One Should Hurry to Break Fast in ramadan

The Lawgiver highly recommended rule that the fast be broken as soon as the sun sets is certain. Although newspapers, in their daily almanac, mention the time of sunset and sunrise, one should be strongly advised to look through the window to make sure the sun has set. For example, you might hear that “Today's sunrise is at 6:50 a.m. and sunset at 4:58 p.m.,” and when you look outside, you find that there is still light out side. By sunset it is meant the disappearance of the sun from the western hori­zon.

In the books of Bukhari and Muslim, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: “The people will always remain in a good state of mind and body (during fast) so far as they hurry in the break­ing of the fast and delay the sahuur.”

It is recommended also to break the fast with fresh dates, rutub, and in odd numbers, or tamr, regular table or supermarket dates, or water. If dates are not available, any fruit will do. If there is no food or drink to break the fast with, intend in your heart to break fast, and whenever food is available you should eat.

In a report by Anas (raa), he said: “The Prophet (saas) used to break fast with fresh, ripe dates rutub, before he offered his Maghrib prayer. If they were not available, he would break with regular dates, or drink water if there were no dates.” (Abu Dawud Tirmidhi)

In this report, there is an indication that with the Messenger of Allah (saas) breaking fast precedes evening prayer, Maghrib, as if to say the last meal before fast precedes the morning prayer. Likewise, the first meal at the time of iftaar, the fast breaking meal, precedes evening prayer, Maghrib. Hence, the procedure at Iftaar goes like this: break with a light meal, pref­erably dates, make Iqamah for Maghrib prayer, then take your regular meal.

The meal, may be taken with the family at home, or friends and relatives may be invited to the Iftaar as we shall see that chari­table works are highly recommended in the month of Ramadan. Over the years phenomenon have evolved in different masajid, and Islamic Centers in the United States of America and else­where, where arrangements are made by the believers to break fast in jama'ah in the masajid. These gatherings are excellent and are encouraged as they lead to Taraweeh prayer in Ja­maa`ah in the masjid.

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