight begin to appear. 

Thus, the idiosyncrasy of our jurists derived from forged traditions compel us to begin our fast at least 1 hour and 15 minutes before the actual prescribed time mentioned in the Noble Quran. 



ALSO CHECK OUR DETAILED DISCUSSION ON THIS TOPIC AT:
Ramadan Sahoor & Fatoor timings and Fajr & Maghrib prayers
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2016, 03:55:42 am »

Walaikum Salaam dear Sister Heba.   Perfectly put.  Many thanks for assisting to understand this topic. 
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2016, 04:02:10 am »


Nowadays, in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries, the azan for the Fajr prayer or the Fajr prayer timing is observed at least 30 minutes before this white thread of morning is visible.  At that time it's absolutely dark.

Correcting myself,  to be precise, Fajr prayer timing according to jurists is much more than 30 minutes before the white thread of dawn (not morning, sorry for my mistake).  Sister Heba's explanation is clearer than mine.  Please don't miss her post above.  And also check the other discussion thread (link given by Sister Heba) initiated by Brother Abbottonian.
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2016, 04:08:16 am »

Many thanks sisters.  Absolutely clear.  Sorry for not acknowledging earlier as my participation in the other thread of the same topic somehow made me think that I've already responded here. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2016, 12:00:06 pm »

You're welcomed Sis Zeynab.

Regarding Verse 2:187 Pickthall wrote an interesting comment which I read in my copy of his English translation at the notes section.  In early days of Islam during the era of the Prophet (pbuh), quoting Pickthall: 

Quote --
"Muslims used to fast from evening meal of one day to evening meal of the next.  If they fell asleep before taking their meal, they would consider it their duty to abstain from it, with the result many of them fainted and came near to death"
Unquote --

Apparently what this means is that if they overslept and woke up to realize that it was too late for their evening meal (Iftar) and very little time left to finish Sahoor, they continued their next fast on empty stomach.  Understandably this practice made many folks unwell and many collapsed in serious condition.  Today our jurists are pushing on similar lines albeit to a lesser extent of course.  Summer gap between Iftar and Sahoor in America and Europe is between 5 to 6 hours, depending on where you are located.  If you hurry Sahoor by almost 2 hours, you bring it so close to the Iftar of the previous evening that it nearly amounts to fasting from one Iftar to the next.
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2016, 12:24:22 pm »

That's interesting indeed.  Doesn't sound too different from what our jurists are imposing at present.


....... Summer gap between Iftar and Sahoor in America and Europe is between 5 to 6 hours, depending on where you are located.  If you hurry Sahoor by almost 2 hours, you bring it so close to the Iftar of the previous evening that it nearly amounts to fasting from one Iftar to the next.

Exactly, that happens with a lot of people.  That's why many only drink water for Sahoor during summer fasts because they're just not hungry to eat Sahoor so shortly after Iftar.  If Sahoor time was decided until 4 or 4.15 a.m. (which they could have decided upon), one could grab a quick snack. 
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2016, 12:28:25 pm »

Yeah, correct ........
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 12:27:53 pm »

Very good info Sis Heba.  Thus, in V.2:187 Allah clarified to Muslims so that they observe the right timings otherwise they will only make it hard for themselves.

My husband and I are very disturbed by our jurists hampering with Fajr timings as it clearly clashes with V.2:187. My husband is of the view that in the present season, Fajr is definitely until 4.25 a.m. earliest.  That's when "the white" of dawn begins to get distinct.  We too checked it by looking out of the window.  Our apartment being located on a highrise, we get a very clear view.  At 4.30 a.m. you can see a slight, very slight, orange hue along the horizon.  Even if you eat until this time or until 5 to 10 minutes beyond is okay.  But on the safe side can keep it until 4.25 a.m.  Accordingly keep adjusting it as Fajr time keeps moving ahead until June 21st. Also continue to adjust when Fajr time starts moving back.  The point is that the time difference between the one mentioned in the prayer calendar and the actual appearance of the white thread in the atmosphere is approximately 40 minutes.  Keep adjusting with 40 or 45 minutes to whatever time stated in the calendar at different seasons.  In peak winter seasons the difference maybe still more.  Will check it when winter comes, InshAllah.

V.2:187 is very explicit, no confusion at all.  The Verse refers to "the white" (referring to the white thread of dawn) as "al-abyadu."  It refers to "the black" (referring to darkness of night) as "al-aswadi."   Today my husband had sahoor until 4.25.  I think I'll do the same from tomorrow InshAllah.  It's much more in accordance with the Quran than their timings, and anything in accordance with the Quran is not only more essential but always far easier.
 
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2016, 12:44:49 pm »

 Today my husband had sahoor until 4.25.  I think I'll do the same from tomorrow InshAllah.  It's much more in accordance with the Quran than their timings, and anything in accordance with the Quran is not only more essential but always far easier. 

Very thought provoking, MashAllah  Smiley  I definitely do see it far more in conformity with the Quran as well.  Let me talk it over with my house folks.  I would also like to follow the same, set it ahead for 40 minutes beyond what they mention on the calendar.  I read it as a very careful, sensible and thoughtful decision.  Thanks for sharing sis.  And I am sure there's any need to discuss this with our imams or jurists at the masjid or community center.   
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 12:53:37 pm »

No, no need to discuss with them.  We observe the right timing very carefully by looking out each time we're having sahoor to make sure it completely fits the Quranic instruction.  It's a very simple matter.  Once you're sure you are implementing a Quranic rule that's been spelt out for you in the Quran, then what's the need to ask anyone?  The important thing is to be careful about making sure you stop eating at the right moment of dawn (Fajr).  For that keep checking by looking out as and when necessary. After all, for many years after Islam, there were no modern clocks as we have today.  People identified Fajr by looking at it.  And we can presume that their fasting was just as valid as ours.
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 12:57:04 pm »

Spot on!  Makes complete sense.
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 03:44:12 am »

Good decision Sister Ruhi.  According to the Quran, one can easily eat sahoor until 4.45 a.m.  as per 3rd week of June.  Until this time there remains a mild orange color along the horizon which differentiates the atmosphere from the dark night.
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2016, 10:38:21 am »

Very useful, correct observation and right decision by your husband and yourself, Sister Ruhi.  You know, those timings for Fajr on prayer calendar are not supposed to be in accordance with the Quran.  The folks who print the prayer calendar perhaps don't even know about Verse 2:187.  Those Fajr timings are simply their presumptive picks and they always like to keep it very early.  You need to focus on the sunrise time which is also in the prayer calendar.  The sunrise time is the calculated one in conformity with the meteorological or weather department. You have to calculate it backward to find the approximately right Fajr time as described in the Quran.  The standard time of dawn is roughly 40 minutes before sunrise.  If for example sunrise is 5.40 a.m., dawn will be around 5.00 a.m.  By this time you will see sufficient orange glow in the horizon yet no sunlight.  However, this time may appear too bright as the deadline for Sahoor.  So you can move it another 15 minutes behind at 4.45 a.m.  The orange glow will now be much lesser.  Until this time you can easily eat Sahoor.  You can also offer your Fajr prayers until 5.00 a.m. or a little beyond.  If you think you may get late for Fajr if you offer it after finishing Sahoor at 4.45 a.m., then offer Fajr prior to finishing Sahoor.  That's what we used to do when we were staying in that part of the world.  The place where we're now, total hours for fasting are shorter.  However, we still need to do the same calculation for Fajr and Sahoor.  The official timing for Fajr is 3.50 a.m. when it's very dark and this isn't the time when the Quran tells us to stop eating. 
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