It is known that giving iftaar to one who is fasting in Ramadaan brings a great reward, but the question is: Who is this fasting person? Is it the one who has no food with which to break his fast or one who is a wayfarer? Or can the iftaar be given to any other person even if he is well off? There are people who invite mostly the rich to iftaar, while others do so as it seems for competition.
Praise be to Allaah, the reward for offering iftaar to one who is fasting is great as the Prophet (sallaallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest." (Tirmidhi /Saheeh) Everyone who gives iftaar to one who is fasting earns this reward. It is not subject to the condition that the fasting person be poor, because this is not a kind of charity, rather it is a kind of a gift, and a gift is not subject to the condition that the recipient be poor. Rather it is acceptable to give gifts to both rich and poor.
With regard to the invitations whose purpose is to compete and show off, they are something blameworthy and the one who does this will not have any reward for this action. So they are depriving themselves of a great deal of good.
The person who receives such an invitation should not attend or take part in them; rather he should excuse himself. Then if he is able to advise the one who does that, in the nicest manner that is most likely to be accepted, that is good. He should avoid speaking directly, and use subtle words and speak in general terms that are not directed at any specific person.
For kind and gentle words, good manners, and avoiding harsh words, are among the means of causing advice to be accepted. The Prophet (sallaallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to do that. Some of his companions did things that he denounced, but he did not confront them with that, rather he would say, "What is wrong with people who do such and such ... ?"
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited