Like an old friend, she’s back again – Ramadhan, the month of Qu’ran, mercy, serenity… and food (or lack thereof). Today though, we’re just going to talk about one superfood – the date.

We are all familiar with the common hadeeth narrated by Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) used to break his fast with fresh dates before he prayed. If he did not find fresh dates, then he would use dried dates. If he did not find that also, he drank a few sips of water.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawood, graded hasan saheeh by Al-Albaani]

However, we tend to forget that the same sunnah also applies for the suhoor / pre-dawn meal.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The best suhoor for the believer is dates.’ ” [Abu Dawood, graded saheeh by Al-Albaani]

And it was narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Suhoor is a blessed meal, so do not omit it, even if one of you only takes a sip of water, for Allah and His angels send blessings on those who eat suhoor.” [Ahmad, graded hasan by Al-Albaani]

Now I’m not saying you can’t have your lamb biryani, kuah lemak cili api, spaghetti, (or all three in one night!), I’m just sharing that in addition to whatever light, or not-so-light suhoor you’re having, to also remember to take dates, like you do for the breaking of the fast. Also, just as with any of our other meals, we are cautioned to not be extravagant, to not waste, and to not fill our bellies too full.

Here’s some additional motivation to get up for suhoor, even if all you have is a few dates and a glass of water by the bedside.

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Eat suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing.’ ” [Bukhari & Muslim]

Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever wants to fast, let him eat something for suhoor.’ ” [Ahmad, graded saheeh by Al-Albaani]

And finally, whatever has benefited you, especially if it is putting into practice a sunnah, then by all means, extend the blessing to others. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: “Whoever sets a good precedent in Islam will have the reward for that and the reward of those who do it after him, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest. And whoever sets a bad precedent in Islam will bear the burden of sin for that, and the burden of those who do it after him, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.” [Muslim]