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Timing to end Suhoor

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Brother, I come from India and i would like to ask what is the correct time to end suhoor.I end my suhoor with the time the Adhan starts or hasten to complete whats in my plate , but my brother in law continue to have his suhoor till the complete adhan finishes and after. Is this acceptable ?Also some people do continue their suhoor saying that still the adhan in that far area masjid is not yet started or finished . Please advise in the light of quran & hadees.thank you

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Timing to end Suhoor

One should stop eating and drinking and begin the fast when it is time for fajr prayer and the adhaan is announced.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 187:

187     Permitted to you on the night of the fasts is the approach (sexual intercourse) to your wives.  They are your garments.  And ye are their garments.  Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate (sexual intercourse) with them (your wives), and seek what Allah hath ordained for you and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques.  Those are limits (set by) Allah; approach not nigh thereto.  Thus doth Allah make clear His signs to men that they may learn self-restraint. 

 Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.550         Narrated by Qatada

Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet and Zaid bin Thabit took the 'Suhur' together and after finishing the meal, the Prophet (saws) stood up and prayed (Fajr prayer)." I asked Anas, "How long was the interval between finishing their 'Suhur' and starting the prayer?" He replied, "The interval between the two was just sufficient to recite fifty Verses of the Qur'an)."

 Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.551         Narrated by Sahl bin Sad

I used to take the "Suhur" meal with my family and hasten so as to catch the Fajr (morning prayer) with Allah's Messenger (saws).

Ibn Masud (R.A.) reports that the Prophet (saws) said: "None of you should let Bilal's declaration of the ‘adhaan’ prevent you from the pre-dawn (suhoor) meal, as he is making the ‘adhaan’ for those who are praying (tahajjud or Nafl prayers) to stop, and for those who are sleeping to get up.”Related by Ahmad.

Said Sahl ibn Sa'd narrated that the Prophet (saws) said: "All the Prophets of Allah have been ordered to hasten the breaking of the fast and to delay the ‘suhoor’ meal.’

Related by al-Bukhari, Ahmad and Malik.

Dear and beloved brother in Islam, depending on where one resides, the exact timing of the ‘fajr’ or pre-dawn prayers are a little different.  For example, in the Indian Subcontinent (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, etc), the ‘fajr adhaan’ is normally declared just before the break of dawn….but in the Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt, etc.) there is a slightly longer gap between the ‘fajr’ adhaan and actual day-break; and in absolute legal terms, the fasting in Islam starts just before the break of dawn until the sun has completely set.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.140         Narrated by Adi bin Hatim

When the above verses were revealed: “…..until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread …” I took two (hair) strings, one black and the other white, and kept them under my pillow and went on looking at them throughout the night but could not make anything out of it. So, the next morning I went to Allah's Messenger (saws) and told him the whole story. He (saws) explained to me, "That verse means the darkness of the night and the whiteness of the dawn!"

Thus, regardless of where one resides, the absolute safest thing to do would be to give oneself ample time to eat and drink of their ‘suhoor’; and abstain from eating and drinking once the ‘fajr’ adhaan has been declared; thus leaving absolutely no doubt in their minds regarding the legality of their fasts.

But perchance if one has something in their mouths, and the fajr ‘adhaan’ is declared, there is absolutely no harm if one finishes eating what is already in their mouths….but it would be safest to make that the last morsel of food or drink, and not try to complete their meal until their desire is fulfilled. That would be the safest.  But if perchance one were to take a few more morsels of food before the ‘adhaan’ is finished, it would still not violate their fast.  And Allah Alone Knows Best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your Brother in Islam,


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