“The people will remain on good as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast” : Fath al-Bari

Sahl ibn Sa’d narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

لاَ يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْرَ

The people will remain on good as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast.

[al-Bukhari #1957]

Ibn Hajr, in his commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, wrote the following comments on this hadeeth:

قوله : ( باب تعجيل الإفطار ) قال ابن عبد البر : أحاديث تعجيل الإفطار وتأخير السحور صحاح متواترة . وعند عبد الرزاق وغيره بإسناد صحيح عن عمرو بن ميمون الأودي قال : ” كان أصحاب محمد – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أسرع الناس ، إفطارا وأبطأهم سحورا ” .

His [i.e. Imam al-Bukhari’s] statement, “The chapter of hastening the breaking of the fast” – ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: The ahaadeeth of hastening the breaking of the fasting and postponing the suhoor are authentic and mutawaatir. And reported from ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and others with an authentic chain of narration from ‘Amr ibn Maymoon al-Awdi, “The companions of Muhammad (ﷺ) were the quickest of people in breaking the fast, and the slowest of people on taking the suhoor.”

قوله : ( عن أبي حازم ) هو ابن دينار .

And his statement, “narrated from Abi Haazim” – that is ibn Deenaar.

قوله : ( لا يزال الناس بخير ) في حديث أبي هريرة : ” لا يزال الدين ظاهرا ” وظهور الدين مستلزم لدوام الخير .

And his [i.e. the Prophet’s (ﷺ)] statement, “The people will remain on good” – in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, it says, “The deen will continue to prevail” and the prevailing of the deen is a prerequisite for the continuance of good.

قوله : ( ما عجلوا الفطر ) زاد أبو ذر في حديثه : ” وأخروا السحور ” أخرجه أحمد ، و ” ما ” ظرفية ، أي : مدة فعلهم ذلك امتثالا للسنة واقفين عند حدها غير متنطعين بعقولهم ما يغير قواعدها ، .

His statement, “so long as they hasten the breaking of the fast” – Abu Dharr added in his hadeeth, “and postpone the suhoor“, as reported by Ahmad. And the phrase, “so long as” is conditional, meaning for as long as their actions are in compliance with the sunnah, observing its limits and not using their intellects to alter its principles.

زاد أبو هريرة في حديثه : ” لأن اليهود والنصارى يؤخرون ” أخرجه أبو داود وابن خزيمة وغيرهما ، وتأخير أهل الكتاب له أمد ، وهو ظهور النجم ، وقد روى ابن حبان والحاكم من حديث سهل أيضا بلفظ : ” لا تزال أمتي على سنتي ما لم تنتظر بفطرها النجوم ” وفيه بيان العلة في ذلك ، قال المهلب : والحكمة في ذلك أن لا يزاد في النهار من الليل ، ولأنه أرفق بالصائم وأقوى له على العبادة ، واتفق العلماء على أن محل ذلك إذا تحقق غروب الشمس بالرؤية أو بإخبار عدلين ، وكذا عدل واحد في الأرجح ،

Abu Hurayrah added in his narration, “because the Jews and Christians would postpone it” – as recorded by Abu Dawood, ibn Kuzaymah and others. And the postponing of the Ahl al-Kitaab was for a period, until the stars appeared [in the night sky, i.e. long after the setting of the sun]. And it has also been narrated by ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim from the hadeeth of Sahl with the wording, “My ummah will remain on my sunnah so long as they do not wait for the stars in order to break their fast.” And in this is a point of clarification, and al-Muhallab said: The wisdom in that is that one should not add [part of] the night to the day, and because this is gentler on the fasting person and strengthens him in his ‘ibaadah. And the scholars agreed on the permissibility of confirming the setting of the sun by sight or by the report of two honest people, and similarly of a single honest person in the more correct position.

قال ابن دقيق العيد : في هذا الحديث رد على الشيعة في تأخيرهم الفطر إلى ظهور النجوم ، ولعل هذا هو السبب في وجود الخير بتعجيل الفطر ؛ لأن الذي يؤخره يدخل في فعل خلاف السنة ا هـ . وما تقدم من الزيادة عند أبي داود أولى بأن يكون سبب هذا الحديث ، فإن الشيعة لم يكونوا موجودين عند تحديثه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – بذلك ،

Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eid said: In this hadeeth is a refutation of the Shi’a concerning their postponing of the breaking of the fast until the appearance of the stars, and for this reason this is a cause for the presence of good in hastening to break the fast, because those who postpone it enter into the actions of those who oppose the sunnah. End quote. And what has preceded of the additional information in the narration of Abu Dawood takes precedence [over this explanation] because the rational is mentioned in that hadeeth, and the Shi’a and not present in what he (ﷺ) mentioned.

قال الشافعي في ” الأم ” : تعجيل الفطر مستحب ، ولا يكره تأخيره إلا لمن تعمده ، ورأى الفضل فيه ، ومقتضاه أن التأخير لا يكره مطلقا ، وهو كذلك إذ لا يلزم من كون الشيء مستحبا أن يكون نقيضه مكروها مطلقا ، واستدل به بعض المالكية على عدم استحباب ستة شوال ؛ لئلا يظن الجاهل أنها ملتحقة برمضان ، وهو ضعيف ولا يخفى الفرق

Al-Shaafi’ said in “al-Umm“, “Hastening to break the fast is highly recommended, but it is not disliked to postpone it except in the case of one who does so deliberately,” and he narrated the virtue of it, and therefore postponing it is not disliked in absolute terms, and so it is that a thing being highly desirable does not necessitate that it’s opposite be disliked in absolute terms. And some of the Maalikis use this to show the absence of the high desirability of [fasting] six days of Shawaal, since the ignorant person may think that they are connected to Ramadan. But this is a weak reasoning and its deviance is no secret.

( تنبيه ) : من البدع المنكرة ما أحدث في هذا الزمان من إيقاع الأذان الثاني قبل الفجر بنحو ثلث ساعة في رمضان ، وإطفاء المصابيح التي جعلت علامة لتحريم الأكل والشرب على من يريد الصيام زعما ممن أحدثه أنه للاحتياط في العبادة ولا يعلم بذلك إلا آحاد الناس ، وقد جرهم ذلك إلى أن صاروا لا يؤذنون إلا بعد الغروب بدرجة لتمكين الوقت زعموا ، فأخروا الفطر ، وعجلوا السحور ، وخالفوا السنة ، فلذلك قل عنهم الخير وكثر فيهم الشر ، والله المستعان .

A warning: From the evil bid’ahs is what has been innovated in this age is the occurrence of the adhan prior to the fajr time by about 20 minutes during Ramadan, and putting out the lights which is used as a sign for the prohibition of eating and drinking for those who intend to fast. Those who have innovated this assert that is is a precaution in terms of ‘ibaadah, but this does not alert anyone [to the fact that the suhoor is approaching] except for a few isolated individuals. And it has occurred to the point that they do not permit [breaking the fast] until after the sun has set considerably in order to maintain the time which they assert. And so they delay the breaking of the fast, and hasten the suhoor, thereby opposing the sunnah. And for that reason there is little good for them and much evil in them, and from Allah do we seek aid.

[Fath al-Bari #1856]

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