Iftar, or Breakfast
As the day ends, Muslims gather in their homes in wait for sunset. Mothers and daughters are usually busy at this time preparing breakfast and dinner, while men usually return from their work and slip into more comfortable clothes, either taking time to recite the Quran or help out in the preparation for breakfast. Before sunset, the family gathers at the dining table in wait for the mu’ezzin, utilizing this time supplicating to Allah and asking Him for His Mercy.
“Indeed for each fasting person there is a prayer which is answered when they break their fast.” (Tuhfat-ul-Muhtaj)
Once the call to prayer is heard, Muslims hurry to break their fast with dates, in
emulation of the Prophet, and offer words of gratitude taught by the Prophet.
“The Thirst has been quenched, and the veins have become moist and full, and the reward is certain, God willing.” (Abu Dawood)
Many Muslims add:”Oh Allah, indeed for You Alone I have fasted, and in You alone I have believed. With your provisions I have broken my fast, and upon You I have trusted.”
Muslims then eat a light meal of various appetizers and drinks. Many times, Muslims find themselves either invited or inviting others, whether they be members of the extended family, one’s friends, or the poor. The majority of mosques also offer free food in order ease the sufferings for the poor. Many mosques hold iftar in order to strengthen community ties, common in countries in which Muslims are minorities. Prophet Muhammad encouraged to feed others during this blessed month in his saying:
“Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, he will have a reward equal to his (the fasting person)…” (Al-Tirmidhi)
Special rations are also distributed to needy households in the beginning of the month by charitable organizations to meet the needs of the
The delight felt at breaking fast is one truly indescribable. Never does the most meager of meals seem so tasty or bring so much joy to a believer. Indeed the Prophet spoke the truth when he said: “The fasting person will feel two moments of joy: one moment when he breaks his fast and
another when he meets his Lord.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
There is no time at that point to eat a large meal, as sunset is the time for another
prescribed prayer. Muslims prepare to attend the congregational prayer, mostly always at walking distance. After attending the dusk prayer, some Muslims eat dinner, while others delay eating until the night prayer is finished, an event which is one of the main features of the night of Ramadan, another spiritual dimension of this blessed month of mercy and blessings.
After performing the dusk prayer, Muslims return to their homes either to continue
with their appetizers or eat dinner. Most people, however, choose not to eat much, as it will hinder them in performing that worship which is the delight of the believer in Ramadan – the taraweeh prayer. This prayer is held immediately after the night prayer, which is performed when the last traces of dusk disappear, about an hour and a half after the dusk prayer.