Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam, and iftar and suhoor are vital junctions of it. When it comes to etiquettes of an ideal Muslim, we have the best example in the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Similarly, when it comes to the etiquettes of iftar and suhoor, we can learn much from what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself did or commanded us to do.
- Intention Of Fasting
The intention of fasting has to be done from the night beforehand as the Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said,
He (PBUH) has also said,
The intention does not have to be verbalized; it has to be in the heart. This is a prerequisite of all other acts of worship and is not only limited to fasting.
- Duration of Suhoor
In the Quran, Allah says
In another report Zayd Bin Thabit (RA) narrated, “We had suhoor with the Prophet (PBUH) and then he stood up for ṣalah. He was asked, “How much time was there between the adhan and the suḥoor?”He replied, “The amount of 50 ayahs” (Reported by Bukhari).
The mentioned hadith, indicates that it is recommended to delay the suhoor, but before the adhan of Fajr and by the time one completes the suhoor. Ideally there should be a time gap that amounts to the recitation of 50 verses from the Quran.
- Importance of Suhoor
It is sunnah for the fasting person to eat suhoor, as reported in the hadith of Anas ibn Makik (RA) Anas ibn Maalik (RA) “The Prophet the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
The suhoor also works in differentiating our fasts from the people of the book. The Prophet (PBUH) said,
Even if one is full or having difficulty to wake up, he should at least have water to follow the sunnah as the Prophet (PBUH) has said “Take suhoor, even if it is only a mouthful of water” (Reported by Abu Yahya).
- Supplication Upon Breaking The Fast
As always before eating the first morsel of food one should begin by saying which is to say Bismillaah (In the name of Allah).
The supplication, which is one is to say open breaking the fast as reported from the Prophet (PBUH) is:
Narrated by Abu Dawood. Ibn Hajar has said in AlTalkhees AlHabeer: AlDaaraqutni said, its isnaad is saheeh.
There is another supplication often associated with breaking the fast that is narrated in Abu Dawood.
However Shaikh AlAlbaani has classed it as daeef (weak).
- Hurry To Break The Fast
It is the sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) to hasten to break the fast. He (PBUH) has said:
- Food To Break The Fast With
In a hadith, as narrated by Anas (R.A.) “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH.) used to break his fast with fresh dates before praying; if there were no (fresh dates) then with dry dates, and if there were no (dried dates) then he would take a few sips of water. (Narrated by Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi. It has been classed as hasan in al-Irwa.