In this third episode, I’m going to coach you on what happens during each day of Ramadan. I’m going to be taking you on a little tour of what happens during each day of Ramadan for a fasting Muslim.
So what to fast from, when to eat, when to stop eating, what happens if you forget and you accidentally eat or drink something during the day…
What to Fast from?
Let’s start with what you fast from during Ramadan. Actually Muslims should be fasting from anything that takes them far away from Allah.
That means fasting from things that you shouldn’t be looking at. For example this is a great time for you to practice lowering your gaze and also maybe turn off the TV.
Also you are fasting from things that you shouldn’t be listening to. So if you find yourself in a conversation where people are starting to gossip or backbite then it’s a great time to learn how to excuse yourself from that kind of environment.
This is also a time when you fast from different bad habits. For example if you are someone who likes to curse while speaking, or if you are someone who gets angry easily, this is a time to kind of kick those habits and improve yourself as a Muslim.
I’m also super excited about this particular episode because after two episodes of just giving you kind of rulings of Ramadan, now finally in this episode, I get to share some of my stories with you.
The Pre-dawn Meal
Let’s talk about the pre-dawn meal. The pre-dawn meal in Arabic is called suhoor. It’s recommended to start your day with the pre-dawn meal and there is lots of benefits in it in this dunya and also in the hereafter.
When I learned about the pre-dawn meal when I started to fast I was really happy because the pre-dawn meal helps you to fast the rest of the day since you actually do have some food in your tummy.
I did wake up a few times during my first Ramadan a little bit late and I missed the pre-down meal and I was just suffering, it was just horrible… you wake up thinking “Oh no I missed the meal, I missed my food, I didn’t drink any water… how am I going to survive?”
Anyway, you do survive. Allah helps you but still the pre-dawn meal is pretty important.
So let’s to look at a list of some different reasons why it is important. I have a list of 6 blessings for you:
1- Because it gives you strength so that you can fulfill your worship and that it’s easier for you to keep on fasting since you do have something in your tummy.
2- It wards off a bad attitude that can come with hunger anger. So you see these people who are super hungry and they just become the biggest grouch! So this is another reason why you want to have your pre-dawn meal so you don’t become the grouch.
3- It is a Sunnah. If you prepare it and you eat your pre-dawn meal with the intention of following the commends of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and you set the intention for wanting those rewards, you will be rewarded accordingly.
4- The person who eats the pre-dawn meal gets up at the end of the night and catches a very special time of the night when Allah comes to the lowest heavens which is our sky and He is actually accepting du’as.
So if Allah is giving us these golden opportunities, we better take those opportunities. On top of that, this is time when Allah and the angels are sending special blessings to the person who is having their pre-dawn meal.
5- Eating pre-dawn meal differentiates us from other People of the Book who also fast. Because we get up for the pre-dawn meal but they don’t.
6- There is a blessing in the pre-dawn meal in that it helps you go on time for fajr at the masjid in congregation.
So when I’m preparing myself for the pre-dawn meal, I actually like to get up about an hour before fajr.
And the reason for that is because I like to take my own sweet time eating all my food and drinking as much water as I possibly can… but I also stop about 15 to 20 minutes before fajr and that’s because I want to make a really nice du’a to Allah about whatever is on my mind and make really a good wudu before I start fajr and start my day.
When do we Stop Eating the Pre-dawn Meal?
You can actually eat all the way until the true dawn. You don’t have to stop before, you can eat all the way until dawn breaks.
What does that mean?
That actually means the moment when the sun breaks above the horizon and creates a very thin thread like line across the land. Usually in the city we can’t see that, so people in the city, we do rely on timetables and rely on the adhan. So just make sure that whatever you’re using the timetable or the app you’re using is correct so that you know exactly when to stop.
But I still kind of recommend you stopping maybe a minute or two ahead just to be sure.
What happens if you accidentally eat or drink something during the day?
I had this happen actually in my first Ramadan. I was actually at a breaking fast event, so they were giving us some drinks and dates so that we could prepare ourselves to break our fast.
It’s just my habit that if I have something like a drink in my hand, I have to drink from it. So I was talking to a sister and she was like: “Aliza You’re fasting today!” and I was like: “Oh No! I ruined my fast.” It was almost five minutes from Maghrib so you can imagine how badly I felt. But Alhamdulillah, she knew what I’m about to tell you and made me feel a lot better. So let me tell you what she said to me.