Breaking Sawm when the sun sets without waiting for the Adhan of the Maghrib Prayer

Q 1: Some fasting people break their Sawm (Fast) when the sun sets without waiting for the Adhan (call to Prayer) of the Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer. What is the ruling on this?

A: Iftar (breaking the Fast) is only permitted after making sure that the sun has set. Allah (Exalted be He) says: ...then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall There are many Hadiths reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard, such as his saying: When night falls from this side and the day vanishes from this side and the sun sets, then the fasting person should break his fast. The way of ascertaining that the sun has set is either sighting the sunset or announcing Adhan by a Mu'adhin (caller to Prayer). Accordingly, it is unanimously not permissible to break Sawm before sunset, and anyone who does so is sinful and should make up for this day. Q 2: What is the degree of authenticity of the Hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have ordered the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) to break their Sawm when hearing the Adhan being pronounced by Bilal? A: The authentically reported Hadith from the Messenger (peace be upon him) in this regard is the one that reads: Bilal pronounces the Adhan at night, (Part No. 9; Page No. 187) so carry on taking your meals (eat and drink) until the Adhan is pronounced by Ibn Um Maktum. This Hadith has to do with Suhur (pre-dawn meal before the Fast) not Iftar. It was reported because Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) used to pronounce the Adhan a short time before the break of dawn to awaken those who were sleeping and alert people that it was time to get up, while Ibn Um Maktum did not use to pronounce the Adhan until the dawn had broken.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.