Ramadan is a blessed month, wherein Muslims around the globe take part in numerous acts of worship and fellowship. Along with the serenity and spirituality the month brings is some observable behaviors one may find among fasters.
An important activity in which fasting people engage is suhoor—the morning meal eaten before sunrise. The Prophet Muhammad said, “Eat suhoor, for in suhoor there are blessings.” Every morning, potential fasters rise and behave in ways that range as much as the food they select to eat.
Writer Laura Alam describes 6 suhoor types that may come to the table before starting the day of fasting.
1. The Slap Happy Chatterbox
This person is somehow bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3:30 a.m. The Chatterbox attempts to make conversation with everyone at the table, asks probing questions, makes corny jokes, and laughs at them (often alone). The Chatterbox needs to be reminded to eat and drink.
2. The Crab Apple
No morning person, the Crab Apple is clearly awake against their will. They spend suhoor nibbling their food half-heartedly, glaring at the Chatterbox, grumbling, and longing for a large, strong coffee that they know they shouldn’t drink at 3:30 a.m.
3. The Nourisher
This is the family member who prepared the food for suhoor. Whatever their own feelings about being awake, they always try to ensure that everyone eats a healthy meal. The Nourisher prods, prompts, reminds, and entices. “Who wants a hard-boiled egg? It has lots of protein!” “Drink more water, dear. You need to stay hydrated!” “Eat your oatmeal! It’ll stick to your ribs!” “Have a banana. You need the potassium.” The Nourisher can be a bit annoying, TBH. Their job is often thankless, but is definitely full of reward in Ramadan.
4. The Zombie
It’s always a mystery whether the Zombie will actually make it to the table. When they do — about 15 minutes before fajr — they are still 98% asleep. They hover near the table with half-shut eyes, as if wondering where they are and what they’re supposed to do. The Zombie needs basic directions and is wholly dependent on the Nourisher. “Here’s a yogurt. . . . You’ll need a spoon for that. . . . . Pick it up. . . . Now eat it.” The Zombie makes no eye contact or conversation but, once seated, will mechanically eat whatever is set before them.
5. The Efficiency Expert
This person has suhoor down to an art form. A quick “salaam,” a healthy snack, a few glasses of water, and the Efficiency Expert is done. They plop their dirty plate in the sink and disappear. This is the person who wisely avoids the last-minute queue for the bathroom to brush teeth and make wudu. Not every family has an E.E. because these individuals are the unicorns of the Ummah.
6. The Sleeping Beauty
As the name suggests, this person prefers sleep over hydration and food. They rarely join the family at suhoor, but when they do, even The Zombie looks up in surprise. Sleeping Beauty is likely to complain, later, of hunger and thirst, which is The Nourisher’s opportunity to say, “I told you so.”