Fatwa n°: 293
Category: Fatwas of fasting
Concerning the obligation of fasting and breaking the fast
with Jamâ`a (the congregation)
Some people have broken the fast before Adhân (the call of the muezzin to prayer), arguing that the Adhân is not proclaimed in the appointed time (as defined by the sharia). Is this deed legitimate?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
There is a difference between fasting the month of Ramadan which is a congregational fasting and other obligatory individual fasts and the commendable voluntary individual fasts. Someone who fasts the obligatory fast which is done with the Jamâ`a, should fast and break the fast with the congregation of Muslims and their ruler. Abou Hurayra رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said: “Fasting is the day when you (i.e., the Muslim community) fast, Iftâr (breaking the fast) is the day when you (all) break your fast and Adha (sacrifice) is the day when you (all) offer your sacrifice”(1). He صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم declared the obligation of fasting, breaking the fast and performing Adha with the congregation of Muslims and the majority of them, whether concerning the establishment of Ramadan or Eid or at the sunset or dawn rise. The individuals should follow the ruler and the congregation. It is not allowed for them to oppose the congregation, in order to gather the Umma (community, nation), and to maintain its unity and keep away individual opinions that generate divergence, since Allah’s Hand (support) is with Al-Jamâ`a. Whereas, in the case of the obligatory fasting and the voluntary individual fasting, the fasting person breaks the fast according to the beginning of the time of Maghrib (sunset) or the time of dawn rise, according to Allah’s تعالى saying :
﴿وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ﴾ [البقرة: 187].
﴾And eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)﴿ [Al-Baqara (The Cow): 187], and the saying of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم: “When you see the night falling from this side, and the day ends by this side and the sun sets, then the fasting person should break his fast”(2). There are also other hadiths.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
(1) Reported by At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “the fast” (hadith 697) and Ad-Dâraqutni (hadith 2205), from the hadith of Abi Hourayra رضي الله عنه. Al-Albâni authenticated it in “Irwâ' Al-Ghalîl” (hadith 905).
(2) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “the fast” (hadith 1954) and Muslim, chapter of “the fast” (hadith 2612), from the hadith of `Umar Ibn Al-Khattâb رضي الله عنه.