In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Salman bin ‘Amir (MAPH) reported: I heard the Prophet (SAWS) saying, “When one of you breaks his Saum (fasting), let him break it on dates; if he does not have any, break his fast with water for it is pure.” (Abu Dawud).
Anas (MAPH) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) used to break his Saum (fasting) before performing Maghrib prayer with three fresh date-fruits; if there were no fresh date-fruits, he will eat three dry dates; and if there were no dry date-fruits; he would take three draughts of water. (At-Tirmidhi).
Sahl bin Sa’d (MAPH) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said, “People will continue to adhere to good as long as they hasten to break the Saum (fasting).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Commentary Hadith 1 and 2: It is well to keep the priorities of things mentioned in the Hadith as one gets the reward of following the Sunnah in breaking his Saum.
Commentary Hadith 3: “Adhere to good” here means welfare of the religion as well as that of this world. Breaking the Saum early does not mean that it is terminated before the prescribed time. What it really means is without any delay after the sunset. One should not delay it for the mere reason that the rigour one has gone through in the Saum should be enhanced further, as is done by some people. There is no merit in such things because the real merit lies in following the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAWS). Welfare of the Muslims will, therefore, come in the share of the Muslims because of their following the Prophet’s Sunnah of breaking the Saum in the early moments of the prescribed time.
SAWS: May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection
MAPH: May Allah be pleased with him
Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Hadith 1: Chapter 222, Page 360, No 1238
Hadith 2: Chapter 222, Page 360, No 1239
Hadith 3: Chapter 222, Page 359, No 1233