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In the month of Ramadan, what should a person who couldn't wake up for suhoor do? Should he continue the fast or should he compensate for it later?

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4 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Eating Suhur is Sunnah. Not obligatory. As Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allahu-Alaihi-Wa-Sallam) Says,

"Eat Suhur (predawn meal). Surely, there is a blessing in Suhur."

Source: This hadith from Bukhari and Muslim

But, Keeping Fast during Ramadan is Obligatory for every Muslim. As described in the Quran and many Ahadith of Prophet (Salla-Allahu-Alaihi-Wa-Sallam).

The Ayat from Quran is

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days.

Source: Sahih International Translation of The Holy Quran

So, the conclusion is, Even if you missed Suhur, You have to fast. Suhur is not obligatory and it is a Sunnah and Prophet says, there is Barakah (blessings) in Suhur. But, it is not in the per-requisites of Fasting

Hope this will help

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All the other answers (correctly) point out that fasting is wajib (obligatory) and suhoor is sunnah (in the sense that it is not obligatory, but recommended). However, more clearly, the reason you still have to fast is because of the conditions of fasting:

  1. Being Muslim
  2. Being beyond puberty and possessing a sound state of mind
  3. Having the ability to complete the fast
  4. Not being sick or in a state of travel
  5. Not having other impediments to fasting (women in their menses etc.)

As you can see, suhoor is not a condition for fasting - and therefore you are obliged to fast despite missing suhoor. If one of the conditions is broken, only then you are not obliged to fast.

So while the wajib/sunnah distinction is valid, technically it would be that suhoor is not a condition for fasting that gives you the answer to your query. And Allah knows better.

Source for conditions of fasting

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fasting ramadan is not wajib, it's Fardh. –  Tamer Shlash Aug 5 '12 at 8:07
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@Mr.TAMER Akhi they are the same thing - only the Ahnaf differentiate between the two, and that difference doesn't affect the ruling, only the derivation. –  Ansari Aug 5 '12 at 8:42
    
Great question: what is the exact difference between the two. –  ashes999 Aug 5 '12 at 14:57
    
@ashes999 Asked and answered: islam.stackexchange.com/q/852/18 –  Ansari Aug 5 '12 at 21:08
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You can and you must!

There is no excuse of breaking the fast if you skipped Sehri for one reason or another. Sehri (mid night meal) has it own benefit and is recommended by the prophet but that is not a requirement for fast. All you need to do is make your intentions for fast and offer prayer. The prayer is

'Wa be somi ghadin navaithu min sheri ramadan' meaning

" I have made the intention of obligatory fast for this day of Ramadan for the sole pleasure of Allah Almighty."

Intention for fasting

The time for the intention (Niyyat) for fasting begins anytime after sunset until midday. Intention is obligatory and it is Sunnat to recite it verbally each day. Even if the intention is made before midday the fast will be valid. Recite Durood Shareef before and after making the intention.

So in short sehri is not compulsory for fasting but it is highly recommended. If you skip it which can very well happen, you should still keep the fast.

If you skipped sehri and now it is too hard for you to keep the fast, that is probably another question.

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As othe answers mentioned, suhoor is a Sunnah (and a recommened Sunnah), but it's not obligatory, and many people don't take it when the fast-time is short and the eating-time is long, however it's still recommended to take it, as this Hadith mentions:

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Eat Suhur (predawn meal). Surely, there is a blessing in Suhur."

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

عن أنس، رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏ "‏تسحروا فإن في السحور بركة‏"‏

متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏

Riyad as-Salihin

So you see that suhoor is a confirmed sunnah, but it's still Sunnah, not obligatory, not taking suhur:

  • Neither spoils your fasting: You still can fast if you have the intention.

  • Nor give you permissions to eat after fajr (the starting time of fast), as this fasting duration is mentioned in Quran and eating anything within that duration breaks your fast:

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

Sahih International

It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah , so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.

[Surat Al-Baqarah:187]

As you see Quran explicitly says that you can eat till fajr time, and after that you'll have to fast until Maghrib.

Hope that's helpful.

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