By Ibrahim Usman
During the daily Tafsir on the fourth day of the holy month of Ramadan at the Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, Zaria, Sheikh Zakzaky expounded verse 187 of Surah Baqrah which started the previous day.
Part of the verse, “…then complete the fast until night fall…” is specifically focused for illustration.
The reddish point on the west should not be confused with the one on the east (Humratul Mashriqiyyah). Whenever the sun sets, it leaves behind a reddish point on the east and west. “Whenever the reddish point on the east disappeared, that is the time for Maghrib prayer and also the time for breakfast”, explained Sheikh Zakzaky.
He further said, the reddish point on the west is called shafaq, which if it disappeared announces the time for Isha prayer. “It should not be confused with the reddish point on the east. There is lengthy period that of about an hour from the disappearance of the reddish point on the east to the disappearance of the one on the east. The disappearance of the reddish point on the east is the time for breakfast, depending on the different timing of different settings. Timings vary with settings all over the world, which is also dependant on the weather”, he added.
Sheikh Zakzaky further explained that, whenever the sun set on normal climate condition, it leaves behind a reddish point on the east. When the reddish point disappears, “that is the time to break the fast, and that is the time for Maghrib prayer. This is what, ‘…then complete the fast until night fall’, means”.
He stated that, sun set is not synonymous with night fall, for as long as the reddish point is visible when the sun set over the horizon, the sun is still visible to other people on the other side of the horizon: “Disappearance of the ball of the sun from your sight and horizon with trace of reddish point does not mean it has completely disappeared, as other people on the other side of the horizon can see it. It is still there visible to others”. He however said, for those agitating for a hurried breakfast at sunset, there is true (Shar’iy) and false sunset, adding that false sunset is the disappearance of the sun from one’s sight but leaving behind traces of reddish point, while true sunset is the total disappearance of the reddish point (on the east).
In al-Kafi, Abu Ja’afar (AS) was asked by Uthman Bin Isa (a disciple) of people who were covered with dark cloud on the sky to sun set, and they thought it was night fall, and therefore ate (broke the fast). The cloud then vanished, and the sun appeared to them. The Imam (AS) said, he who ate must replicate with another fast, for Allah has said, “…then complete the fast until night fall”.
Sheikh Zakzaky advised that, to avoid the above situation mentioned in the above Hadith, people should observe when the night sets in and time it, using the appropriate available technological applications. Allow for at least 15 minutes after sunset before one breaks his fast (depending on setting), so also Suhr. “Hurried breaking of fast is never a Sunnah”, he emphasized.
He also said, Maghrib prayer precede breakfast, one should pray Maghrib before he breaks his fast.