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Etiquettes of Fitr (Breaking The Fast) by Shaykh Farkus

August 14, 2010

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم

Breaking the fast is linked with a number of Islamic etiquettes, which are recommended for the fasting person to abide by, following the Prophet.

1- Breaking the Saum (fasting) happens before Maghrib Salât (sunset prayer), according to the statement of Anas Ibn Mâlik :

«مَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وآله وَسَلَّمَ قَطُّ صَلَّى صَلاَة َالمَغْرِبِ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ وَلَوْ عَلَى شَرْبَةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ»

“I have never seen the Messenger  performed Maghrib Salât (prayer) before breaking his fast even with a gulp of water” [35].

2- Breaking his fast with some fresh date-fruits; if there are not any, he will eat dry date-fruits; and if there are not any dry ones, he will drink water, based on the hadith narrated by Anas’s Ibn Mâlik  who reported:

«كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وآله وَسلَّمَ يُفْطِرُ عَلَى رُطَبَاتٍ، قَبْلَ أَنْ يُصَلِّي، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ رُطَبَاتٍ فَعَلَى تَمَرَاتٍ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ حَسَا حَسَوَاتٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ»

“The Messenger of Allah  used to break Saum (fasting) before performing Maghrib prayer with three fresh date-fruits; and if there were no dry date-fruits, he would take three draughts of water.”[36]

3- Du ̀a ́ (invocations) uttered when breaking the Saum (fast). It is stated that the Prophet  used to say when breaking his fast:

«ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتِ العُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الأَجْرُ -إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ-»

“Dhahaba Ad-Dama ́u Wa Btallati Al- ̀Urûqu Wa Thabata Al-́Ajru Inshâ’ Allâh” (The thirst has gone and the veins are moistened, and reward is confirmed, if Allah wills” [37].

Fifth: Among the etiquettes of fasting also, the recommendation to use Siwâk (stick cleaning for teeth) for a fasting or non-fasting person. It can be used soft or hard, by night or by day, before performing every Salât (prayer) or making ablution,́ according to the Prophet’s  statement:

«لَوْلاَ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَى أُمَّتِي لأَمَرْتُهُمْ بِالسِّوَاكِ عِنْدَ كُلِّ صَلاَةٍ»

“Had I not thought it difficult for the people of my Ummah (nation, community), I would have commanded them to use the Siwâk (stick cleaning for teeth) before every Salât” [38]. In another version:

«عِنْدَ كُلِّ وُضُوءٍ»

“Before every ablution”[39]. This evidence does not concern the fasting person only. Ibn ̀Umar  said:

«يُسْتَاكُ أَوَّل النَّهَارِ وَآخِرهُ»

“Brushing one’s teeth with Siwâk (or Miswâk) (stick cleaning for teeth) every day and night” [40]. Within this ruling, Ibn Taymiya may Allah have mercy on him said: “…as for the Miswâk, it is permissible without any divergence. However, there is a difference in opinion regarding the dislike of using it in the afternoon on two well-known statements of Imam Ahmad. But no Islamic legal evidence is valid to make the use of Miswâk undesirable in the afternoon” [41].

Sixth: Striving in doing good and intensifying the acts of worship. Indeed, during the month of Ramadan, the Prophet  used to do more acts of worship and good actions. He was the kindest and best in treatment. In his hadith, Ibn `Abbâs  said:

«كَانَ -أي النَّبِىُّ صلى الله عليه وآلِهِ وسلم- أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ بِالْخَيْر، وكَانَ أَجْوَدَ مَا يَكُونُ فِى رَمَضَانَ، حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ جِبْرِيلُ -عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم- يَلْقَاهُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ فِى رَمَضَانَ حَتَّى يَنْسَلِخَ ، يَعْرِضُ عَلَيْهِ النَّبِىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْقُرْآنَ، فَإِذَا لَقِيَهُ جِبْرِيلُ -عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ-كَانَ أَجْوَدَ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ

“The Prophet  was the most generous of the men; and he was the most generous during the month of Ramadan when Jibrîl visited him every night until it ends and recited the Quran to him. During this period, the generosity of the Prophet waxed faster than the rain bearing wind” [42].

He  used to recite the Quran very much during this month. He prolonged Qiyâm (standing at night to pray) in Ramadan more than he  did out of it. He became more generous than ever in giving charity and gifts and in other sorts of kindness. The Prophet  strived harder in the last ten days and nights of this month–in observing I ̀tikâf (seclusion in the mosque), in Qiyâm (standing to pray at night), reciting the Quran and in remembering Allah  more than he did in the rest of the year. It was reported in the hadith:

«إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ، وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ»

“When the last ten nights (of Ramadan) would begin, he would prepare himself to be more diligent in worship, keep awake at night (for prayer and devotion) and awaken his family” [43].

Among the acts of worship that the Prophet  recommended Muslims to achieve is performing ̀Umrah (lesser hajj) in Ramadan. It has a great reward that equals to a reward of hajj. The Prophet  said:

«عُمْرَةٌ فِي رَمَضَانَ تَعْدِلُ حَجَّةً»

“A ̀Umrah in Ramadan is equal to a hajj (in reward)” [44].

The reward of performing Salât (prayer) in the Mosque of Makkah and Al-Madînah is multiplied. The Prophet  said:

«صَلاَةٌ فِي مَسْجِدِي هَذَا خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ صَلاَةٍ فِيمَا سِوَاهُ إِلاَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ»

“One Salât (prayer) in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque except Al-Masjid Al-Haram”[45]. In addition, the committed sins and evil acts are expiated thanks to successive ̀Umrahs. It was stated that the Prophet  said:

«الْعُمْرَةُ إِلَى الْعُمْرَةِ كَفَّارَةٌ لِمَا بَيْنَهُمَا»

“Performing ̀Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous one” [46].

Seventh: Avoiding things which prevent achieving the objective of fasting, looking out for all that the Islamic sharia prohibits, such as evil words and foul deeds which are forbidden and disliked all the time, especially in Ramadan. Their wickedness is greater in punishment for the fasting person during this month. For this reason, he has to keep his tongue from bad speech, such as lying, backbiting, calamity, insults, and disputes and from losing his time in reciting poems, telling tales and riddles, praising and disparaging wrongly. It is also obligatory upon him to prevent his hearing from tending his ear to them and listening to what is legally ugly and disapproved. He has to work hard to keep his soul and body away from desires and prohibitions, such as lowering the gaze from looking at forbidden things and preserving the other parts of the body from committing sins. He should not stretch his hand to falsehood or even walk to it. He has to eat only lawful food with moderation and without excess in order to curb his soul from desires and to fortify it against Satan and its helpers. In addition to that, his heart should remain –after breaking his fast and at the end of every act of worship– between hoping to see his fasting accepted by Allah تعالى to be among those brought near to Him and fearing that it might be rejected and then he would be among hated people.

Indeed, many texts in sharia reported in this regard. They warn the fasting person against the evil of the tongue and of the other parts of the body. The Prophet  said:

«مَنْ لَمْ يَدَعْ قَوْلَ الزُّورِ وَالْعَمَلَ بِهِ فَلَيْسَ لِلَّهِ حَاجَةٌ في أَنْ يَدَعَ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ»

“Whoever does not give up lying speech (false statements) and acting on those lies and evil actions etc; Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink [i.e. Allah will not accept his Saum (fasting)]” [47].

The aim of observing fasting in Islam is not in the nature of hunger and thirst, but is what goes with it like abstaining from desires, rendering the soul which is inclined to evil a complete rested and satisfied soul. For this purpose, the Prophet  said:

«رُبَّ صَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ صِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ الجُوعُ، وَرُبَّ قَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ قِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ السَّهَرُ»

“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray Qiyâm (standing to pray at night) and get nothing from their Qiyâm but a sleepless nigh.” [48]. The true fasting person is the one whose stomach abstains from all kinds of food, the parts of his body from committing sins, his tongue from harsh and foul language, his hearing from absurdity, his sex from intercourse with his woman and his sight from looking at forbidden things. When he speaks, he does not utter words which hurt his fasting; and if he does, he will not say things which spoil his fast. His speech will be beneficial and his deeds will be righteous and good. The Prophet  said:

«قَالَ اللهُ تعالى: كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ لَهُ إِلاَّ الصِّيَامَ، فَإِنَّهُ لِى، وَأَنَا أَجْزِى بِهِ. وَالصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ، وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ، فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَصْخَبْ، فَإِنْ سَابَّهُ أَحَدٌ، أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّى امْرُؤٌ صَائِمٌ»

“Allah  said: ‛Every act of the son of Adam is for him, except Saum (fasting) which is (exclusively) for Me and I will reward him for it.’ Fasting is a shield. When anyone of you is observing fast, he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice, and if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him, he should say: ‛I am a fasting person’ ” [49]. In another hadith Marfû ̀ (Elevated):

«لاَ تُسَابَّ وَأَنْتَ صَائِمٌ، فَإِنْ سَابَّكَ أَحَدٌ فَقُلْ: إِنِّي صَائِمٌ، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ قَائِماً فَاجْلِسْ»

“Do not revile while fasting, and if anyone reviles you, say I am fasting; and sit down if you are standing…”[50]. The fasting person might not reach the reward of his Saum (fast) despite his endurance to hunger and thirst because he did not abandon the prohibited acts. The reward of fasting decreases by committing sins, and will be invalid only by doing things which spoil it. In the preceding hadiths, there is an incitation of the fasting person to forgive wrong people errors and to avoid replying to others’ evil.

Eighth: Getting ready to serve the fasting persons meals or something to break their fasts in order to request similar reward to theirs. The Prophet   said in referring to its merit:

«مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ، غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لَمْ يَنْقُصْ مَِنْ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ شَيْئًا»

“He who provides a fasting person something with which to break his fast, will earn the same reward as the one who was observing the fast, without diminishing in any way the reward of the latter”[51].

Ninth: Guarding the optional night prayer (Tarawîh) in congregation and adhering to its performance. If he does not join it or he abandons it, he will miss a great reward. The Prophet  exhorted his Companions  to perform Qiyâm (standing for prayer at night) in Ramadan without ordering them. He said:

«مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ»

“Whosoever stood to pray (Tarawîh) in Ramadan with perfect faith and seeking reward, he will have his previous sins forgiven” [52], especially in the last ten days of Ramadan where there is a night which is better than a thousand months. Allah تعالى will provide those who perform its Qiyâm a great reward and their past sins will be forgiven. The Prophet  said:

«مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ»

“Whosoever performed Qiyâm during Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree) with faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, he will have his former sins forgiven” [53]. It was reported regarding the virtue of performing Qiyâm in congregation that the Prophet  said:

«إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ إِذَا صَلَّى مع الإِمَامِ حَتَّى يَنْصَرِفَ كُتِبَ لَهُ قِيَامُ لَيْلَةٍ»

“Whoever pray Qiyâm with the Imâm until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.”[54] For that merit, the fasting person should not neglect the Qiyâm of Ramadan in congregation in order not to miss this great blessing and abundant reward.


[35] Reported by: Ibn Hibbân (hadith 89), from the hadith of Anas Ibn Mâlik . It is considered Sahîh (authentic) by: Al-Albâni in “As-Sahîha” (hadith 2110) and in “Mawârid Ad-Dam’ân” (hadith 737).

[36] Reported by: Abu Dâwûd (hadith 2356) and At-Tirmidhi (hadith 696). It is considered Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh At-Targhîb” (hadith 1077).

[37] Reported by: Abu Dâwûd (hadith 235) and Al-Baihaqi (4/239), from the hadith of Ibn ̀Umar . It is considered Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwâ ” (hadith 920).

[38] Reported by: Al-Bukhâri (hadith 887), Muslim (hadith 612), from the hadith of Abu Hurairah , Ahmad (4/116), Abu-Dâwûd (hadith 47) and At-Tirmidî (hadith 23), from the hadith of Zaid Ibn Khâlid Al-Juhani .

[39] Reported by: Ahmad (2/460, 517). It is considered Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwa’” (1/110), n° (70).

[40] See “The Summarize of Sahîh Al-Bukhâri” by Al-Albâni (hadith 451) n° (366).

[41] “The Whole Fatâwa” by Ibn Taimiya (25/266), Al-Hâfid said in “At-Talkhîs” (2/202) that  `Abd Ar-Rahmân Ibn Ghanam reported “I asked Mu`âdh Ibn Jabal: ‛Can I brush my teeth with the Miswâk while observing Saum (fasting)?’ He said: ‛Yes’. I said: ‛Which part of the day?’ He said: ‛Any part of the day; in the morning or in the evening’. I said: ‛Other people say that it is undesirable in the afternoon.’ He said: ‛Why.’ I said: ‛They say that the Messenger of Allah   said: ‛The breath of one observing Saum is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk’. He said: ‛Subhân-Allâh (Allah is glorified)! The Messenger of Allah commanded them to use Miswâk knowing that the breath of the fasting person is sweating after using it. He did not command them to infect their mouths deliberately. There is nothing good in it, but just evil, except those who are afflicted and have no choice”.

[42] Reported by: Al-Bukhâri (hadith 3220) and Muslim (hadith 2307), from the hadith of Ibn ̀Abbâs .

[43] Reported by: Al-Bukhâri (hadith 2024) and Muslim (hadith 1174), from the hadith of  ̀Â’isha .

[44] Reported by: Abu Dâwûd (2/503). It is considered Sahîh (authentic) by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Abu Dâwûd” (hadith 1988). It is reported by Al-Tirmidhi in a summarized way (3/276) and Ibn Mâjah (2/996), from the hadith of Abu Ma ̀qal .

[45] Reported by: Al-Bukhâri (hadith 1190) and Muslim (hadith 1394), from the hadith of Abu Hurairah .

[46] Reported by: Al-Bukhâri (hadith 1773) and Muslim (hadith 1349), from the hadith of Abu Hurairah .

[47] Reported by: Al-Bukhâri (hadith 1903), from the hadith of Abu Hurairah .

[48] Reported by Ibn Mâjah (1/539), from the hadith of Abu Hurairah . It isconsidered Sahîh (authentic) by Al-Albâni in “Sahih Ibn Mâjáh” (hadith 1380) and in “Sahîh At-Targhîb” (hadith 1079).

[49] Reported by: Al-Bukhâri (hadith 1904) and Muslim (hadith 1151), from the hadith of Abu Hurairah .

[50] Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah in his “Sahîh” (3/241). Al-Albâni said in “Sahîh Mawârid Ad-Dam’ân” (1/383): “It was reported in the “Sahîh” except the statement: “and sit down if you are standing”: Hassan (good).”

[51] Reported by At-Tirmidhi (3/171), and Ibn Mâjah (1/555), from the hadith of Zaid Ibn Khâlid Al-Juhani . It is considered Sahîh (authentic) by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh At-Tirmidhi” (hadith 807), and “Sahîh Ibn Mâjah” (hadith 1746).

[52] This hadith is previously reported.

[53] This hadith is previously reported.

[54] Reported by: Abu Dâwûd (2/105), At-Tirmidhi (3/169), and An-Nasâ’i (3/202-203), from the hadith of Abu Dhar Al-Ghifâri . It is considered Sahîh (authentic) by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Abu Dâwûd” (hadith 1375) and in “Sahîh At-Tirmidî” (hadith 806).

Source: Shaykh Furkus’s Webstie

From → Ramadaan

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