Fast of the Month of Ramadhan: Philosophy and Ahkam
Invocations at the time of Breaking of the Fast
Relying on the authority of Imam al-Sadiq (as), Shaikh al-Saduq, in his work Al-Misbah, quotes the Imam (as) citing his forefathers saying that the Messenger of Allah (S) used to say the following whenever he broke his fast: "O Almighty God! For You have we fasted, and with Your sustenance have we broken our fast; so, accept it from us. Thirst has dissipated; the veins have become wet, and the reward has been secured by the Will of Allah."
He (S) is also quoted as saying that if anyone says the following invocation at the time of breaking his fast, he will come out of his sins and face the world as he faced it the first time upon his birth: "O Great One! O Great One! You are Allah; there is no god but You! Forgive my great sins for none forgives the great sins but You, O Great One!"
The book Al-Iqbal, relying on the authority of Imam Zainul-’Abidin, peace be upon him, states that whoever recites the Qadr chapter at the time of breaking his fast and at the time of his last meal before daybreak (I.e., suhoor) will be regarded by the Almighty as one who sheds his own blood (I.e. becomes a martyr) for the cause of Allah.
The Prophet (S) has said the following to Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as): "O father of al-Hassan! The month of Ramadhan is approaching; so, recite your invocation before you break your fast for Gabriel has informed me that the Almighty has said that He would accept the prayers of whoever recited this invocation during the month of Ramadhan before breaking his fast, before starting his fast, and before saying his prayers, and He will answer ten of his pleas, forgive his sins, remove the cause of his distress, eliminate the reason behind his agony, fulfill his worldly wishes, help him achieve his objective, count his good deeds among those of the prophets and the foremost to believe in them, and he will come on the Day of Resurrection with a face shining like the full moon." The invocation referred to above may be translated thus:
Lord! You are the Lord of the great light, of the lofty Throne, of the over-flowing sea, of the great intercession, of the dear light, of the Torah, of the Gospel, of the Psalms and of the great Qur'an! You are the Lord of all those in the heavens and those on earth! There is no god in them other than You, and You are the Mighty One in the heavens and on earth; there is none mighty in them but You! And You are the King in the heavens and on earth; there is no king in them other than You!
I beseech You by the greatness of Your great Name and the light of Your shining greatness, and by Your domain! O Living One, O Sustainer! I beseech You by the greatness of Your Name which shines upon the heavens and the earth, and by Your Name whereby the first generations achieved righteousness and so will the last ones! O Living One before there was anyone living, and O Living One after everyone else is no longer alive!
There is no god but You! I beseech You to send blessings unto Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and to forgive my sins and ease my affair and grant me a speedy recovery and keep my feet firm on the path of the religion of Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and make my deeds acceptable and grant me the like of what You granted Your sincere servants and devotees! I am a sincere believer in You, and upon You do I rely and to You do I entrust my fate!
I beseech You to grant me, my family and offspring, all goodness, and to keep away from us all evil! You are the Compassionate, the ever-Giving, the Creator of the heavens and the earth! You bestow goodness upon whomsoever You will and You withhold it from whomsoever You please! Bless me with Your mercy, for You are the most Merciful of the merciful ones.
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), used to say the following whenever he was about to break his fast: "In the Name of Allah! Lord! To You have we fasted, and with Your sustenance have we broken our fast! Lord! Accept our deeds, for You hear, and you know."
Imam al-Sadiq (as) has recommended that you say the following every night during the month of Ramadhan at the time of breaking the fast: "All praise is due to Allah Who enabled us to fast and provided us with sustenance so that we may break our fast (therewith). Lord! Accept our deeds, help us fast, protect us during it, accept it from us an easy acceptance, and grant us good health and well-being. All praise is due to Allah Who has enabled us to fast a day of the month of Ramadhan."
According to the author of Al-Iqbal, who relies on the authority of Muhammad ibn Abu Qurrah, in a chapter dealing with recommended deeds during the month of Ramadhan, through the authority of Imam al-Kazim who quotes his father who quotes his grandfather who quotes Imam al-Hassan ibn Ali, peace be upon all of these Imams, the invocation of everyone who fasts during the month of Ramadhan is accepted as soon as he breaks his fast; so, upon eating the first morsel, he used to say, "In the Name of Allah! O You Who expands forgiveness, forgive me!
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. O You Who expands forgiveness! I implore You to forgive me!" Whoever says so upon breaking his fast will be forgiven. Quoting his forefathers, peace be upon him and them, Imam al-Kazim (as) says, "If you enter the evening after having fasted, and you say the following as soon as you break your fast: ‘Lord! To You have I fasted, and with Your sustenance have I broken my fast! Upon You have I relied and depended,' you will receive a reward equal to that of all those who fasted that day."
It is recommended that you ought to perform your prayers before finishing the iftar except when there is someone else waiting to eat, or if you are more inclined to eat first. In his Al-Tahtheeb, Shaikh al-Saduq quotes Imam al-Baqir (as) saying, "During the month of Ramadhan, you should perform your prayers, then break your fast, except if you are with others who are waiting to break theirs; so, do not do something which they would not be doing but break your fast with them then perform your prayers; otherwise, perform your prayers first.' So I asked him why it was so; he answered: ‘You have to select one of two options: breaking the fast or performing the prayers, and you should choose the best of them, and the best option is performing the prayers.' Then he added, ‘If you perform your obligatory prayers while still fasting, and your prayers conclude your fast, it is surely better for you.'"
* In Mizan al-Hikma, the Prophet (S) is quoted saying: "The plea of anyone who fasts is answered when he breaks his fast."
* It is reported in al-Majlisi's Bihar al-Anwar that Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said that the Messenger of Allah (S) used to say the following whenever he ate with others: "May those fasting break their fast with you, and may your food feed those who are devoted to Allah."
* Both al-Tirmithi and Ibn Majah have quoted the Messenger of Allah (S) saying, "The supplications of three types of persons will never be rejected: those who fast till they break their fast, a fair Imam, and one who is wronged."
* On p. 53 of his Amali (or Majalis), the faqih and mentor Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Musa ibn Babawayh al-Qummi quotes his father saying that Sa’d ibn Abdullah quotes Ahmed ibn al-Husayn quoting Muhammad ibn Jumhoor, and also Muhammad ibn Ziyad, citing Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Thaqafi saying that he heard Imam Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (as) saying,
"The Almighty and Exalted One has angels who are charged with those who perform the fast. They seek forgiveness for them during each day of the month of Ramadhan till its end. Every night, they call upon those who fast, when they break their fast, ‘O servants of Allah! Receive the glad tidings! You have felt hungry for a short while, so you shall be fed for quite a long period of time! Blessed are you and yours!' In the last night of the month of Ramadhan, they call upon them saying, ‘O servants of Allah! Receive the glad tidings! Allah has indeed forgiven your sins and accepted your repentance! So see how you shall fare from now on!"