عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُفْطِرُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ عَلَى رُطَبَاتٍ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ رُطَبَاتٌ فَتُمَيْرَاتٌ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تُمَيْرَاتٌ حَسَا حَسَوَاتٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ

On the authority of Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, that The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would break his fast before praying with fresh dates, and if there were no fresh dates then with dry dates, and if there were no dry dates then with some water.

Reported by At-Tirmidhee and declared authentic by al-Imaam Albany rahimahullah [as-Saheehah # 2840.] 

Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen, rahimahullah, was asked the following question:

ﺳَﻤِﻌْﺖُ ﺃﻥ ﺍﻟﺼﺎﺋﻢ ﻋﻨﺪ ﺇﻓﻄﺎﺭﻩ ﻳﺠﺐ ﺃﻥ ﻳُﻔﻄﺮ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻋﺪﺩ ﻓﺮﺩﻱ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺘﻤﺮ – ﺃﻱ ﺧﻤﺲ ﺃﻭ ﺳﺒﻊ ﺗﻤﺮﺍﺕ ﻭﻫﻜﺬﺍ – ﻓﻬﻞ ﻫﺬﺍ ﻭﺍﺟﺐ ؟

Question:

I heard that it is obligatory for a person to break his fast upon an odd number of dates such as five or seven dates and so on. So is this an obligation?

ﻟﻴﺲ ﺑﻮﺍﺟﺐ ﺑﻞ ﻭﻻ‌ ﺳُﻨﺔ ﺃﻥ ﻳﻔﻄﺮ ﺍﻹ‌ﻧﺴﺎﻥ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻭﺗﺮ – ﺛﻼ‌ﺙ ﺃﻭ ﺧﻤﺲ ﺃﻭ ﺳﺒﻊ ﺃﻭ ﺗﺴﻊ – ﺇﻻ‌ ﻳﻮﻡ ﺍﻟﻌﻴﺪ ﻋﻴﺪ ﺍﻟﻔﻄﺮ، ﻓﻘﺪ ﺛﺒﺖ (ﺃﻥ ﺍﻟﻨﺒﻲ ﺻﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﻋﻠﻰ ﺁﻟﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻛﺎﻥ ﻻ‌ ﻳﻐﺪﻭ ﻟﻠﺼﻼ‌ﺓ ﻳﻮﻡ ﻋﻴﺪ ﺍﻟﻔﻄﺮ ﺣﺘﻰ ﻳﺄﻛﻞ ﺗﻤﺮﺍﺕ ﻭﻳﺄﻛﻠﻬﻦ ﻭﺗﺮﺍً) ﻭﻣﺎ ﺳﻮﻯ ﺫﻟﻚ ﻓﺈﻥ ﺍﻟﻨﺒﻲ ﺻﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻟﻢ ﻳﻜﻦ ﻳﺘﻘﺼﺪ ﺃﻥ ﻳﻜﻮﻥ ﺃﻛﻠﻪ ﺍﻟﺘﻤﺮ ﻭﺗﺮﺍً.

Answer: 

It is not compulsory nor recommended for a person to break his fast upon an odd number of dates [whether that be] three or five or seven or nine [dates] except for the day of Eid al-Fitr since it has been established that the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam, never went out in the morning on the day of Eid al-Fitr without eating some dates, and that they would be an odd number. As for other than this [case] then the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam, did not use to make his intention to eat an odd number of dates.

[Nurun Ala ad-Darb, tape #, 354, Audio: Listen / Download]

A Side Note: There has come a few narrations insinuating that it is encouraged to break one’s fast upon an odd number of dates and due to that we find that some of the scholars the likes of Ibnul Qayyim rahimahullah would give preference for a person to break his fast upon an odd number of dates. However, a group of other scholars of hadeeth have proven that such narrations aren’t authentic.

Answered by

AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman
Abu Fajr