The legislation of iftar (peaking of the fast)
There is no dispute that Allah, the Almighty and Glorious, legislated the iftar in the month of Ramadan for anyone who travels [a distance] for which he had to shorten the prayer. This much the Muslim community has agreed upon. The book and the sunna have established it clearly. The Almighty Allah says: "The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur'an has been revealed as a guide for the people and an explanation of guidance and the furqan (criterion); whoever amongst you who witnesses it (at home) should observe the fast. One who is sick or on a journey then [he will fast] a number of other days, Allah wishes ease for you, he does not wish difficulty, so complete the prescribed days." (2:185)
When the Prophet of God (P) travelled in the month of Ramadan he would peak the fast and would tell the people of his iftar. He would deem observing the fast when traveling to be a sin. He emphasized this by saying: "It is not virtuous that you fast when traveling," you will read all of that by his (P) words.
It is reported in the hadith of Abu Qalaba - and this is in the Sihah - that the Prophet (P) told a man from the Banu 'Amir: "The Almighty Allah has lifted the [burden of] fasting from the traveler and [the difficulty of] separating the prayers." One who studies the Sunan and the sayings of the Imams about the prayer and fast of a traveler will find documented sources, religious edicts and the consensus of the community [maintaining that], that the shortening of the prayer and iftar when traveling have been legislated by Allah, the Almighty, in the religion of Islam. When traveling, what is required to be performed for one of the two is necessarily required for the other, without doubt.
Adapted from: "Questions on Jurisprudence" by: "Abdul Hussein Shareefaldin Al-Musawi"
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