Sehri & Iftar
‘Suhoor’ is the meal one takes in the last hours of the night before the commencement of a fast. It is a Sunnah to have ‘Suhoor’. If someone has no appetite at that time, it is advisable for him to have something light. Even by having a few sips of water the sunnah of suhoor can be fulfilled. Although the ‘Suhoor’ can be had any time after midnight, but it is more advisable to have it in the last hour of the night immediately before the break of dawn.
The ‘Suhoor’ can be continued up to the break of dawn. But in order to be on the safe side, it is advisable to refrain from eating or drinking a few minutes earlier than the break of dawn. Eating or drinking after the dawn even for a single minute renders the fast void. If one is doubtful whether the dawn has broken or not, he should refrain from eating or drinking. However, if he eats or drinks in this state of uncertainty, his fast is valid unless it is proved later that he had eaten or drunk after the break of dawn, in which case, he will have to observe another fast.
Iftar means to conclude a fast after sunset by eating or drinking something. It is also a sunnah to make iftar soon after sunset, and it is makrooh to delay Iftar after sunset without a valid excuse. However, if someone is doubtful whether the sun has set or not, he should not make iftar until he is sure about it, because if it is proved at any time that he had made iftar even half a minute earlier than the sunset actually took place on his horizon, his fast will be rendered nullified and void. Similarly, if the weather is cloudy, it is advisable to delay iftar for a few minutes after the time of sunset. No particular meal is prescribed for iftar but it is advisable to make iftar using dates because the Holy Prophet(Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) generally used dates for iftar.
It is also sunnah to recite the following du’a (prayer) while making iftar: “O’ Allah, for you I have fasted, and in you I have believed and in You I have placed my trust and with Your provision I make my Iftar.” and after having and drinking water, it is advisable to say, “Thirst has gone; veins have become wet and the reward (of the fast) has, God willing, been established.”