What is preferred? To break your fast then pray? or to pray first, then break your fast?

“I once asked abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, about breaking fast if it is before or after Salat (prayer). He (the Imam) said, ‘If he is afraid of keeping them from their dinner, first it is breaking fast with them; otherwise, first is Salat (prayer), then it is breaking the fast.’”

Sanad: (al-Kafi) Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ibn abu ‘Umayr from Hammad from al-Halabiy who has said the above hadith; (Wasa’il/al-Faqih) Muhammad bin ali bin al-Hussain, from al-Halabi who said the above hadith;

Source: al-Kafi, Volume 4, Chapter 64, Hadith #3 (See First Image below); Wasaa’il al-Shia, Volume 10, Page 150, Hadith #13079 (See Second Image below)

Grading: al-Majlisi graded the al-Kafi sanad as Hasan/Good (حسن) [Mira’at al-Uqool, Volume 16, Page 270 (See Third Image below)]; al-Khoei graded the Wasa’il/al-Faqih sanad as Sahih/Authentic (See Link)

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Abu Ja`far (as) said: “In [the month of] Ramadhan, pray and then break your fast unless you are with people who are waiting to break their fast. If you are with them, do not act contrary to them and break your fast [with them] then pray, otherwise – begin with your prayers.” The Narrator asked: “and why is that?”, so he (as) replied: “Because two obligatorily actions have been presented to you – the breaking of fast, and prayers – and the more meritorious is the prayers.” He then said: “Praying while you are [still] fasting, so your prayers are written after you complete your fast, is more beloved to me.”

Sanad: Ali bin Al-Hassan, from Abd al-Rahman bin abi Narjaan, from Hamaad bin Eassa, from Hareez, from Zurarah and Fudhayl who said the above hadith

Source: Tahdheeb al-Ahkaam, Volume 4, Page 185, Hadith #570; Wasaa’il al-Shia, Volume 10, Page 150, Hadith #13080 (See Second Image below)

Grading: al-Khoei graded it as Muwathaq/Reliable (See Link)

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Sayed al-Sistani (hf) concurs, and states the following:

1759. It is Mustahab that a person breaks his fast after offering Maghrib and Isha prayers. However, if he feels terribly inclined to eat, so much that he cannot concentrate on the prayers, or if someone is waiting for him, it is better that he should break his fast first and offer the prayers later. However, as far as possible, he should try to offer the prayers during the prime time (Fadheelat).

Link: http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2284/

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