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  7. Understanding Suhoor and Iftar: Health and Wellness in Ramadan

Understanding Suhoor and Iftar: Health and Wellness in Ramadan

Muslim family gathered around a table for Suhoor and Iftar during Ramadan, sharing a variety of traditional meals in a cozy home setting.
Dive into the special moments of Suhoor and Iftar, the main meals in Ramadan. Learn how these times are more than just about eating. They’re about coming together, feeling closer to what we believe in, and following long-held traditions. Let’s look at why Suhoor and Iftar are so important during this special month.

Introduction to Ramadan

Ramadan is a sacred month that revolves around fasting and following Allah (SWT)’s guidance. Fasting in Ramadan is not just about abstaining from food and drink; it also requires staying away from anything that goes against Allah’s (SWT) will. This holy month provides opportunities to perform good deeds, seek forgiveness for past mistakes, and strive to become better individuals for the sake of Allah Almighty. Two key meals, Suhoor and Iftar, are essential components of the fasting experience.


For many, the arrival of Ramadan brings a mix of emotions. There’s the excitement for community gatherings, the unity, and the spiritual renewal it brings. Yet, for some, there’s an anticipation about the daily fast, a challenge that’s both physical and spiritual. Regardless of the initial feelings, Suhoor and Iftar stand as pillars of nourishment and reflection during this holy month.

In the end of this Month, we celebrate the very beautiful Islamic Festival Eid-ul-Fitr, To learn more about the significance of Eid al-Fitr and its celebrations, visit our blog here.


In this blog, we aim to thoroughly examine the spiritual, communal, and nutritional aspects of Suhoor and Iftar during Ramadan. The blog will explore the historical and cultural contexts, referencing the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and guidance from Allah (SWT).

Read our about The Do’s and Don’ts During Ramadan for Muslims.


Fasting is the third pillar of Islam. To gain a deeper understanding of Ramadan’s essence and its importance in Islam, we also recommend reading our blog titled “What is Ramadan, and Why is it Important for Muslims?


Understanding Suhoor

Suhoor is a meal eaten by Muslims who are fasting during Ramadan. It is consumed early in the morning before dawn and helps prepare the body for a long day of fasting ahead. The word Suhoor in Arabic means ‘the last part of the night’ and refers to the fact that the meal is eaten before the break of dawn. It is essential to have a balanced and nutritious Suhoor to ensure your body is fueled for the day ahead.


Sehri ends at the time of Subah Sadiq, which is when the time of Fajr begins. Most scholars agree that Suhoor can be eaten until the beginning of the ‘first light’ of dawn, which is up until the point that sunlight first becomes visible.

The Quran states that fasting begins when

“the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread”

(2:187).

The Importance of Diet in Suhoor

Suhoor is a blessed meal because it is a Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It not only provides us with the strength to engage in Dhikr (remembrance of Allah SWT) but also gives us the energy to get through the day. By waking up early for Suhoor, we as Muslims ensure that we are awake to supplicate to Allah SWT in the last part of the night, which is the best time for worship.


When planning your Suhoor, consider incorporating complex carbohydrates like brown rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, corn, and oats. These complex carbs take longer to digest, providing sustained energy throughout the day. Additionally, consuming vegetables and fruits during Suhoor helps maintain satiety and prevents constipation due to their fiber content. Opt for whole vegetables and fruits rather than processed or juiced ones to maximize nutrient intake


Remember that Suhoor plays a crucial role in supporting your body during Ramadan, so make thoughtful choices to ensure you have the stamina and focus needed for this blessed month.


The Spiritual Aspect of Suhoor

From a spiritual perspective, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to eat Suhoor because of the hidden blessings that come from eating the meal: 


“There is a blessing in eating suhur; so, do not skip it, even if one of you has a sip of water. For indeed Allah and His Angels send blessings and mercy on those who eat suhur” (Musnad Aḥmad 11086)


Family preparing Suhoor in a dimly lit kitchen, with members engaging in tasks like cooking and setting the table, emphasizing the communal and serene start to the day.
A peaceful pre-dawn scene of a Muslim family preparing Suhoor, the pre-fast meal during Ramadan.

Intention and Connection: 

Suhoor is a sacred time to renew our intention for fasting. By waking up early and sharing this meal with sincerity, we establish a direct connection with Allah (SWT). It’s a moment to focus on our spiritual goals for the day ahead, aligning our actions with our faith.


Reflection and Prayer: 

The quiet hours before dawn provide a serene atmosphere for reflection, supplication, and additional prayers. As we fast with Suhoor, we can seek forgiveness, express gratitude, and deepen our connection with the divine. It’s a time to converse with Allah and seek His guidance.

Here is our blog written on The Do’s and Don’ts of Itikaf in Ramadan: A Detailed Overview


Tahajjud Prayer:

By waking up a little earlier for Suhoor, we create an opportunity to pray Tahajjud (night prayer). This additional act of worship adds depth to our spiritual practice during Ramadan. The quiet moments before dawn allow us to engage in both physical nourishment and heartfelt prayer.


Discipline and Self-Control:

Waking up before dawn for Suhoor exemplifies self-discipline and self-control. Despite hunger and thirst, we abstain from food and drink during the day as an act of obedience. These qualities are integral to our spiritual journey, emphasizing patience and a conscious effort to overcome worldly desires.


Communal Spirit: 

While Suhoor is often shared with family members, even when observed individually, it maintains a communal spirit. The collective effort of Muslims worldwide engaging in Suhoor creates a shared experience that transcends geographical boundaries. We are part of a global community united by faith.


In summary, Suhoor in Ramadan is not merely about eating; it’s a mindful and grateful approach to both physical and spiritual well-being. Let us embrace this blessed time as an opportunity to recommit to our intentions, connect strongly with Allah (SWT), and cultivate inner growth.

Read our other blog on the three Ashras of Ramadan.


Understanding Iftar

As we have previously discussed suhoor in this blog, now let’s take a closer look at iftar – the evening meal that breaks the day-long fast during Ramadan. Iftar holds great significance in marking the end of a day of spiritual discipline. It serves as a moment of gratitude, reflection, and communal celebration, bringing families and communities together. 


Family joyfully gathered around a dinner table during Iftar, sharing a feast of diverse dishes and sweets in a room bathed in soft evening light, symbolizing gratitude and togetherness.
A warm and inviting scene of a Muslim family gathered around a table to break their fast with Iftar during Ramadan.

Iftar is the fast-breaking evening meal of Muslims during Ramadan. It occurs at sunset after the call to prayer (adhan) for the Maghrib prayer. This is their second meal of the day, as the daily fast during Ramadan begins immediately after the pre-dawn meal of suhoor and continues during daylight hours, ending with sunset and the evening meal of iftar. In 2023, UNESCO added Iftar to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.


The Rituals of Iftar

The first meal of the Iftaar usually consists of a date and a drink like water, fruit juice, or milk. After this initial fast-breaking, Muslims take a break for prayer (lasting from five to 15 minutes) and then return to eat a larger, more substantial dinner-type meal. The fast itself is considered a purification of sins and a time to cleanse the mind, body, and soul. 


Feeding a fasting person is believed to come with a great reward from God, so many individuals, organizations, mosques, and community centers offer iftar gatherings to celebrate breaking the fast together. While it’s usually not a ceremonial affair, these gatherings often provide an opportunity for education, interfaith dialogue, delicious food, friends, and conversation.


Here are some tips for anyone attending their first iftar gathering:


1. Ask a Muslim: If you’re interested in attending an iftar, simply ask a Muslim. They’ll likely be happy to invite you since guests are considered a blessing and an honor.


2. Don’t Bring Anything: Don’t worry about bringing food or anything edible; hosts usually take care of everything. If you feel uncomfortable arriving empty-handed, fresh flowers are always appreciated.


3. Dress Modestly: Casual and modest attire is suitable for both males and females.


So there you have it—the beautiful tradition of iftar that brings people together in gratitude and celebration during Ramadan! 


The Spiritual and Social Dimensions of Iftar

Iftar is a significant moment for Muslims, with both spiritual and social dimensions. It is a time for reflection and gratitude, as Muslims break their fast and contemplate on the day’s fasting. It emphasizes self-discipline, patience, and spiritual growth, with the Maghrib prayer reinforcing the connection with Allah (SWT) and nourishing the soul through prayer and devotion. Iftar serves as a daily reminder of the purpose of fasting, encouraging the renewal of intentions and commitment to spiritual development. 


Socially, fasting carries hidden values, and Ramadan is seen as a sublime period. Iftar becomes a communal affair, bringing together family, friends, and communities, fostering unity, and emphasizing the importance of togetherness. 


Acts of charity are common during Iftar, with Muslims inviting the less fortunate to join the meal, promoting generosity and compassion. The diversity of foods and traditions during Iftar reflects the multicultural nature of the Muslim community, enhancing cultural understanding within society. 


Furthermore, during Iftar, Muslims warmly welcome guests into their homes, going beyond religious differences and encouraging understanding between faiths. In simple terms, Iftar is a complete experience that blends spiritual and social elements, promoting a sense of community, thankfulness, and contemplation throughout the sacred month of Ramadan.


Iftar and Suhoor Times

Unfortunately, I cannot provide specific Suhoor and Iftar timings without knowing your current location. These timings vary greatly depending on where you are in the world. However, I can offer some general information and help you find the exact timings for Suhoor and Iftar. 


Understanding the Timing of Iftar and Suhoor:


  • Iftar: Marks the end of the daily fast and typically occurs at sunset, coinciding with the Maghrib prayer. The exact timing depends on the location and the method used to determine sunset.
  • Suhoor: Marks the beginning of the fast and is consumed before the Fajr prayer, which occurs just before dawn. Again, the exact timing depends on your location and the method used to determine dawn.
  • Warning: Many people continue to eat right to the time of Fajr Azaan. As a precaution, all eating activities must stop at least 5 minutes before the time of Subah Sadiq. 

Finding Accurate Timings:

While I cannot provide exact timings for you, here are some resources to help you find them:


  • Local mosque: Many mosques publish Iftar and Suhoor timings based on their location and calculations.
  • Islamic websites and apps: Numerous websites and apps, such as MuslimPro.com, offer comprehensive Ramadan calendars with precise timings based on your chosen location.
  • Time and prayer apps: Many general time and prayer apps also include Ramadan timings specific to your location.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult a reliable source for accurate and relevant Iftar and Suhoor timings for your specific location and preferred calculation method.


To enhance your understanding of fasting during this holy month, consider reading our blog titled “Fasting in Ramadan: Answers to Your Common Questions,” This blog addresses common inquiries about Ramadan, offering clarity and support to enhance your fasting experience.


Conclusion: Tips for Healthy Suhoor and Iftar

Keeping a healthy diet during Suhoor and Iftar is key for good energy and health in Ramadan. Drink lots of water, especially at Suhoor, and try to avoid too much caffeine or sugar. Eating fruits and veggies helps because they’re full of good stuff like vitamins and help keep you hydrated.


For Suhoor, it’s good to eat foods with protein like eggs, yogurt, or nuts, and also whole grains to keep your energy up and help your stomach. Try to stay away from foods that are too sugary or salty to avoid feeling thirsty or having your energy go up and down.


When it’s time to break your fast at Iftar, after the sun sets, starting with dates and water is a tradition that gives you a quick energy boost. Having a small soup first can help get your stomach ready for more food. Make sure your main meal is balanced with some protein, carbs, and veggies. It’s also wise to avoid fried foods like samosas or chicken rolls during Iftar, as they can cause discomfort and are less healthy.


Eating the right amount, choosing foods that are high in fiber, and having some protein can help you feel full and keep your stomach happy. It’s okay to have a little dessert, but try not to overdo it. Taking a short walk after eating can also help. Everyone’s different, so if you’re not sure what’s best for you, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor or a nutrition expert, especially to know the best times for Suhoor and Iftar where you live.

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Cardápio Online
Cardápio Online
2 months ago

“Gratitude is the compass that points us towards a fulfilling life, and your posts are the map guiding us on that journey. Thank you for the direction!”

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QR Code Dinâmico
2 months ago

“A heartfelt thank you for curating such a reliable and well-structured blog. It’s a joy to explore!”

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