The fast is broken at sunset, and it is termed in Arabic iftar. It is a time of happiness and refreshment after experiencing the pangs of hunger and thirst. It is usually broken with dates and in many cultures a light soup with bread or small side dishes. Breaking the fast is followed immediately by the evening obligatory prayer. In many parts of the world, including the US, breaking fast is observed in congregation in mosques and homes.
The Prophetic etiquette of breaking fast: three rutabs (moist dates), or else tamr (dry dates), or else water, mentioning Allah, using the right hand, stating the du`a that fasting was for Allah and breakfast with his rizq (provision), and asking Allah aid in fasting, night-prayer, lowering the eyes, and guarding the tongue in Ramadan. The invocation (du`a) upon breaking fast is answered.
The following two du`as should be recited after breaking the fast:
اَللّهُمَّ لَكَ صُمْتُ وَعَلى رِزْقِكَ أَفْطَرْتُ
Allahumma laka sumtu wa `alaa rizqika aftartu
O Allah! For You have I fasted and upon Your sustenance have I broken my fast. [Abu Dawud]
ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الأَجْرُ إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ
Dhahab az zamaa’u wab tallatil urooqu wa thabat al-ajru Insha-Allah
The thirst has vanished, the veins have been wetted and the reward is established – Insha-Allah. [Abu Dawud]
The Prophet (s) said: “Whosoever fasts experiences two joys. He is joyful when he breaks his fast, and is joyful because of his fasting when he meets his Lord.” [Sahih Muslim]
“When evening approaches from this side (east) and the day retreats from this side (west) and the sun has set, the one who is fasting breaks his fast.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“Break your fast with a date,es or with water because it is pure.”
[Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi]
The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said: “My nation will remain in goodness as long as they break the fast as soon as it is due.” [Muslim]
It is offensive and unhealthy to stuff the stomach with food after fasting. The Prophet (s) said: “Enough for a human being to have luqaymat (=from 3 to 9 mouthfuls) that prop up his spine and, if he must have more [in his stomach], then one third of food, one third of water, and one third of air.”
Out of respect for the mosques and those who attend them among people, jinn, and angels foods that cause bad breath (such as garlic and onions), belching and gas should not be consumed.
Al-Hamdulillah, praise and peace be upon His Prophet Muhammad and on his Family,
Companions and his Followers, inwardly and outwardly.
source: Dr. Gibril Haddad