Suhoor, or Sehri, is the pre-dawn meal that many Muslims eat before keeping their fasts.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Eat suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing.”
-Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1923; Muslim, 1095.
These blessings include the following:
1 – Suhoor or Sehri gives strength for worship and helps one to obey Allah during the day by praying, reading Qur’aan and remembering Allah (dhikr). One who is hungry may become lazy in worship just as he may become lazy in his daily work. Suhoor also kicks starts your metabolism and helps your body perform its daily tasks such as digestion.
2 – The one who eats suhoor will be encouraged to fast more, because fasting is less difficult for the one who eats suhoor. Fasting without having something in advance makes a person feel as if they have been ‘starving’ or unable to eat anything at all. Having suhoor will give you a boost of morale and push you into your ibadaat.
3 – By eating suhoor one differs from the people of the Book. The muslim is required to avoid imitating them.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The difference between our fasting and the fasting of the people of the Book is eating suhoor.”
Many religions that have a ‘fast’ prescribed to them do not apply the concept of suhoor.
4 – Another blessing of suhoor is praying Fajr in congregation, at the proper time. Many people will make the effort to have something to eat for suhoor and they will stay up until Fajr time. Praying Fajr on time has so many benefits!
Growing up my mother used to make us a traditional Indian breakfast consisting of paratha (whole wheat flat bread) and some sort of meat dish. I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable eating such a heavy meal as it causes my body to become lethargic. Instead, I’ve been keeping my suhoor light and consisting of mostly fresh foods that will help me get through my long days of fasting.
One top of these meals, I always make sure to drink lots of water and have a glass of milk in the morning. I avoid caffeinated drinks as they make me feel even more tired and dehydrated throughout the fasting days.
A few of my favorite Suhoor meals consist of the following:
1. Greek Yogurt parfait
I layer Chobani Greek Yogurt plain, strawberries, and bananas with a little bit of honey and granola sprinkled on top. The Greek yogurt provides a good amount of protein (17 grams for 100 calories!) while the fruits give me the early morning carbohydrates that I need to keep me going.
2. Sprouted bread with Eggs and turkey strips
I’m a huge egg fan. One egg packs 6 grams of protein and 70 calories. And of course, I add a little bit of ketchup, a cup of fresh fruit, and some turkey strips to complete this meal.
3. Oatmeal with nuts and raisins
Growing up, I was never a fan of oatmeal. I thought the texture was too mushy and the taste was so bland. Once I started working, I needed something I could easily make at my desk with some hot water.
I simply take a cup of oatmeal, microwave it with some water or if I want it creamier, milk. Then I’ll top it with some walnut, pecans, raisins and banana slices. A little drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of flax seed ( powdered or whole) completes the dish.
This keeps me full all day.