While observing recommended fasts, we often face the dilemma of being invited to eat along with our fellow brothers or sisters. How should one deal with this situation? Is it better to keep fasting or to break the fast? Which has more reward? Should you feel bad if you break your fast?

Hadiths

“Abu Ja’far, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘If one decides to fast, and then goes to visit his brother (in belief) who offers to serve him food, he should break his fast for the happiness of his host and due to his request. This will be counted equal to ten days of fasting as Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Glorious, has said, ‘One who does one good deed will receive tenfold reward for the same.’ (6:161) ”

Sanad: A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Barqiy from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad from al-‘Is from Najm ibn Hutaym who has said the above hadith

Source: Furu’ al-Kafi, Volume 4, Chapter 17, Hadith #2 (See Image below)
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“Abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, has said, ‘If a fasting person visits his brother (in belief) who offers him food, and he accepts the offer without telling him about his fast, in order not to show that he is doing him a favor, Allah counts his fast as one year’s fasting.’”

Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Muhammad ibn al-Husayn from Muhammad ibn Isma‘il from Salih ibn ‘Uqbah from Jamil ibn Darraj who has said the above hadith

Source: Furu’ al-Kafi, Volume 4, Chapter 17, Hadith #3 (See Image below)

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“Once I visited Jamil ibn Darraj while he was at a beautiful table having food. He said, ‘Come and join us for food.’ I said, ‘I am fasting.’ He continued eating until very little food remained. He then insisted that I discontinue my fast. I said, ‘Why did you not insist before?’ He said, ‘I wanted to discipline you.’ He then said, ‘I heard abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, say the following. “If a fasting person visits his brother (in belief), who offers him food, and he accepts the offer without telling him about his fast, in order not to show that he is doing him a favor by accepting his offering food, Allah, majestic is whose mention, counts his fast as one year’s fasting.”’”

Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from al-Hassan ibn Ali al-Daynawariy from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Salih ibn ‘Uqbah who has said the above hadith

Source: Furu’ al-Kafi, Volume 4, Chapter 17, Hadith #4 (See Image below)
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“I once asked abu al-Hassan, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, ‘I may visit a people after late afternoon prayer while I am fasting and they offer me food, saying, “discontinue your fast.”’ He (the Imam) said, ‘Accept the offer; it is better.’”

Sanad: Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from ibn Jumhur from certain individuals of his people from Ali ibn Hadid who has said the above hadith

Source: Furu’ al-Kafi, Volume 4, Chapter 17, Hadith #5 (See Image below)
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“I heard abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, say, ‘Your discontinuing your fast in the house of your brother in Islam is better than your fasting seventy or ninety times over.’”

Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Muhammad ibn Ahmad from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from al-Hassan ibn Ibrahim ibn Sufyan from Dawud al-Riqqiy who has said the above hadith

Source: Furu’ al-Kafi, Volume 4, Chapter 17, Hadith #6 (See Image below)

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Fatwas

Sayed Sistani (hf) among other scholars concur with the above hadiths. This is taken from his official website:

If a person observes a Mustahab fast, it is not obligatory on him to complete it. In fact, if one of his brethren-in-faith invites him to a meal, it is Mustahab that he accepts the invitation and breaks the fast during the day time even if it may be after Zuhr.

Link here or see image below

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Sayed al-Kho’i (rh) also concurs:

If a person observes a recommended fast, it isn’t obligatory on him to complete it. On the other hand, if one of his brethren in faith invites him to meals, it is recommended that he should accept the invitation and break the fast during the day time though it may be after noon.

Link here
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Please keep in mind this is purely for Mustahhab (recommended) fasts. This is not for obligatory fasts of Shahr Ramadhaan – nor is it for the qadha fasts in making up for Shahr Ramadhaan. Also, the condition is that you are invited to eat, rather than deciding to break it so you can eat with your friends etc.
May all your fasts be accepted in shaa’ Allah (swt).