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

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Ruhi_Rose:
 BismEm


 salamem  everyone.  Hope you're all fine  :)

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?

Zeynab:
Quote from: Mountain_Rose on September 21, 2007, 05:40:19 pm

BismEm


 salamem  everyone.  Hope you're all fine  :)

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). 

Heba E. Husseyn:
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

Zeynab:
Walaikum Salaam dear Sister Heba.   Perfectly put.  Many thanks for assisting to understand this topic. 

Zeynab:
Quote from: Zeynab on September 21, 2007, 06:50:25 pm


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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