Commentary: A common practice of sehri is that it sustains the person who fasts and helps in mitigating the rigours of fasting while the other, the inner and exceptional, aspect what has been indicated in the tradition quoted in Musnad-i-Ahmad, on the authority of Abu Sa'eed Khadri(R.A.). It says:"There is auspiciousness in sehri. Do not forgo it. If nothing else, a draft of water should be taken at that time; for Allah bestows mercy upon those who eat sehri and angels pray for their well being."
It is related by Amr bin-el-'Aas that the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: " What distinguishes our fasting from the fasting of the other people of the scripture is the eating of sehri." (Muslim)
Haste in Sehri, delay in Iftari
It is related by Abu Hurairah (RA) that the apostle of Allah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "God says: More beloved among my bondsman is the bondsman who makes haste in breaking the fast (i.e., does not delay it after the setting of the sun)." (Tirmizi)
It is related on the authority of Sahl bin Sa'ad (RA) that the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "So long as people are prompt in Iftar, they will remain on the side of virtue." (Tirmizi)
Commentary: Another tradition bearing the same import is quoted in Musnad-i-Ahmad, on the authority of Abu Zarr Ghifari (RA), but in it delay in sehri is, also, mentioned along with promptitude in Iftar. It says that the Muslims will remain on the side of virtue along as they adhere to the routine of hastening and not delaying the Iftar and of delaying and not hastening Sehri. It is so because haste in Iftar and delay in Sehri is the requirement of shariat and the will of Allah, and it also suits the convenience of the common people which is pleasing to Allah. Hence, as long as the Ummah acts on it, it will be on the path of goodness. On the contrary, as there is hardship for everyone in delaying Iftar and hastening the Sehri and it, also, is a kind of innovation, it is a source of displeasure of Allah. When the Muslims will adopt this practice they will forfeit the good pleasure of Allah and sink to a lower condition. Haste in Iftar means that breaking a fast should not be deferred when it becomes clear that the sun has set, and in , the same way, delay in saheri denotes that it should not be taken much before dawn but when the break of day is near. This, also, was the regular practice of the sacred Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam).
Anas (RA) related to us, saying that Zaid bin Sabit (RA) told him that "We took saheri with the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam), and then, he (quickly) stood up for the Fajr service." Upon it, Anas (RA) asked Zaid (RA), " How much time would have passed between the eating of Saheri and the Azan of Fajr." Zaid (RA) replied, "It was equal to what was needed for the recitation of 50 verses of the Quran." (Bukhari and Muslim)
Commentary: If the recitation is properly done, it takes less the five minutes to complete fifty verses of the Quran. It can thus, be said that there was merely a gap of five minutes between the Saheri of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and the Azan of Fajr.
FROM Meaning and Message of the Traditions
BY SHAYKH Mohammad Manzoor Nomani (RA)