SUHOOR (PRE-DAWN MEAL) IN ISLAM
Suhoor is Pre-dawn meal which Muslims take in the month of Ramdhaan before sunrise. Allah’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace) said:“Eating the Suhoor is blessed. Do not neglect it even if you take a gulp of water, because Allah (Glory be to Him) and His angels invoke blessings upon those who partake in the Suhoor (pre-dawn meal.” Ahmad Vol 5:270 and Sunan Nisa'ee Vol 4:145 and Musnad Ahmad, 11003(Arabic); classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3683.
A small meal traditionally eaten before dawn (Fajr Salah) during Ramadan; the final meal before the day’s fast begins. It is pronounced as “soo-hoor” (noun).
Suhoor is a blessed meal and is a highly recommended Sunnah. Allah’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace) said: “The difference between our fasting and that of the People of the Scriptures (i.e. Jews and Christians) is the Suhoor”. Sahih Al Muslim 2413
This is because the Jews and Christians do not eat the pre-dawn meal, while Muslims regularly take the pre-dawn meal. Therefore, taking the pre-dawn meal is essential. It is enough to eat even a piece of a date, or to drink a mouthful of water.
Allah’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace) used to postpone his suhoor until just before dawn. Imitating the way of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace) and following his practices is meritorious and beneficial. So suhoor must be taken as close as possible to Fajr.
Narrated Sahl ibn Sa’d (R): I used to take my Suhoor meals with my family and then hurry up for presenting myself for the Fajr prayer with Allah’s Messenger (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace). Sahih Al Bukhari Vol 3:143 and 1920(NE)
Narrated ‘Aaishah (R): Bilaal (R) used to pronounce the Adhan at night, so Allah’s Messenger (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace) said, “Carry on taking your meals (eat and drink) till Ibn Maktoom pronounces the Adhaan, for he does not pronounce it till it is dawn.” Sahih Al Bukhari 1918 and 1919. Narrated Anas bin Malik ®: The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace) said, "Take Suhur as there is a blessing in it." Sahih Al Bukhari 3:146 and Sunan Nasai Vol 3: 2151
(a) the following of the Sunnah,
(b) it makes the fast easier upon the person who is fasting,
(c) it increases the desire in the person to want to continue to fast because of the ease upon the fasting person and
(d) there is also in it the principle of being different from the People of the Book because they are prohibited from taking the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal).
It is recommended to delay the Sahoor (pre-dawn meal) till just before dawn. Zaid bin Thabit® said, "We took the Suhur with the Prophet (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace). Then he stood for the prayer." I asked, "What was the interval between the Suhur and the Adhan?" He replied, "The interval was sufficient to recite fifty ayah of the Qur'an." Sahih Al Bukhari Vol 3:144