Suhoor during Ramadan – Expectation Versus Reality…

Suhoor, or Sehri as we call it, is the meal eaten just before sunrise during Ramadan, and what keeps you going through out the rest of the day whilst fasting. Having fasted for over half my life now, you would think it is second nature and I would be used to how it works every time Ramadan rolls on. Haha, absolutely NOT!

Before every Ramadan, we have certain expectations of how Suhoor will be. To be honest, every single MORNING that I wake up, I have an expectation of how Suhoor will be. The reality however is very different. Read on to find out how…

Suhoor during Ramadan

Expectation #1: You will awake at the first sound of your alarm, at 3 am, well in advance for the Fajr Prayer that will sound at 4 am, giving you ample time to eat properly.

Reality: Snooze. Followed by another snooze. And another. You open one eye as the other hand reaches out for your phone. 3.35 am. *GULP* You jolt up and run to the bathroom, whilst cursing to yourself for hitting that snooze button AGAIN!

Expectation #2: You wash your face, brush you teeth, and proceed to heat up your wholesome Suhoor meal that you prepared the day before.

Reality: You splash water to wake up your senses, and open the fridge to see if there are any Iftar leftovers. Or, if you’re like me, you will have a standard meal of toast and spreadable cream that you prepare for almost every single suhoor. Because anything else is far too much effort. Cereal anyone?

Expectation #3: You sit at the dining table to eat Suhoor with your husband and/or extended family, and chat about what to prepare for Iftar the next day. If you’re feeling particularly chirpy, you may even discuss what activities you have planned for your child and what Eid gifts you should buy.

Reality: You eat in silence. It is almost 4 am in the morning, for god’s sake. If your husband makes the mistake of talking to you, even if it is to ask you to pass the spoon from your side of the table, your husband WILL be the reciprocal of a long and hateful death stare.

Expectation #4: You try to be as quite as possible, whilst your child sleeps soundly in his/her bed, making sure not to drop any dishes whilst washing them.

Reality: As quiet as you are trying to be, your husband obviously didn’t get the memo. He switches on the brightest light in the hallway, and shuts one of the doors extremely loudly for good measure. Your child wakes up. Another death stare follows. Mostly because you don’t have the energy to argue with him at almost 4 am in the morning.

Expectation #5: You finish off cleaning the dishes from your meal, clear the table, and just have enough time to pray a few pages of the Holy Quran, taking in the peace around you. You also drink your final glass of water and pray the dua for the intention of fasting.

Reality: No point being quiet now, since your child is awake, so you relish in cleaning up as loudly as possible, and then try to persuade your little one to go back to sleep. Your child however is now very much awake. So instead, you and your child watch the odd car go by through the window and try to spot the moon to pass the time. It’s so quiet and serene, that you take a moment to count your blessings and breathe in your surroundings.  You also drink your final glass of water and pray the dua for the intention of fasting.

Expectation #6: The adhan for Fajr prayers echoes outside, and you offer your prayers after doing Wudhu.

Reality: As the Fajr adhan sounds, you peel yourself away from your child, like a trained Ninja, who has just nodded back off to sleep, and proceed to offer your prayers after doing Wudhu.

Expectation #7: Suhoor and Fajr is complete, and you head back to bed, falling asleep straight away.

Reality: Once you finish praying, you head back into bed, but sleep seems nowhere to be found. Performing Wudhu (which consists of washing different parts of your body including your face) means that you are now wide awake. If you make the mistake of scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or even the News Apps, you will be awake for even longer. If you’re like me, you are too full from having eaten a meal and can’t sleep straight away, so you sit up in bed until you feel a little lighter. You finally force your eyes shut when you see daylight emerging outside your window, and eventually fall asleep, promising to yourself that you won’t hit the snooze button ever again.

Are you a snoozer? If you are a Muslim, let me know how closely you can relate to this reality of Suhoors. If you are a Non-Muslim, well now you have some insider knowledge on how and why we wake up at insane hours in the early morning in Ramadan.


  • Mehtab June 21, 2017 at 1:31 am

    I totally agree not to hit the snooze button. It left me and my family fast for two consecutive nights without sehri 😴

    • Zeyna S. June 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Haha, yes that’s another reality of Ramadan for sure!!

  • diorellajoy June 22, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Great insights, Zeyna! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Eid Al Fitr 🙂

    • Zeyna S. June 27, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed the read!


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