No, you don’t have to get up early to eat before fasting.
But you should.
Messenger Muhammad told us that there is blessing in it, and if someone wants to fast, they should eat that pre-dawn meal.
Here are some main benefits to eating the pre-dawn meal.
Eating that early meal will give you some more energy. Not eating it will make it much harder for you to find the energy you need all day.
Even if all you can take is water, that will help you and give you energy to read Quran, do your daily tasks, and offer devotions.
Eating the pre-dawn meal will help you have a better attitude towards others. We all know the word ‘hangry’. Relying on your previous night’s dinner will make you hangry, quicker.
Eating the pre-dawn meal will help with your mood, and make it easier for you to control your temper.
The fasting people who do wake up and eat the pre-dawn meal find fasting easier. You will see it, too.
Eating in the early morning and drinking water right before fasting helps fasting become easier. If it’s easier, then it’s more motivational to fast each day.
The most important reason to eat the pre-dawn meal is that Messenger Muhammad used to do so. And he recommended it himself.
Our practice of Islam depends on imitating the Messenger. We will get rewards for eating that pre-dawn meal, especially if we do it out of imitation of Messenger Muhammad.
The golden time to supplicate to God is that last third of the night before the dawn devotion time.
If you sleep in until devotion time, you will miss that beautiful time in the morning that Messenger Muhammad told us that God answers supplications.
If you’re already up to eat the pre-dawn meal, then you’re wide awake for the dawn devotion time.
You don’t have to worry about not waking up on time, and eating the pre-dawn meal can give your sleepy mind more of an argument on why to wake up in the first place.
May God bless us all with the time-management and motivation to include eating the blessed pre-dawn meal to our mornings in Ramadan.