Etiquette of Breaking the Fast

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is an article by Shaykh Gibril Haddad.

The fast is broken at sunset, and it is termed in Arabic, ifthar.  It is a time of happiness and refreshment after experiencing the pangs of hunger and thirst.  It is usually broken with dates and in many cultures a light soup with bread or small side dishes.  Breaking the fast is followed immediately by the evening obligatory prayer.  In many parts of the world, breaking fast is observed in congregation in mosques and homes.

The Prophetic etiquette of breaking fast: three rutab, moist dates, or else tamr, dry dates, or else water, mentioning Allah (s.w.t.), using the right hand, stating the du’a that fasting was for Allah (s.w.t.) and breakfast with His Rizq, Provision, and asking Allah (s.w.t.) for Aid in fasting, night-prayer, lowering the eyes, and guarding the tongue in Ramadhan.  The invocation, du’a, upon breaking fast is Answered.

The following two supplications are from ahadits as recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud.  They should be recited after breaking the fast:

Allahumma laka swumtu wa ‘alaa rizqika afthartu

O Allah!  For You, have I fasted and upon Your Sustenance have I broken my fast.

Dhahab azh-zhama’u wabtallat il-‘uruuqu wa tsabat al-ajru insha’Allah

The thirst has vanished, the veins have been wetted and the Reward is established, insha’Allah.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Whosoever fasts experiences two joys.  He is joyful when he breaks his fast, and is joyful because of his fasting when he meets his Lord.”  This is recorded in Swahih Muslim.

“When evening approaches from this side (east) and the day retreats from this side (west) and the sun has set, the one who is fasting breaks his fast.”  This is recorded in both Swahih al-Bukhari and Swahih Muslim.

“Break your fast with a date or with water because it is pure.”  This is recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud and Sunan at-Tirmidzi.

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said, “My nation will remain in goodness as long as they break the fast as soon as it is due.”  This is recorded in Swahih Muslim.

It is offensive and unhealthy to stuff the stomach with food after fasting.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Enough for a human being to have luqaymat that prop up his spine and, if he must have more [in his stomach], then one third of food, one third of water, and one third of air.”  A ‘luqaymat’ is from 3 to 9 mouthfuls.

Out of respect for the mosques and those who attend them among people, jinn, and angels, foods that cause bad breath such as garlic and onions, belching and gas should not be consumed.


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