It has become a tradition for a few of us brothers and sisters to fast on Mondays and come to the Masjid with our food and break our fast together in the Masjid. This reminds us of Ramadan and makes us very happy to encourage other Muslims to fast and join us for Iftar. The other day a Muslim brother told me that what we were doing is not acceptable because the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and his companions never fasted and brought their food to the Masjid for Iftar. Also, fasting is a private issue and when you break your fast in the Masjid where everyone can see you, it is not acceptable. Is this brother correct? Should we stop coming to the Masjid for Iftar? May Allah reward you for clarifying this issue for us.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. There is no objection to the fact that a group of people break the fast together be that on Monday or on other days. It is also desirable to exhort people to fast Mondays and Thursdays as this is part of guiding people to the right and the good. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever shows the way to (someone to do) something good, he gets a similar reward to that allotted to its doer" [Reported by Muslim , Ahmad and Abu Dawood ]. This is clear evidence that guiding to the good, reminding of it and helping its doer is a great advantage and benefit. It is also an indication that learning the knowledge and the forms of worship is very profitable especially for those who act according to that. What is meant by: "gets a reward similar to that allotted to the doer" does not necessarily mean that they get the same reward (but each one gets a reward according to their contribution). It is reported in an authentic Hadith that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "….He who sets a good precedent in Islam, there is a reward for him for this act (of goodness) and reward of those who acted to it subsequently, without any deduction from their reward. And he who sets an evil precedent, there is upon him its burden and the burden of those, who acted upon it subsequently without any deduction from also their burden" . Imam Al-Nawawi while explaining this Hadith said: 'It urges people to start with the good deeds and initiate only good acts. Similarly it warns against innovating in the religion or creating unfounded stories or indulging in anything bad and disgraceful…' . Allah knows best.
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