Hasten to break your fast & pray Maghrib Prayer in the Masjid – Shaykh al-Albaani

So here two matters were mentioned, and they are neglected by most of the people, and they are: hastening to break the fast, and delaying the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor).

As for neglect of the first matter, which is hastening to break the Fast, then in the view of some people it contradicts another hadeeth, which is his (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬saying, “My Ummah will continue to be upon good for as long as they hasten to pray the Maghrib Prayer.”

So here we have two commands, to hasten with two matters. So it appears to some people that we cannot hasten to perform both of them together.

But reconciling between the command to hasten with breaking the Fast and the command to hasten to pray the Maghrib Prayer is a very easy matter. So it is something that our Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬made clear to us by his action and practice.

He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬used to break the Fast with three dates. He would eat three dates. Then he would pray the Maghrib Prayer, then he would eat again if he found that he needed to eat the evening meal.

But today we fall into two offences:

(i) Firstly we delay the Adhaan from its legislated time.
(ii) Then after this delay comes another delay, which is that we sit down for a meal – except for a few people who are eager and pray the Maghrib Prayer in the mosque. But the majority of the people wait until they hear the Adhaan, and then they sit down to eat as if they are having a dinner, or their evening meal, and not just breaking their fast.

So the Adhaan these days – in most of the lands of Islaam, is, unfortunately, I have to say, and not just in Jordan, and I have known this from investigation, in most of the lands of Islaam – the Adhaan for Maghrib is given after the time it becomes due. And the reason for this is that we have abandoned adhering to and applying the Islamic rulings, and instead we have come to depend upon astronomical calculations. We depend upon the timetable. But these time-tables are based upon astronomical calculations which count the land as being a single flat plane. So they give a time for this flat plane, whereas the reality is that the land, particularly in this land of ours varies, varying between the depression of valleys and the elevation of mountains. So it is not correct that a single time be given which covers the shore, the planes and the mountains. No, each part of the land has its own time. So therefore whoever is able in his place of residence, in his city or his village, to see the sun set with his own eye, then whatever time it sets at, that is the hastening that we have been commanded with in his (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬ saying, which we just mentioned: ‘My Ummah will continue to be upon good as long as they hasten to break the fast.’ So the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬was careful to implement this Sunnah by teaching it, and by putting it into practice.

As for his teaching, then he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬said, in the hadeeth reported by al-Bukharee in his ‘Saheeh’ (no. 1954), “If the night appears from this side,” and he pointed towards the east, “and the day has departed from here,” and he pointed towards the west, “and the sun has set, then the fasting person’s fast is broken” What does ‘the fasting person’s fast is broken’ mean? It means he has entered under the ruling that he should break his fast.

So then comes the previous ruling where the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬encouraged hastening to break the Fast, and the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬used to implement this, even when he was riding on a journey. So it is reported in the ‘Saheeh’ of al-Bukharee (no.1955) that:

the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬ordered one of his Companions to prepare the Iftaar for him. So he replied, ‘O Messenger of Allaah it is still daytime before us.’ Meaning: the light of the sun, so even though it had set, yet its light was still clear in the west. So the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬did not respond to what he had said, rather he re-emphasized the command to him to prepare the Iftaar. So the narrator of the hadeeth who said, We could see daylight in front of us, meaning: the light of day, the light of the sun, When we broke our fast, said, “If one of us had climbed onto his camel he would have seen the sun.”

The sun had set from here, and the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬ordered one of the Companions to prepare the Iftaar – Why? To hasten upon good “My Ummah will continue upon good for as long as they hasten to break the Fast.”

So what is important is that we notice that the Iftaar, which is legislated to be hastened must be done with a few dates. Then we must hasten to perform the Prayer. Then after this the people can sit and eat as they need. This is the first matter, which I wanted to remind you of, and it is how to reconcile the two things that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‬commanded we should hasten to perform.

The first being the command to hasten the breaking of the Fast, and the second being the command to hasten the Maghrib Prayer. So the Iftaar should be done with some dates, as occurs in the Sunnah, and if dates are not available, then with some gulps of water. Then the Prayer should be prayed in congregation in the mosque.

The above is posted from(Beautiful Talk) Sunnahs Neglected in Ramadaan – Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee , Translated by Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah