Dear readers who may Allah bless you all, among the etiquette of a muslim while he is fasting is that breaking the fast with rutab, tamr, or water. What is rutab? What is tamr? What are the lessons we can learn from this sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ? Keep reading! Bismillah
Dear readers who may Allah bless you all, Sheikh Waheed Abdussalam Bali hafizahullah when discussing about the etiquette of fasting wrote in his book Saheeh Al-Adab Al-Islamiyah:
Breaking the fast with rutab before praying maghrib.
Hadeeth about Breaking the Fast with Rutab
Imam Abu Dawud recorded a hadith with authentic chain from Anas ibn Malik Radhiyallahu Anhu who said:
The Messenger ﷺ used to break the fast with rutab before he prayed. If he did not have rutab, he broke the fast with tamarat. If he did not have both, he took some mouthfuls of water, (Sunan Abu Dawud: 2356. Jami At-Tirmizi: 696. At-Tirmizi: Hasan Garib).
Explanation of Breaking the Fast with Rutab
About (يُفْطِرُ عَلَى رُطَبَاتٍ) that means “he used to break the fast with rutab,” it means that the first kind of food he ate to break the fast is rutab. What is rutab? Rutab means:
“Young and fresh dates.”
About (قَبْلَ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ) that means “before he prayed,” it means before he prayed magrib.
About (فَعَلَى تَمَرَاتٍ) that means “tamarat.” What is tamarat? Tamarat means:
Tamarat is the plural form of “tamr”, which means a dried dates.
About (فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ), that means, “if he did not have both”, i.e. fresh dates or dried dates.
About (حَسَا حَسَوَاتٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ) that means “he took some mouthfuls of water,” it means:
“Sipping some mouthfuls of water.”
Sheikh Khalid Mahmud Al-Juhani concluded some lessons to be taken from this hadeeth, amongst them are below:
The ruling of breaking the fast with rutab (fresh dates) is mustahab, sunnah. It is not obligatory. If one has no rutab, he breaks the fast with tamr, and if he has no both, he drinks.
This hadeeth indicates a prophetic knowledge, which is proven with modern medical science that the body benefits greatly from the dates due to its high substance of natural glucose when one breaks the fast with it.
The perfectness and the wide scope of Islamic sharia and this can be seen on its concern towards its followers.
It is sunnah not to delay breaking the fast if it is the time.
Regarding the connection between breaking the fast with dates and hastening the iftar, it is written in the Hadeeth Encyclopedia of Durar Saniyah:
The encouragement to hasten the iftar before praying, even only with fresh dates or dry dates.
Karangasem Village, Bulu Sub-district, Sukoharjo District, Indonesia, 1 March 2023
Irfan Nugroho (Professional English-Indonesian translator since 2008)