What is the most desirable thing to break your fast with? Of course, in most conditions it is best to pray before breaking your fast (see this article), however what is the most recommended and the sunnah of the infallibles?

Of the most reliable hadiths, we find Imam Ali (as) loved to break his fast with milk.

أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى عن محمد بن يحيى عن غياث بن إبراهيم عن جعفر عن أبيه ان عليا عليه السلام كان يستحب أن يفطر على اللبن
From Ja`far [al-Sadiq] from his father [al-Baqir] (as) who said: “Ali (as) used to love breaking his fast with milk.”

Sanad: Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Eassa, from Muhammad bin Yahya, from Ghiyaath bin Ibraheem who said the above hadith.

Source: Tahdheeb al-Ahkaam, Volume 4, Page 199, Hadith #10 (See First Image below); Wasaa’il al-Shia, Volume 10, Page 158, Hadith #7 / 13106

Grading: al-Majlisi grades it as Mawathaq/Reliable (موثق) [Malādh al-akhyār fī fahm Tahdhīb al-akhbār, Volume 6, Page 526]

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In other hadiths, we find Rasool-Allah (sawa) on the other hand would prefer sweets; and if he (sawa) could not find sweets, then he would break his fast with sugar or dates. If none of those were available, he (sawa) would break his fast with lukewarm water.

عن محمد بن يحيى ، عن محمد بن أحمد ، عمن ذكره ، عن منصور بن العباس ، عن صفوان بن يحيى ، عن عبدالله بن مسكان ، عن أبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) قال : كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم إذا أفطر بدأ بحلواء يفطر عليها فان لم يجد فسكرا وتمرات ، فان اعوز ذلك كله فماء فاتر وكان يقول : ينقي المعدة والكبد ويطيب النكهة والفم ويقوي الاضراس ويقوي الحدق ويجلو الناظر ويغسل الذنوب غسلا ، ويسكن العروق الهائجة والمرة الغالبة ويقطع البلغم ويطفىء الحرارة عن المعدة ويذهب بالصداع
Abi Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as) said: “If The Messenger of Allah (sawa) was fasting he would break his fast beginning with sweets, and if he could not find (dates) he would break it with sugar or dates. If he was short on all of these (sweets, sugar & dates), [he would drink] lukewarm water. He (sawa) would say: ‘It purifies the stomach and liver, and it makes pleasant [the smell of] the breath and mouth, and strengthens the molar teeth, and strengthens the pupils, and strengthens the eyesight, and washes away the sins thoroughly, and it calms the agitated veins and dominant bile, and cuts off the phlegm, and extinguishes the heat from the stomach, and removes the headache.'”

Source: al-Kafi, Chapter 110, Hadith #4 (See First Image below); Wasaa’il al-Shia, Volume 10, Page 158, Hadith #6 / 13105

The effects of water at iftar time described above is also confirmed in the following reliable (according to al-Majlisi) hadith:

عن أبيه ، عن ابن أبي عمير ، عن رجل ، عن أبي عبدالله ( عليه السلام ) قال : إذا أفطر الرجل على الماء الفاتر نقى كبده ، وغسل الذنوب من القلب ، وقوى البصر والحدق
Abi Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as) said: “If a man breaks his fast with lukewarm water, his liver is purified, and his sins are washed away from his heart, and his eyesight and pupil is strengthened.”

Sanad: Kulayni, from his Father, from ibn abi `Umary, from a man who said the above hadith

Source: al-Kafi, Chapter 110, Hadith #2 (See First Image below); Wasaa’il al-Shia, Volume 10, Page 157, Hadith #3 / 13102

Grading: al-Majlisi says it is Hasan/Good (حسن) [Mir’aat al-Uqool, Volume 16, Page 373] (See Second Image below)

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Conclusion – Things recommended to break fast with:

  • Milk
  • Sweets
  • Sugar
  • Dates
  • Water (lukewarm)