Ramadan is a time Allah (swt) showers us with his infinite mercy and blessings and many of us will be working hard to draw closer to Him to seek forgiveness and maximise our rewards.
One of the best ways to increase our Iman and multiply our reward in the blessed month is by providing iftar to someone less fortunate. This is a beautiful deed that the Prophet (saw) practised and encouraged his ummah to perform.
Here are five hadiths about the benefits of giving iftar and why you shouldn't miss out on its blessings.
1. You will multiply your fasts
The Prophet (saw) said, 'Whoever feeds a person breaking his fast will earn the same reward as him, without anything being lessened from the reward of the fasting person'. [Tirmidhi]
SubhanAllah, this is an amazing example of Allah's mercy and generosity. Giving iftar not only means another person can share in Ramadan's blessings - it also doubles the reward of your own fast.
This is also the perfect way to get young children involved even if they can't fast themselves. Let your kids know that they gain the reward of fasting just by putting food and water on the table, or helping you prepare some of the iftar. Alternatively, you can encourage them to donate some of their pocket money towards feeding a needy person in Ramadan.
2. Your sins will be forgiven
Ramadan is divided into three parts: 10 days each for seeking mercy, forgiveness and freedom from the Fire. Providing iftar is the perfect action for the entire month, because it erases our sins and protects us from the Fire, by the mercy of Allah (swt).
3. The rewards are open to anyone
Some of us can’t afford to host big iftar dinners, donate iftar to the local masjid, or feed a poor family for the month. That doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the rewards of providing iftar.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, '(O people!) Save yourselves from the Fire even if it is with half a date, and if you cannot find that, then (save yourselves by saying) a good word'. [Muslim]
If all we can give in charity is half a date, then we should still give that. Regarding iftar, the Prophet (saw) encouraged his Companions (ra) to give as much as they could, even if it was only a drink of water:
This Ramadan, you can double the reward of your fast for just £1 per day (providing one cooked iftar) - so don’t miss out! The most important thing is that you are sincere in seeking reward and forgiveness.
4. You will drink from the Prophet's fountain
Many people find the thirst of Ramadan more challenging than the hunger. So the Prophet's promise that, one day, you 'shall never again feel thirsty' is particularly motivational!
The above hadith shows that even by giving someone a drink of water to someone who is fasting, you can reap the rewards of breaking their fast, ma sha Allah.
5. You will be giving hope to the Ummah
Alhamdulillah, many of us will be sustained through Ramadan with nourishing sahur and iftar meals. But across the world, those who can't afford food will be going hungry well beyond iftar time. In places of famine (like Yemen and Afghanistan), in refugee camps (like Cox's Bazar and the Syrian camps) and in impoverished communities (like in Pakistan and Gambia), there are Muslims who urgently need us to send them food in the holy month.
The Prophet (saw) said, 'Ramadan is the month of my Ummah' [Suyuti]. We urge you to follow his wise words and gain the reward of supporting our vulnerable brothers and sisters. Send them food for the entire month. Be their hope this Ramadan.
Muslim Hands is an award-winning charity, established in 1993 to provide emergency relief and tackle the root causes of poverty. In Ramadan 2022, we aim to distribute food to over 100,000 Muslims in 20 locations, including Afghanistan, Yemen and Palestine.