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Reading this hadith:

... قَالَ ‏"‏ إِذَا رَأَيْتُمُ اللَّيْلَ أَقْبَلَ مِنْ هَا هُنَا فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِمُ ‏"‏‏

It seems one could understand the hadith in two different ways; (1) as it is interpreted and translated in sunnah.com:

The Prophet (ﷺ) then said, "When you see night falling from this side, the fasting person should break his fast,"

or (2):

The Prophet (ﷺ) then said, "When you see night falling from this side, the fasting person has (automatically) broken his fast,"

I am aware that the first interpretation is the most common.

In Sharh Sahih Bukhari, Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalani mentions the following about that phrase:

قوله : ( فقد أفطر الصائم ) أي : دخل في وقت الفطر

It means: The time of breaking the fast has arrived.

Then he continues:

ويحتمل أن يكون معناه : فقد صار مفطرا في الحكم لكون الليل ليس طرفا للصيام الشرعي

It is possible that the meaning of it is: The fast has been broken because night is not a part of fasting in sharia...
(edit an translate better if you wish)

While doing this, he then explains that the first interpretation is the most valid.

Which scholars say that the fast automatically is broken on sunset (maghreb)?


Some might say; how can the fast be broken without eating or drinking? That is not so relevant to the direct question itself, but a fast answer would be the same way the fast automatically is broken for a woman who starts menstruating, same way it is broken for a man that for instances leaves islam or have sexual intercourse.


It seems some hanafi fiqh books contains an inclination of that:

{ إذا أقبل الليل من هنا فقد أفطر الصائم } أي إذا وجدت الظلمة حسا في جهة المشرق فقد ظهر وقت الفطر أو صار مفطرا في الحكم ; لأن الليل ظرفا للصوم

رد المحتار على الدر المختار


{ : إذا أقبل الليل من ههنا وأدبر النهار من ههنا فقد أفطر الصائم أكل ، أو لم يأكل }

بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع

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