In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Abu Dharr [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “My Ummah will continue in goodness so long as they hasten to break their fast and delay the pre-fasting meal”. [Saheeh Al-Jaami 7224]
Abu Hurayrah [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The religion will not cease to prevail as long as people hasten to break the fast, because the Jews and the Christians (i.e. those amongst them who deviated from the path of their Prophets) delay it”. (1)
“The religion will not cease to prevail”- Meaning, triumphant and lofty or manifest and clear; “as long as the people hasten to break the fast”- Meaning, they earnestly hasten to break the fast; “because the Jews and the Christians delay it [i.e. those amongst them who deviated from the path of their Prophets]. At-Teebiy [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “In this is proof that upright establishment of the religion of pure Islamic monotheism is through opposing the enemies amongst the people of the scripture and being in agreement with them damages the religion” [i.e. oppose what they have innovated in the religion of the Prophets and not agree with them]. (2)
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “This is a text regarding (the fact that) triumph of the religion is attained through hastening to break the fast and it is for the purpose of opposing the Jews and Christians [i.e. those amongst them who deviated, innovated in religion and opposed their prophets]. And when it is the case that opposing them is a reason behind the triumph of the religion, then the purpose of sending the Messengers is so that the religion ordained by Allaah prevails over all others. Therefore, being in opposition to (the deviated people) is one of the greatest goals behind the advent of the Messengers”. (3)
Sahl Ibn Sad [may Allaah be pleased with him] said that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “The people will not cease to be upon good as long as they hasten to break the fast”. (4)
Imaam An-Nawawi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “In this is an urge to hasten (to break the fast) after the setting of the sun is ascertained. And what this means is that the affair of the Ummah will not ceased being consistent and that they will (remain upon) good if they preserve this Prophetic tradition. If they delay breaking the fast, then this is a sign of corruption”. (5)
They will not cease to be upon good if they do this by acting upon the Sunnah and limit themselves to its prescribed legislated boundaries, and not being over-stringent (through what their) intellects (suggest to them) and changing its principles. The people of the scripture [i.e. those amongst them who deviated] delayed breaking the fast until the stars appeared. (6)
[Ref 1: Abu Dawud Number 2353. Hadeeth graded ‘Hasan’ by Imaam Al- Albaanee in Saheeh Abu Dawud. Publisher: Maktabah Al-M’aarif. 1st Edition]
[Ref 2: Awnul Ma’bood Sharh Sunan Abee Daawud. Vol 3. Pages 343-344. slightly paraphrased. Publisher: Daarul Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah. 1st Edition 1419AH (1998)]
[Ref 3: Iqtidaa As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem 1/209. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Saheeh Muslim 1098]
[Ref 5: Sharh Saheeh Muslim. Slightly paraphrased. Vol 7 pages 180-181. Publisher: Daar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah. 1st Edition 1421AH (2000)].
[Ref 6: Fat’hul Baaree Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhaari Vol 4/ 253. Publisher: Daarus Salaam. 1st Edition 1421AH (2000)]