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Rufai Oladimeji
, Nigeria.
Question

Some brothers in our Masjid break their fast
ten minutes before the Athaan of Maghrib in
Ramadan and in any other month. Is this an
act of Sunnah? Is it supported by an
authentic Hadeeth?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the
Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah, and that Muhammad
is His Slave and Messenger.
Breaking the fast is contingent on the sunset
and not the announcing of the Athan. So, if
the sun sets, it becomes permissible for the
Muslim to break his fast. Allah The Almighty
Says (what means): {And eat and drink until
the white thread of dawn becomes
distinct to you from the black thread [of
night]. Then complete the fast until the
sunset.} [Quran 2:187]
The Prophet said: "When the night falls
from here and the day elapses from there,
and the sun sets, the Muslim can break his
fasting." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
If the Mu'aththin announces the Athan ten
minutes after the sunset, it will be
permissible for those people to break their
fast when they do after being sure of the
sunset. This is even recommended because
the Prophet said: "People will always
retain goodness as long as they hasten to
break the fast and delay the Suhoor." [Al-
Bukhari]

But if the Mu'aththin announces the Athan at
its usual due time, then the breaking of the
fasts of those people before the Athan and
the sunset will invalidate their fast. If they
are observing an obligatory fast this will be a
grave major sin. They must repent to Allah
The Almighty sincerely and make up for the
days they broke their fast on before sunset.
The Sunnah severely warns the Muslim who
breaks his fast before sunset. It was narrated
on the authority of Abu Umamah Al-Bahili
that the Prophet said: "Two men
came to me, held my upper arm and we went
to a rugged mountain. They asked me to
climb it, but I told them I could not. They
told me that they would make it easy for me.

When I climbed the mountain and reached
its middle, I heard loud voices. I asked,
‘What are these voices?’ They said, ‘This is
the howling of the people of Hell.’ Then I
was taken [to another place], and I saw
people hanging from their hamstrings, with
the corners of their mouths torn and
dripping with blood. I asked, ‘Who are
these?’ They said, ‘The people who broke
their fast before the proper time of breaking
the fast.'" [An-Nasa’i: Al-Kubra] [Al-Hakim
said "Saheeh according to the conditions
stipulated by Muslim" and Ath-Thahabi
agreed with him]
Allah Knows best.

www.islamweb.net/en/article/170339/the-ruling-on-breaking-the-fast-before-the-athaan-of-maghrib

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