Allah Ta’ala says:
ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواالصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْل (بقرہ)
That is, then complete the fast (from dawn) till night. This verse describes the last time of fasting, and that fast is the time of breaking the fast. So it is in Hadith Sharif, On the authority of Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattab (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ), the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
وَعَنْ عُمَرَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِذَا أَقْبَلَ اللَّيْل من هَهُنَا وَأدبر النَّهَار من هَهُنَا وَغَرَبَتِ الشَّمْسُ فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِمُ»
‘Umar reported God’s messenger as saying, “When the night approaches on this side and the day retreats on that side and the sun sets, he who fasts has reached the time to break it.” (Bukhari and Muslim.) – (Mishkat al-Masabih)
The strange point is that in the hadith, the word iftar has been mentioned, which means that the fasting person has broken his fast. The point in adopting this title of the Prophet (ﷺ) is that both things are fulfilled in these words. Firstly, the fasting person should break his fast at that time and should not delay eating or drinking any longer. The second is that his fast ends according to Sharia if he does not eat anything at sunset; even from that time, he is among those who do not fast. If a person eats something without intending to break the fast or knowing that the sun has not set and the person breaking the fast does something on purpose, then qadha or expiation will not be wajib. Because, in fact, he did not remain silent at that time. Hazrat Abu Darda (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ ) said;
كَان رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا كَانَ صَا ئِمًا أَمَرَ رَجَلايَقُومُ عَلَى نَشْرٍ مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ فَإِذَا قَالَ قَدْغَرَبَتِ الشَّمْسُ أَفْطَرَ (رواه الطبراني )
Translation: When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was fasting (in the evening at sunset), he would tell a person to stand on a high place (mound, etc.), then when that person reported sunset, you Break the fast.
Interpretation: From these blessed hadiths, the meaning of the verse became clear, and it was known that it was the last time of fasting. When the sun sets, and it is confirmed by seeing it with the eyes or by using a jintri or other devices or by any other correct method, then the fast should be broken, and then there should be no delay in breaking the fast without any Shariah excuse. It is reprehensible and bad not to do it. It is ordered to break the fast soon after it is time.
Hadith: On the authority of Hazrat Sahl bin Saad, Shafi al-Muzbin ﷺ said:
وَعَنْ سَهْلٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَا يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْرَ»
Sahl reported God’s messenger as saying, “The people will continue to prosper as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast.”* *This refers to each day during Ramadan, and recommends that the fast should be broken as early as that may lawfully be done. (Bukhari and Muslim)
(That is, breaking the fast only after sunset is certain)
The virtue of breaking fast early
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: أَحَبُّ عِبَادِي إِلَيَّ أَعْجَلُهُمْ فطرا “. رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيّ
He reported God’s messenger as stating that God Most High has said, “Those of my servants who are quickest in breaking their fast are dearest to me.”
Tirmidhi transmitted it. (Mishkat al-Masabih)
God loves three things
Hadith: It is narrated on the authority of Hazrat Ya’ali Murah that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
ثلاثةٌ يُحِبُّهَا اللهُ تَعْجِيلُ الا فَطَارِ وَتَاخِيرُ السُّحُورِ وَضَرُبُ الْيَدَيْنِ اَحَدُهَا عَلَى الأخرى فِي الصَّلوةِ (رواه الطبراني)
Translation: Allah loves three things. Breaking the fast immediately after sunset. Postponing suhoor until the last time. Place one hand on the other hand in prayer.
Hadith: It is narrated on the authority of Hazrat Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said;
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَا يَزَالُ الدِّينُ ظَاهِرًا مَا عَجَّلَ النَّاسُ الْفِطْرَ لِأَنَّ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى يُؤَخِّرُونَ» . رَوَاهُ أَبُو دَاوُد وَابْن مَاجَه
Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “The religion will continue to prevail as long as people hasten to break the fast, because the Jews and the Christians delay doing so.”
Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah transmitted it. (Mishkat al-Masabih)
What is the secret of early iftar?
As long as not delaying breaking the fast, rather hastening it, and not hastening the breaking of the fast, rather delaying it, will be his method and conduct. The secret in this is that hastening the breaking of the fast and delaying the Suhoor is the order of Allah Almighty, and it is convenient and easy for the common servants of God, which is a permanent source of the mercy and grace of Allah. For as long as the Ummah remains responsible for it, it will be worthy of grace in the sight of Allah Almighty, and its conditions will be good, and on the contrary, delaying Iftar and hastening Suhoor, because it is a hardship for all the servants of Allah Almighty. This is a kind of innovation and the method of Jews and Christians. Therefore it is a cause of displeasure of Allah Almighty instead of pleasure and mercy for this Ummah. And his conditions will worsen, God forbid.
Meaning of Fast Iftar
Early in Iftar means not to delay it when the sunset is certain, and similarly, delaying Suhoor means not to eat Suhoor long before dawn but when it is dawn. If the time is near, then we should eat and drink at that time; this was the custom and blessed rule of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ), and we should also follow it. In obeying, you are good of this world and the hereafter.
A few problems
It is recommended to break the fast when the sun has definitely set; it is makruh to break the fast late.
On the day of change, break the fast a little later when it is good. If you are sure that the sun has set, then break the fast. And one should not put any trust in the watch, watch, etc., until the heart bears witness because the watch may have gone wrong, but even if someone calls the adhan and there is some doubt about the time, then it is not correct to break the fast on such an occasion. It is better to wait two to four minutes, and the three-minute precaution should be taken anyway.
It is not permissible to break the fast until the sun sets. (Behishti Zewer)
What is best for Iftar?
حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَاحِدِ بْنُ زِيَادٍ، عَنْ عَاصِمٍ الأَحْوَلِ، عَنْ حَفْصَةَ بِنْتِ سِيرِينَ، عَنِ الرَّبَابِ، عَنْ سَلْمَانَ بْنِ عَامِرٍ، عَمِّهَا قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ إِذَا كَانَ أَحَدُكُمْ صَائِمًا فَلْيُفْطِرْ عَلَى التَّمْرِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَجِدِ التَّمْرَ فَعَلَى الْمَاءِ فَإِنَّ الْمَاءَ طَهُورٌ ” .
Narrated Salman ibn Amir:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying. (Sunan Abi Dawud)
وَعَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُفْطِرُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ عَلَى رطبات فَإِن لم تكن فتميرات فإنلم تكن تُمَيْرَات حسى حَسَوَاتٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ. رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَأَبُو دَاوُدَ. وَقَالَ التِّرْمِذِيُّ: هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيب
Anas said that the Prophet used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates, but if there were no fresh dates he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates he took some mouthfuls* of water. *Mirqat explains this as three mouthfuls, but ‘three’ does not occur in the text. Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud transmitted it, Tirmidhi saying that this is a hasan gharib tradition. (Mishkat al-Masabih)
Explanation: Dates were the best food for the people of Arabs and especially the people of Madinah, and they were easy to get and cheap, so even the poor and the poor used to eat them. If not found, he encouraged him to break his fast with water and told him this blessed feature that Allah Almighty has declared to be pure.
Problem: Is it better to break the fast with dates and dates, or is there something sweet to break the fast? If not, then let him break the fast with water. And if you break your fast with something else, there is no objection to it either. Some men and some women break their fast with a pebble of salt and consider it a reward. This is a wrong belief. (Bahisti Zewer)
Hadith: On the authority of Mu’adh bin Zahra al-Taabi, he used to say: I have heard that
وَعَنْ مُعَاذٍ بْنِ زُهْرَةَ قَالَ: إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ إِذَا أَفْطَرَ قَالَ: «اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ صَمْتُ وَعَلَى رِزْقِكَ أَفْطَرْتُ» . رَوَاهُ أَبُو دَاوُد مُرْسلا
Mu’adh b. Zuhra told that when the Prophet broke his fast he said, “O God, for Thee I have fasted and with Thy provision I have broken my fast.” Abu Dawud transmitted it in mursal form. (Mishkat al-Masabih)
وَعَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا أَفْطَرَ قَالَ: «ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الْأَجْرُ إِنْ شَاءَ الله» . رَوَاهُ أَبُو دَاوُد
Ibn ‘Umar told that the Prophet said when he broke his fast, “Thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward is sure, if God wills.” Abu Dawud transmitted it. (Mishkat al-Masabih)
Interpretation means that whatever suffering we suffered from thirst and dryness ended as soon as we broke the fast, now there is no more thirst and no dryness in the veins, and God willing, the inexhaustible reward of the Hereafter has also been established. It is also a thank you in the presence of Allah and also a teaching and admonition to others that the feeling and belief of those fasting should be like this.
أَخْبَرَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، قَالَ أَنْبَأَنَا جَرِيرٌ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ مَا مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ عَمِلَهَا ابْنُ آدَمَ إِلاَّ كُتِبَ لَهُ عَشْرُ حَسَنَاتٍ إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلاَّ الصِّيَامَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي الصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ وَلَخُلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ ”.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “There is no good deed that the son of Adam does, but between ten and seven hundred Hasanahs will be recorded for him. Allah, the mighty and sublime, said: ‘Except fasing, for it is for me and I shall reward for it. He gives up his desires and his food for my sake. Fasting is a shield, and the fasting person has two moments of joy. One when he breaks his fast and another when he meets his Lord. And the smell that comes from the mouth of the fasting person is better before Allah than the fragrance of musk.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i)
Most scholars have said in the interpretation of this hadith that the happiness that a fasting person feels at the time of breaking the fast is due to two reasons. Due to the fact that the action was completed, it is thanks to the Almighty God that He took this task, and the fast was completed after being freed from all the calamities. And some have described the apparent reason for the joy of breaking the fast that at the time of breaking the fast, hunger and thirst are quenched, and happiness comes from eating and drinking. The difference between these two variations of Farhat Iftar is based on the difference in-jokes. People’s jokes are different.
The reward of breaking the fast
Hadith: It is narrated from Hazrat Salman Farsi that on the last date of the month of Sha’ban, Sayyid Al-Awalin, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), gave us a sermon and continued in it and said:
وَعَن سلمَان قَالَ: خَطَبَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي آخِرِ يَوْمٍ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَقَالَ: «يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ أَظَلَّكُمْ شَهْرٌ عَظِيمٌ مُبَارَكٌ شَهْرٌ فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مَنْ أَلْفِ شهر جعل الله تَعَالَى صِيَامَهُ فَرِيضَةً وَقِيَامَ لَيْلِهِ تَطَوُّعًا مَنْ تَقَرَّبَ فِيهِ بخصلة من الْخَيْرِ كَانَ كَمَنْ أَدَّى فَرِيضَةً فِيمَا سِوَاهُ وَمَنْ أَدَّى فَرِيضَةً فِيهِ كَانَ كَمَنْ أَدَّى سَبْعِينَ فَرِيضَةً فِيمَا سِوَاهُ وَهُوَ شَهْرُ الصَّبْرِ وَالصَّبْر ثَوَابه الْجنَّة وَشهر الْمُوَاسَاة وَشهر يزْدَاد فِيهِ رِزْقُ الْمُؤْمِنِ مَنْ فَطَّرَ فِيهِ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مَغْفِرَةً لِذُنُوبِهِ وَعِتْقَ رَقَبَتِهِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَكَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَنْقُصَ مِنْ أَجْرِهِ شَيْءٌ» قُلْنَا: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَيْسَ كلنا يجد مَا نُفَطِّرُ بِهِ الصَّائِمَ. فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «يُعْطِي اللَّهُ هَذَا الثَّوَابَ مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا عَلَى مَذْقَةِ لَبَنٍ أَوْ تَمْرَةٍ أَوْ شَرْبَةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ وَمَنْ أَشْبَعَ صَائِمًا سَقَاهُ اللَّهُ مِنْ حَوْضِي شَرْبَةً لَا يَظْمَأُ حَتَّى يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ أَوَّلُهُ رَحْمَةٌ وَأَوْسَطُهُ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَآخِرُهُ عِتْقٌ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَنْ خَفَّفَ عَنْ مَمْلُوكِهِ فِيهِ غَفَرَ الله لَهُ وَأعْتقهُ من النَّار» . رَوَاهُ الْبَيْهَقِيّ
Salman al-Farisi told of God’s messenger saying in a sermon which he delivered to them on the last day of Sha’ban, “A great month, a blessed month, a month containing a night which is better than a thousand months has approached you people. God has appointed the observance of fasting during it as an obligatory duty, and the passing of its night in prayer as a voluntary practice. If someone draws near to God during it with some good act he will be like one who fulfils an obligatory duty in another month, and he who fulfills an obligatory duty in it will be like one who fulfills seventy obligatory duties in another month. It is the month of endurance, and the reward of endurance is paradise. It is the month of sharing with others, and a month in which the believer’s provision is increased. If someone gives one who has been fasting something with which to break his fast it will provide forgiveness of his sins and save him from hell, and he will have a reward equal to his without his reward being diminished in any respect.” Some of them remarked to God’s messenger that they did not all have the means to give one who had been fasting something with which to break his fast, and he replied, “God gives this reward to him who gives one who has been fasting some milk mixed with water, or a date, or a drink of water with which to break his fast, and anyone who gives a full meal to one who has been fasting will be given a drink from any tank by God and will not thirst till he enters paradise. It is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is freedom from hell. If anyone makes things easy for his slave during it, God will forgive him and free him from hell.” (Mishkat al-Masabih)
Interpretation: This hadith proved the great virtue of breaking the fast. Allah Almighty bestows three rewards on breaking the fast, and this reward is not restricted to feeding one’s stomach but also to breaking the fast with a piece of bread or a date or a small spoonful of milk or a sip of water.
Here are the three rewards. (1) Forgiveness of sins (2) Salvation from Hellfire (3) Whoever breaks the fast of a fasting person, then the person who broke the fast will get a reward equal to that of the fasting person in such a way that the reward of the person breaking the fast will be equal to that of the person who breaks the fast. There is no reduction; Allah gives this reward separately to the one who breaks the fast. Consider! What is the price of a chawara or a date, or a sip of water? Nothing. If a person who is fasting is offered one of these things or something other than them at the time of breaking the fast, what will be the expense of the offerer? Even the poorest of the poor must have something. If there is nothing obligatory, he can break his fast with water only. Estimate the mercy and grace of God and how much He has spread His mercy so that everyone can benefit on these blessed days and nights.