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f:146 -    Fasting without Sehri
Country : Yaqutpura, India,
Name : Ummul Khair Atiya
Question:     Some people fast without Sehri.  They do not like getting up before dawn and eating.  As per the Shariah, is a fast without Sehri preferred or is it better to have Sehri and fast?
Answer:     Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) has given this physical body to His worshippers as a trust.  It is compulsory to fulfill the rights of the body.  Hadhrat Abdullah bin ‘Amr (May Allah be well pleased with him) was continuously fasting and praying in the night.  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) advised him to be moderate in his worship and to take care of his health.  He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) told him:

Translation: On you are the rights of your body and the rights of your eyes. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No: 1974)

By continuously not eating Sehri (Pre-dawn meal), the body becomes weak, which may lead to physical distress although Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) says in Surah Baqarah:

………..do not cast yourselves into destruction with your own hands.  Surah Baqarah (2: 195)

It is Masnoon and Mustahab (established by the Sunnah and commendable) to have Sehri.  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has ordered us to eat Sehri:

Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Anas bin Malik (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Have Sehri for there are blessings in Sehri.  (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, Pg No. 150)

If any person does not have Sehri and puts oneself in distress with the intention of disciplining the Nafs (lower self), then instead of remaining hungry that person should eat as much as will allows him/her to fast easily and stand up in prayer, so that there is no compromise in worship of Ramadhan (‘Ibadah) and to gain the reward and blessings of having Sehri.

Translation of Hadith: For the worship of night, take help from siesta and for fast, from Sehri.  (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab Us Siyam)

It is given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 5, Pg. No. 336:

Translation: The worshipper's having Sehri and fasting is preferred in the Shariah and it is not preferred to leave Sehri.

And Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) knows best.

Mufti Hafidh Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]

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