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Reviving A Forgotten Sunnah in Ramaḍān: Communal Saḥūr   

Dr. Abū Wāʾil Musa Shaleem

A reminder to have saḥūr collectively in accordance with the sunnah. The Prophet (ﷺ) would invite his Companions to share this blessed meal with him.

Fasting in Ramaḍān is one of the greatest forms of worship, so much so that it was made a pillar of Islām. Consequently, Allāh legislated copious laws to ensure that we fast correctly, and not only were the early generations keen to implement these laws, but they were also keen to transmit them, as we will soon see. However, as time elapsed, many Muslims forgot about some of the more intricate laws of fasting this blessed month.

Although having ifṭār collectively is a common practice in the month of Ramaḍān, the sunnah of consuming saḥūr1 collectively is definitely a forgotten Prophetic tradition.

Zayd ibn Thābit (رضي الله عنه) said: “We had saḥūr with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He then stood to perform the prayer.”2

This Ḥadīth proves that eating saḥūr collectively is recommended.3

Badr al-Dīn al-ʿAynī (d. 855 AH)

Ḥudhayfah (رضي الله عنه) narrated: “I had saḥūr with Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) very close to the time of dawn.”4

In fact, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would invite the Companions to have saḥūr with him. ʿIrbāḍ ibn Sāriyah (رضي الله عنه) reported: “I heard Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) inviting people to have saḥūr [with him] in Ramaḍān. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Come to the blessed morning meal/blessed breakfast [i.e. saḥūr].’”5

Shaykh Muḥammad Ādam al-Ityūbī (رحمه الله) said: “This Ḥadīth proves that eating saḥūr collectively is recommended.”6

ʿIrbāḍ ibn Sāriyah (رضي الله عنه) also said: “Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) invited me to have saḥūr [with him] in Ramaḍān. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Come to the blessed morning meal/blessed breakfast [i.e. saḥūr].’”7

Khālid ibn Miʿdān (رضي الله عنه) relayed: “Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to a man: ‘Come to the blessed morning meal/blessed breakfast [i.e. saḥūr].’”8

Consequently, the Salaf were hasty to implement this established tradition. The Companion Sahl ibn Saʿd (رضي الله عنه) said: “I would have my saḥūr with my family. I would then hasten to attend the [Fajr] prayer with Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).”9

The senior tābiʿī Zirr ibn Ḥubaysh (رحمه الله) said: “I had saḥūr with Ḥudhayfah (رضي الله عنه). We then went to the masjid.”10

The senior tābiʿī Ṣilah ibn Zufar (رحمه الله) relayed a similar occurrence. He said: “I had saḥūr with Ḥudhayfah (رضي الله عنه). We then went to the masjid.”11

Therefore, we should try to revive this forgotten tradition. This entails implementing it and reminding others about it, and whoever aids in the revival of a sunnah will reap a tremendous reward. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever revives a good practice that is then followed will receive its reward and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.”12

Endnotes:

1. Saḥūr is the pre-dawn meal that is consumed in the blessed month of Ramaḍān prior to fasting. Suḥūr is the act of eating saḥūr, the pre-dawn meal. This is the exact difference between wuḍūʾ and waḍūʾ. Wuḍūʾ is the act of purifying one’s self. As for waḍūʾ, then it is the object that is used to purify one’s self: water. Therefore, the “u” signifies an action, while the “a” signifies an object connected to the action.
2. Reported by al-Bukhārī (1921).
3. ʿUmdah al-Qārī, vol. 10, pg. 299.
4. Reported by Ibn Mājah (1695), and Shaykh al-Albānī deemed it authentic.
5. Reported by al-Nasāʾī (2163), and Shaykh al-Albānī and Shaykh Muḥammad Ādam authenticated it.
6. Dhakīrah al-ʿUqbá, vol. 20, pg. 358.
7. Reported by Abū Dāwūd (2344), and Shaykh al-Albānī deemed it authentic.
8. Reported by al-Nasāʾī (2165), and Shaykh al-Albānī and Shaykh Muḥammad Ādam authenticated it.
9. Reported by al-Bukhārī (577 and 1920).
10. Reported by al-Nasāʾī (2153), and Shaykh al-Albānī and Shaykh Muḥammad Ādam graded it authentic.
11. Reported by al-Nasāʾī (2154), and Shaykh al-Albānī and Shaykh Muḥammad Ādam graded it authentic.
12. Reported by Muslim (1017).

Published: March 29, 2023
Edited: March 17, 2024

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