IFTAAR – AN AUSPICIOUS OCCASION
The following acts should be carried out:
- Engage in Dua before Iftaar.
- Break the fast as soon as the sun has set.
- Break the fast with dates and water – stay away from pies, etc. at Iftaar time.
- Engage in Iftaar while the Athaan is called.
- After Athaan, engage in Dua and Thikr.
- Abstain from worldly talk and do not bring any cooked food, juices or Haraam soft-drinks to the Musjid nor destroy your Fast, spiritual and physical health with haraam and mushtabah food, e.g. carrion chickens.
For a Mu’min, there are two occasions of delight mentioned in the Hadeeth:
- Delight/happiness at the time of Iftaar
- Delight/happiness at the time of Meeting his Rabb.
Iftaar is a very great Sunnah. In a Hadith-e-Qudsi, Allah Ta’ala says: “Verily, the most beloved servants to Me are those who are the quickest in Iftaar.” (Note: A salient feature of the shiahs is to delay Iftaar) According to the Hadith, the moments of Iftaar are most auspicious. Love for Allah is in following the Sunnah as the Qur’aan says.
Furthermore, Iftaar should be made in the way Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed us to observe Iftaar. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever finds dates should break the fast with it, and whoever has no dates, should make iftaar with water.”
In another Hadith it is mentioned:
“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to break the fast with three dates or with something which the fire did not touch (i.e. it was not prepared or it was an uncooked item).”
The Sunnah way of Iftaar is in dates and water – not in feasting. Pies, samoosas, badjyas, moons, spring-rolls, haleem, daltjies, pakoras, chips, and the balance should all be consumed after Maghrib Salaah, i.e. after the Awwabeen Salaah. Sad to say, we do not show interest in Nafl Salaah in the month of Ramadaan whereas one receives the thawaab of a Fardh when one performs a Nafl in Ramadaan. There is much virtue in Awwabeen Salaah after Maghrib, Tahajjud, Chaasht and Ishraaq Salaah. We should not discard these Nawaafil, especially in Ramadhaan.
By having pies and samoosas, etc. at Iftaar time, one will be discarding the Sunnah. And discarding a Sunnah is a major crime. In addition to discarding the Sunnah, the health is harmed with the sudden ingestion of an abundance of food in a contracted stomach. Whatever the Deen has ordered us is for our benefit – spiritual and physical benefit. In fact, it is much worse in Ramadhaan. Reviving the Sunnah brings about Nur. The whole day we were fasting, thus we should end off our fasting in the best of ways. And the best of ways is the Sunnah.
We should not be greedy and impatient at Iftaar time. Furthermore, we should make it a point to abstain from all soft drinks, at least in Ramadaan. These drinks are Haraam.
Perform Maghrib Salaah and Awwabeen calmly and with concentration and then enjoy the samoosas and pies thereafter at home.
The occasion of Iftaar is a time of great barkat and Maqbooliyyat. Duas are quickly accepted at this time. According to the Hadith, at least one dua made at the time of Iftaar is assured of acceptance. The time of Iftaar should, therefore, not be squandered in feasting. Iftaar is not the time for feasting and filling the stomach. Break the fast lightly with dates the Sunnah Way.
Spend a few minutes before Iftaar and the couple of minutes after Iftaar (before Maghrib Salaat) in Dua or Thikr. Come to the Musjid a bit earlier and make niyyat of Nafl I’tikaaf thereby deriving maximum benefit and thawaab. Engage in Dua or Thikr until the Athaan. Break the fast with dates as soon as the Athaan goes or as soon as the time of Iftaar is confirmed, even before Athaan. The fast may be ended as soon as the sun has set. It is not necessary to wait for the Athaan. But be sure of sunset. By the time the Athaan has ended, your Iftaar Ibaadat will have been completed.
Observance of the Sunnat Way of Iftaar allows you to be in the Musjid before the Athaan. You gain the thawaab of Nafl I’tikaaf and the benefit of the holy minutes to spend in Dua and Thikr. You are saved from rushing to Musjid, from missing a raka’t or part of the first raka’t, and from panting in your Salaat due to having rushed to Musjid. The Sunnat Way enables you to perform your Ibaadat in a dignified and calm manner. Remember that Iftaar is not the time for feasting.
After Maghrib, there is no need to rush from the Musjid. Perform at least four raka’ts Salaatul Awwabeen, preferably six rakaats, after the Sunnat and Nafl of Maghrib. Ramadhaan is the opportunity for increasing your stock of ibaadat and for fortifying your Rooh and for weakening and neutralizing your nafs.
May Allah Ta’ala bestow to us all the taufeeq to perform our ibaadat correctly in accordance with the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Rasulallah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) has said that the one who performs six Rak’aahs after Maghrib without uttering an evil word between these rak’aahs, then these six rak’aahs will be equivalent to 12 years ibaadat for that person. (Tirmizi)
Sayyiduna Ammaar ibn Yaasir (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Whosoever performs 6 Rakaats after Maghrib Salaat, all his sins will be forgiven even if they equal the foam of the sea.’ (Tabrani)
We mentioned above the Sunnah method of breaking one’s fast, i.e. with dates or water. There is no need for sumptuous dishes at the time of Iftaar. We should understand that Ramadhaan is not a time for merrymaking and futility. It is not a time for inviting friends and family for silly Iftaar feasts. Such Iftaar feasts are in conflict with the Shariah especially due to the abandonment of Hijaab. There is no proper Hijaab nowadays when friends and families get together. They massacre and murder the laws of Hijaab in Ramadaan and on Eids day and then they are unable to understand why there is so much difficulty in their lives. Let us also remember that wasting is much worse in Ramadaan. The Bid’ah Iftaar Parties and ‘Ramadaan Braais’ are undoubtedly Haraam.
Haleem Bid’ah feasting and feasting in the Musjid at Iftaar time are amongst the most despicable Bid’ahs in Ramadaan. The sanctity of the Musjid is defiled with the smell of all the savouries.
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