In the name of Allah,
According to the agreement, it starts at real white dawn and finishes at sunset. According to the ayat and what the Prophet stated in the Sahih,
“When night advances from there and the day retreats from here and the sun sets, the faster breaks the fast.”
People who are fasting should break their fast as soon as the sun sets. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be on him) told Sahl ibn Sad: “The people will always be with the good as long as they hasten in breaking the fast.”[i]
If it’s clear that it’s sunset, either by seeing it or hearing the call to prayer or something similar, it’s best to break the fast sooner. People will be on virtue and continue to be in good condition as long as they adhere to the Sunnah and exert every effort to do good. However, delaying breaking the fast is evil.
Abu Atiyyah reported: Masruq and I visited Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) and said: “0 Mother of the Believers! There are two Companions of Muhammad (Peace be on him) and neither of them holds back from doing good acts, but one of them hastens to break Saum (fasting) and hastens to perform the Maghrib prayer, while the other delays breaking Saum and delays performing Salat (prayer).”
She asked, “Who is the one who hastens to break Saum and perform the Maghrib prayer?” Masruq said, “It is Abdullah (meaning Abdullah bin Mas’ud).” She said, “ The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be on him) used to do so.” [ii]
The hadeeth of Umar bin Al-Khattaab: “When the night approaches from here (i.e. the east) and the day retreats from here (i.e., from the west) and the sun has set, the one observing fast breaks it.”[iii]
Whoever wakes up for the pre-dawn meal thinking that fajr hasn’t begun yet or breaks his fast thinking that the sun has set, but then realizes that it hasn’t his fast is valid. Click here for details.
He would break fast with dates, water, and before prayer.
Break the fast with an odd number of dates or water. Reports Anas:
“The Messenger of Allah broke his fast with ripe dates before praying. If he couldn’t find those, he would eat dried dates. If none of those were available, he would drink water.”[iv]
Break the fast by eating an odd number of dates or drinking water. On an empty belly, dates are a sweet meal that aids in digestion.
Water may aid in the liver’s digestion of food because it becomes dehydrated while fasting. Doctors advise beginning a meal with dates and water for this reason[v].
The Prophet broke the fast with a few fresh date dates because the stomach is still empty. Therefore, when breaking fast, don’t overeat.
Which should one use to break their fast if they only have bread and water?
We advise breaking the fast with water because the Prophet (Peace and blessings be on him) directed us to do so; he said, “For it is pure,” and it purifies the liver and intestines.
If you can’t find water, take what’s easy to eat and drink. If you can’t find anything, like in a desert, the fast ends when you intend to break it. You can eat or drink later. [vi]
A matter of concern
Some Muslims break their fast at home and don’t go to the mosque for Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer. They incur a grave sin by not praying in congregation, missing a great reward, and exposing themselves to Divine anger. Muslims should break their fast first, then go to the mosque to pray the Maghrib Prayer, and then have their fast-breaking meal. [vii]
When the fasting person breaks his fast, he should pray to Allah and ask for whatever he wants. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Verily; a fasting person has an invocation (Du’a) when breaking his fast that is not rejected (by Allah).”[viii]
Breaking fast at home or mosque?
Many factors must be considered. Muslims can get to know each other, make friends, and work together better by eating iftar in the mosque with other Muslims.
Home iftar brings the family together, improves family bonds, and teaches kids how to eat and talk.
The head of the family must find a balance. He could alternate iftar with his family and mosque people. Noting that family, children, and Islam come first[ix].
Peace and blessings be on the last and final Prophet.
[i] Sahih al-Bukhari 1957
[ii] [ Muslim ],Riyad as-Salihin 1234
[iii] Sahih Muslim 1100
[iv] Hasan (Darussalam) Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 696.
[v] Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (ZAD AL M AA’D) PROVISIONS OF THE AFTERLIFE, WHICH LIE WITHIN PROPHETIC GUIDANCE, Translation Ismail Abdus Salaam, Dar Al-Kotob Al-llmiyah Publication, 2010, Page 128
[vi] An Explanation of Riyadh al-Saliheen. from the words of the Master of the Messengers, Explanation, and Completion of His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad bn Salih Uthaymeen. Vol -5, page 315
[vii] A summary of Islamic Jurisprudence by Dr. Salih Al-Fawazan, Vol 1- page 384
[viii] Hasan (Darussalam) Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3598