Q: Could you please explain whether it is permissible to take the Suhoor meal on a fasting day between midnight and 3 a.m. instead of the prescribed time, as many people do. They feel that this is easier for them since they have to go to work in the morning.
A: There is no prescribed time for the meal one should take in preparation for a day of fasting. However, the Prophet, peace be upon him, has recommended us to take this meal as late as possible, shortly before the start of fasting. Needless to say, this reduces the hardship that is inevitably involved in fasting. Moreover, it helps to have the perfect start of the day, with the dawn prayer following shortly after having this meal. Thus, one attends to both acts of worship in the best possible way. Unfortunately many people prefer to stay up late at night in Ramadan, and when they want to go to sleep, they take a meal to help them with their fasting. They finish a couple of hours before dawn prayer and they go to bed. In the majority of cases they fail to wake up for dawn or Fajr prayer. This is definitely wrong, and they should adopt the other way, which is the one recommended by the Prophet, peace be upon him.