we would like to talk on this isuee under the following headings

1- teachings of quran

2- teachings of holy prophet asws

3- attitude of sahaba

 

1- TEACHINGS OF  QURAN

 

allah says in quran

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ

[baqara, part of verse 187]

let us see different translations for this

[Ahmad Ali]

اور کھاؤ اور پیو جب تک کہ تمہارے لیے سفید دھاری سیادہ دھاری سے فجر کے وقت صاف ظاہر ہو جاوے پھر روزوں کو رات پورا کرو

[Jalandhry]

اور کھاؤ پیو یہاں تک کہ صبح کی سفید دھاری (رات کی) سیاہ دھاری سے الگ نظر آنے لگے۔ پھر روزہ (رکھ کر) رات تک پورا کرو

[Yusuf Ali]

and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night

[Pickthal]

and eat and drink until the white thread becometh distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn. Then strictly observe the fast till nightfall

[Shakir]

and eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till night,

so, as per quran, the time for completion is NIGHT

 

2- TEACHINGS OF HOLY PROPHET asws

 

let us see what was the teaching of holy prophet asws in regards to the timings of iftar

he said

حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ ، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ عُرْوَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، عَنْ عَاصِمِ بْنِ عُمَرَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” إِذَا أَقْبَلَ اللَّيْلُ ، وَقَالَ مَرَّةً : جَاءَ اللَّيْلُ مِنْ هَهُنَا ، وَذَهَبَ النَّهَارُ مِنْ هَهُنَا ،

فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِمُ ” يَعْنِي الْمَشْرِقَ وَالْمَغْرِبَ


umar said that holy prophet asws said: when night comes from that side (east) and day goes away from that side (west); that is the time of iftar for the one who is fasting;; that means east and west

[musnad imam ahmad; urdu, vol 1, page 159-160, narration 192;;;; and page 239, narration 383]

one can always say that the narration and the verse simply means that when the sun is set
and sunset means night

well

the narrations prove otherwise

this narrations comes like this in bukhari

حَدَّثَنَا الْحُمَيْدِيُّ ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ ، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ عُرْوَةَ ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ أَبِي ، يَقُولُ : سَمِعْتُ عَاصِمَ بْنَ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” إِذَا

أَقْبَلَ اللَّيْلُ مِنْ هَاهُنَا ، وَأَدْبَرَ النَّهَارُ مِنْ هَاهُنَا ، وَغَرَبَتِ الشَّمْسُ ، فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِمُ ” .


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 175:

Narrated Umar bin Al-Khattab:

Allah’s Apostle said, “When night falls from this side and the day vanishes from this side and the sun sets, then the fasting person should break his fast.”

[sahih bukhari; kitab us saum; baab 43; narration 1954, page 470, printed by dar ibn kather]

muslim mentions it with these chains

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى ، وَأَبُو كُرَيْبٍ ، وَابْنُ نُمَيْرٍ ، واتفقوا في اللفظ ، قَالَ يَحْيَى : أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ ، وقَالَ ابْنُ نُمَيْرٍ : حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي ، وقَالَ أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ : حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو أُسَامَةَ جَمِيعًا ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ ، عَنْ

أَبِيهِ ، عَنْ عَاصِمِ بْنِ عُمَرَ ، عَنْ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” إِذَا أَقْبَلَ اللَّيْلُ وَأَدْبَرَ النَّهَارُ ، وَغَابَتِ الشَّمْسُ ، فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِمُ ” ، لَمْ يَذْكُرْ ابْنُ نُمَيْرٍ فَقَدْ .

[ sahih muslim, kitab us saum; baab 10, narration (1100)- 51; page 554; printed by dar ul mughni; 1419]

and it is also present in

sahih sunan tirmidi; albany; vol 1, page 376, narration 698; printed by maktaba tul muarif lil nashar wa tazi’i; riyad; first print; 1420

so; we see three conditions

1- night comes
2- day goes
3- sun has set

now, logically speaking
sun set cannot be claimed to be night fall
otherwise what is the fun in mentioning the three

let us clarify it further with another narration

we find in muslim

imam muslim writes


وحَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى ، أَخْبَرَنَا هُشَيْمٌ ، عَنْ أَبِي إسحاق الشَّيْبَانِيِّ ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي أَوْفَى رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، قَالَ : كُنَّا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي سَفَرٍ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ ،

فَلَمَّا غَابَتِ الشَّمْسُ ، قَالَ : ” يَا فُلَانُ انْزِلْ فَاجْدَحْ لَنَا ” ، قَالَ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ عَلَيْكَ نَهَارًا ، قَالَ : ” انْزِلْ فَاجْدَحْ لَنَا ” ، قَالَ : فَنَزَلَ فَجَدَحَ فَأَتَاهُ بِهِ ، فَشَرِبَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ثُمَّ قَالَ بِيَدِهِ

: ” إِذَا غَابَتِ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ هَا هُنَا ، وَجَاءَ اللَّيْلُ مِنْ هَا هُنَا فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِمُ ” .


abdullah bin abi aufi said that we were with prophet asws in a journey in ramadan month; so the sun set occurred; holy propeht said: o so and so! get down and and mix Sawiq (powdered barley) with water for me;; he said: o prophet! it is day;; he said: get down and and mix Sawiq (powdered barley) with water for me; so he got down and made it and gave it ; so prophet asws drank it; and then prophet pointed with his hand : when the sun sets from there, and the night comes from there, one who is fasting should end it

[ sahih muslim, kitab us saum; baab 10, narration (1100)- 52; page 554; printed by dar ul mughni; 1419]


and the wordings of ahmad bin hanbal are the same;

this narration also clarifies that setting of sun is different from coming of night
and both the conditions are to be fulfilled

3- ATTITUDE OF SAHABA

 

now; let us see what was the attitude of sahaba

malik writes in muwata

وحدثني عن مالك عن ابن شهاب عن حميد بن عبد الرحمن أن عمر بن الخطاب وعثمان بن عفان كانا يصليان المغرب حين ينظران إلى الليل الأسود قبل أن يفطرا ثم يفطران بعد الصلاة وذلك في رمضان


موطأ مالك » كتاب الصيام » باب ما جاء في تعجيل الفطر


Book 18, Number 18.3.8:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Humayd ibn Abd ar-Rahman that Umar ibn al-Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan would pray maghrib when they saw the night darkening, before they broke their fast, and that was during Ramadan.

same has been mentioned by abdur razaq bin hamam al sanaani; and imam muhammad took this from malik in his muwata; this can be seen here in form of scans

CONCLUSION

from the above discussion, it is evident that only sunset is not the criteria for iftaar
rather you have to see the darkness in the east as well

some people try to say that we find in ahadeeth that we should do iftaar as soon as possible
and this comes in ahadeeth

keep in mind that our article is not intending to tell you to delay breaking your fast; rather, we are saying NOT TO DO IFTAAR BEFORE TIME

with bundles of thanks to brother syed hasni

 

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