TweetRasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: When you make Iftaar (break the fast), do so with dates or with water (if dates are not available), for verily, it is pure and it is a purifier.
A Hadith also states: Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) loved to make Iftaar with three dates or with something which the fire did not touch (i.e. uncooked).
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also said: Whoever finds dates, let him make Iftaar with it. Whoever does not find dates should make Iftaar with water.
In a Hadith-e-Qudsi, Allah Taala 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. It 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 Itikaaf 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 rakat or partly of the first rakat, 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 way.
Remember that Iftaar is not the time for feasting.
After Maghrib, there is no need to rush from the Musjid. Perform at least four rakats Salaatul Awwaabeen, preferably six rakats, 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).
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