My eyes sprang open as the iqamah for salaatul subhi was being recited in a nearby masjid. I could not believe it! At least not until I checked my wall clock, the time was 5.50a.m and I was just waking up from my night sleep in the month of Ramadan! Of course I fully intended to observe the days fast but I had overslept and missed sahur. My first instinct was to quickly grab a cup of water to drink; at least I had not intentionally overslept. My excuse for this was "after all sahur is compulsory for any Muslim who wants to observe Fasting!" In my heart however, I knew that a person who oversleeps beyond the period for sahur is allowed to observe the fast without taking anything. Of course I remembered this when I wanted to sneak a cup of water down my throat! It’s just that I am never one to joke with my stomach and I could not imagine how I would face a day of fasting without taking my sahur.
Eventually, the fear of Allaah won over my desires and I decided to take the day as it had come. Soberly, I went about performing my ablution and observing my salaah. As I went about my daily chores, my mind kept going back to the fact that I was fasting on an empty stomach. Suddenly, a thought crossed my mind; if I was feeling so miserable because I missed sahur, how would those Muslims who missed sahur because they had nothing to eat feel? What about those who even outside the month of Ramadan always have little or nothing to eat? How do those who are never sure if they would get to eat anything in a day feel?
Apart from the fact that fasting in the month of Ramadan helps us to perform good deeds and seek forgiveness for our sins from Allaah, it also teaches us self-restraint. This means controlling our conduct. We are commanded to control our tempers and avoid quarrelling and using abusive language. We are even enjoined to say to anyone who provokes us "I am fasting" three times. Have you ever wondered how it would feel if Allaah commands us to fast without sahur? If that had been the case, we would have had to fast from iftaar to iftaar [from sunset to sunset]! How would we have been able to cope? Anyway, we would have had no choice but to obey our Creator! Do you now understand better the importance of sahur? It is yet another favour from Allaah. He (Subuhanahu wa taaala) has blessed us with it not only to ease our fast but also as a lesson in humility and modesty. It is also a constant reminder that Allaah provides sustenance to those whom He wills; not because they are special or more important than others; but out of His majesty. Alhamdulillah for sahur! May Allaah continue to ease our affairs, accept our fasting as an act of ibaadah and make us of those who always appreciate His favours. Amin. Ramadan Kareem!
"Which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?" -SoorahAr-Rahman (55)
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited