imam ibn al-qayyim continued,
"the prophet pbuh used to hasten to break the fast [at sunset] and ordered the people to do so. he pbuh also used to delay his suhoorand encourage others to do the same.
he would encourage breaking the fast on dates and if there were none, on water. this was out of consideration for his ummah, as the empty stomach is naturally more accepting of something sweet, and it strengthens the body's functions, especially the eyesight. in madinah, dates were the customary sweets; when dried they were food and provision and when fresh they were fruit. as for water, the liver becomes dehydrated during fasting. so when it is first moistened with water it operates more effectively when food follows. therefore, it is best for one who is hungry and thirsty to begin with a little water before his food. this is in addition to the particular properties of dates and water which have a beneficial effect on the heart, something recognized only by heart specialists.
with the prophet at the time of breaking his fast
he pbuh would break his fast before praying the maghrib prayer. he would break his fast with fresh dates or, if unavailable, with dry dates; and if he had none, with a few sips of water. it is reported that upon breaking his fast he would say:
"thirst has gone, the veins have been moistened and the reward is assured, if allah wills." (abu dawud)
and he pbuh said,
"indeed, the supplication of a fasting person at the time of breaking his fast is not refused." (ibn majah)
he is also authentically reported to have said,
"when the night has come and the day has gone the one fasting has broken his fast." (al-bukhari and muslim)
an explanation of this is that the fast is broken according to law whether or not the person intended it since the time for that has arrived.
manners during fasting
he pbuh prohibited the fasting person from sex and improper speech, from noisy arguments, insults and from responding to them. he instructed that if one is cursed or insulted he should only say,
“i am fasting.” (al-bukhari and muslim)
some scholars mentioned that he should say it with his tongue, which is most likely. others said it is within his heart – to remind himself that he is fasting. and yet others said that during obligatory fasting he should say it with his tongue but during voluntary fasting in his heart because that is farther away from showing off.
his guidance for travel during ramadhan
the messenger of allah pbuh travelled in ramadhan and sometimes observed fasting and sometimes broke his fast. he pbuh gave his companions the option to do either, but he would order them to break their fast when they approached an enemy in order to be strong for battle. when the journey did not involve jihad, allah's messenger told them it was facilitation, so whoever took advantage of it – it was good, and whoever preferred to fast was not to be blamed. he traveled in ramadhan for two of the greatest campaigns: that of badr and the conquest of makkah.
it was not of his guidance to designate a specific distance beyond which a traveler could break his fast, and nothing authentic was related in this regard. when setting out on a journey his companions did not stipulate passing beyond the town's residential area as this was not from the sunnah.
ubayd ibn jabr reported: "i boarded a ship from fustat with abu basrah al-ghifari, a companion of allah's messenger, during ramadhan. we had not yet left the settlement behind when he called for a meal, saying, 'come.' i said, 'don't you see the houses?' abu basrah said, 'are you disinclined to the sunnah of allah's messenger ?'" (ahmad and abu dawud)
muhammad ibn ka`b said, "i went to anas ibn malik –may allah be pleased with him- in ramadhan. he intended to travel so his camel had been prepared and he had worn his traveling clothes. he ordered some food and ate, so i said to him, 'is it a sunnah?' he said, 'it is a sunnah,' and mounted." (at-tirmidhi)
these narrations clearly show that whoever begins a journey during a day of ramadhan may break the fast.
. a pre-dawn meal for those intending to fast