To Have The Iftâr Early

It is sunna to make haste for the iftâr and to have the sahûr late providing that it is before the fajr dawns. Rasûlullah (sall-Allâhu 'alaihi wa sallam) was very solicitous about these two sunnats. It is written in Durer: "The meal eaten at the time of seher is called sahûr. The time of seher is the final one-sixth of the night, [i. e. , (of the time) from shar'î sunset to the time of imsâk.]" It has been made a sunna to make haste for the iftâr and to have the sahûr late perhaps because it shows that man is weak and needy. As a matter of fact, worships are intended for showing weakness and need.

Shernblâlî (rahmatullâhi ta'âlâ 'aleyh), wrote in the book Nûr-ul-îdhâh."It is mustahab to have the iftâr early on cloudless nights." While explaining the book, he wrote, "On cloudy nights one must be careful in order to protect one's fast from being broken, [that is, one must delay the iftâr a little]. One who eats the iftâr before the stars are seen has done it early enough." Tahtâwî says in his commentary to the book, "It is mustahab to break fast before performing the evening prayer. As written in the book Bahr [and also in Ibnî Âbidîn], to make haste for the iftâr means to have the iftâr before the stars are seen." Also it is mustahab to perform the evening prayer at that time, that is, to perform it early. When it is well understood that the sun has set, first the iftâr is eaten with dates, water, olives or salt. That is, the fast is broken. Then the evening prayer is performed in jamâ'at in a mosque or at home. Then the supper is had. Because it will take a long time to eat the food at the table, especially during Ramadân, the iftâr must be made with a little food and the supper must be had after the evening prayer so that the evening prayer will be performed early and the meal will be eaten with ease and without haste. Thus, the fast will be broken early and the prayer will be performed early.