Assalamu Aleikum wa Rahmatu Allahi wa Barakatu and Ramadan Mubarak!
We’ve all heard it said before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well that still holds true when your breakfast takes place in the wee hours of the morning. As fasting Muslims in the month of Ramadan, is it imperative that we wake up in time for Suhoor every morning. Indeed Prophet Muhammad (saw) stated, “Eat Suhoor, for there are blessings in it.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Here are some tips to help you wake up for Suhoor:
Remember that it is sunnah.
Waking up to have Suhoor just before dawn was the practice of our Prophet (saw). Try to practice Ramadan as closely to Prophet Muhammad (saw) as possible. This will not only help you to get the most out of your Ramadan, but it will set you up with good habits that you will, inshallah, be able to carry with you after Ramadan.
Set a goal to perform Tahajjud every morning.
Since you are already waking up well before Fajr prayer, this is the perfect excuse to add a second sunnah to your Ramadan routine. Set a goal to perform Tahajjud every morning to receive extra blessings. Remember, that every good and righteous deed you perform during this month gets rewarded 10, 70, even 700 times more than normal, subhanallah! Let’s give thanks to Allah (swt) and take advantage of the wonderful blessings He offers us this month.
Remind yourself of the benefits of Suhoor.
Waking up to eat Suhoor is not a chore, and is not meant to be a burden on us. It is a mercy from Allah (swt) that we are able to eat one last meal before starting our fast for the day. Eating Suhoor does not only provide us with spiritual benefits, but physical and mental as well. Fueling your body with the proper foods right before starting your fast allows you to stay full longer, provides your body with more energy to last throughout the day, and helps you to feel more confident in your fast.
Try to get to bed early.
I know this is a hard to do during the month of Ramadan, especially for those who have longer days. However, it will benefit you immensely if you do your best to get as much sleep as possible before waking up for Suhoor. If you are at the masjid late for taraweeh, be sure not to linger once the prayers are finished. The more sleep you get, the easier it will be to wake up in the morning.
Wake up early.
Waking up 5 or 10 minutes before fajr is probably not the best idea. Try to wake up between 30-60 minutes before the athan for Fajr prayer goes off. This gives you a chance to wake yourself up to be able to actually enjoy the food you are eating. A good idea is to do wudu and tahjjud prayer before eating Suhoor. This gives you a good chance to wake up and get yourself nice and hungry.
Take a nap.
If you are fortunate enough to have the free time, schedule a daily nap. Not only is it sunnah, but it is much easier to wake up early mornings if you know that you have the chance to get back to sleep at some point in your day.
Commit to Suhoor.
There is a huge difference between wanting to do something, and committing to something. Put the intention in your heart that you WILL wake up for Suhoor in the mornings. You will wake up to follow the practice of the Prophet (saw). You will wake up to fuel your body with healthy foods in order to have a better fast throughout the day. You will wake up for the sake of Allah (swt). When you truly want something you will make it happen.
Simplicity is key.
It will be 20 times harder to wake up in the mornings if you do not know what you want to eat, or if you know you have to prepare food a lot of food. Keep things simple, and plan out what you will eat a day in advance. Some good items for Suhoor that do not require cooking include yogurt with granola, fruit, overnight oats, cereal or protein bars.
The most important thing about Suhoor is having fun! There is a lot to do during Ramdan, and if we are constantly doing things just because we know we have to, the whole month can begin to feel like a chore. We are awake at the earliest hours of the morning while it is still dark out and everyone else is sleeping solely to eat before we fast and praise our Lord. Let’s have fun with it. Add some of your personality into your food and enjoy this blessed month! After all, Allah (swt) does not need us or our worship, this month is a mercy from him for our benefit, subhanallah.