For Ramadan, we asked Daniel Abdullah Hernandez, Imam of the Pearland Islamic Center, to write a series of blogs about this sacred religious observance. This is Part Two  in the series:

This Weeks Prayer Times:

                                                                       

12 Sun 5:03 1:22 4:57 8:23 9:41
13 Mon 5:03 1:22 4:57 8:23 9:41
14 Tue 5:03 1:22 4:57 8:24 9:42
15 Wed 5:03 1:23 4:57 8:24 9:42
16 Thu 5:03 1:23 4:58 8:24 9:42
17 Fri 5:03 1:23 4:58 8:25 9:43
18 Sat 5:03 1:23 4:58 8:25 9:43

Muslims wake up in the morning for the pre-dawn meal, they set their intention that this sacrifice is only and sincerely dedicated to Allah (God). The fasting person maintains his or her daily activities whether it be work or school. They still refrain from food, drink and other activities, which invalidates their fast during the day until Sunset. The fast occurs between the first prayer time and the second to last prayer time, so the fast this week is about 5 a.m. to 8:25 p.m. per the chart above.

  1. The Blessed Suhur before 5:03am: 

Suhūr (Arabic: سحور‎‎) also spelledsuhoor, sahur, sehri, is an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed by Muslims during the pre-dawn and before beginning their day of fasting. The Suhur (pre-dawn meal) varies from culture to culture.

The Prophet Muhammad said: “Eat suhoor, for in suhoor there is blessing.”

This saying indicates that the fasting person is commanded to eat suhoor because there is a great deal of goodness and blessing, both spiritual and worldly, in it. The Prophet mentioned the blessing so as to encourage us to eat suhoor.

Pakistani Suhur (pre-dawn meal)

pakistani food

Egyptian Suhur (pre-dawn meal):

egyptian food

American Suhur (pre-dawn meal)

American Suhur

  1. Suhur is Followed by the Dawn Prayer:

TheFajr prayerin Arabic: صلاة الفجر‎‎ or ṣalāt al-fajr

Fajr Prayer means Dawn Prayer; whose time begins according to the prayer chart at 5:03 a.m. The dawn prayer consists of Two Units consisting of two standings in where the Quran is recited followed by two bowings in which God is praised for His Greatness, two prostrations in which God is praised for His Highness, and two sittings in which one seeks forgiveness and mercy concluding with two Salamu Alaykum (turning face to right and turning face to the left) in which on sends Greetings of Peace.

suhur

  1. The Fasting Person’s Day at Work

After completing the Fajr (Dawn), the fasting person might return home and get ready to go to work earlier attempting to avoid traffic. The fasting person must protect the fast by keeping his or her COOL. The fasting person thinks ahead and keeps in mind that during the commute to work there are at times incidents that occur such as accidents that delay us, road rage (like in Houston), drivers rushing to work cutting other drivers off on the road, or a driver who drives out of his driveway in a rush almost crashing the incoming vehicle.

The Muslim thinks ahead when he boards his or her vehicle and says a special prayer thanking God for providing the means of transportation.

“With the Name of Allah. Praise is to Allah. Glory is to Him Who has provided this for us though we could never have had it by our efforts. Surely, unto our Lord we are returning.”

While driving to work, he listens to the recitation of the Quran or engages in personal praises of God, seeks forgiveness from God, and thanks him for all the favors.

While arriving at work she says Bismillah (I begin with the name of Allah), greets co-workers, and demonstrates extra kindness and generosity. During lunch time if a co-worker offers to share a snack, lunch or to offers coffee, the fasting person should say with kindness, “I really appreciate your offer and I would love to accept but this is the month of Ramadan and I am fasting. I will take a rain check.”

Prayer Time: Salah Duhur (Midday) 1:22pm

            The prayer time for Salah Duhur (Midday) prayer in Houston currently is 1:22 p.m. Prayer times for different parts of the world can located at the Islamic Finder website by just putting one’s zip code.

            The Midday Prayer is similar to the Dawn prayer but instead consists of four units which include the same: Standing Quran Recitation, Bowing Praise, Standing Praise, Prostrating Praise, Sitting Seeking Forgiveness and Mercy and concluding with Salamu Alaykum. The length of the prayer with preparation takes about 10 minutes.

            The fasting person returns to work as usual and strives to perform to best of his ability until the work day is over.

Prayer Time: Salah Asr (Afternoon) 4:57 p.m.

            The afternoon prayer is identical as the Midday Prayer.

Quran Reading:

For the fasting person, if the schedule permits and he or she is not at work then it is recommended that after the Afternoon prayer that he engages in reading Quran and in much supplication for herself, family, the sick, the needy and the world.

Pre Breaking of Fast Preparation:

            All of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) mosques provide Iftaar (food for breaking the fast). Therefore many community members tend to frequent the mosque in order to join their fellow community members in the breaking of the fast. The initial breaking of the fast, like in Suhur, varies from culture to culture with the exception of eating of dates to break the fast.

General Supplication before the call for Sunset prayer followed by Iftaar:

 Namaz

The Call of Sunset Prayer is made at 8:23 p.m.

God is Great (repeated four times)

I bear witness that there is no god except the One God. (two times)

I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God. (two times)


Come to the prayer (two times)


Come to success (two times)


God is Great (two times)

There is no God except the One God (one time)

The Fasting Person, while listening to the Call, makes this Supplication:

 Doa

The moment of Joy, Iftaar:

 iftar

The Iftaar is a light meal consisting of three dates and water followed by the Sunset Prayer. Customary in the Houston mosques after Sunset Prayer, congregants enjoy a full course meal filled with a daily enjoyable social experience.

Prayer Time Salah Isha (Evening Prayer) 9:41 p.m.

            The Evening prayer is identical as the Midday Prayer and Afternoon prayer consisting of four Units of prayer.

Next Article: A Special Ramadan Night Prayer