The Imaam said, “It has been related from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he said, “There are three people who will not be called to account regarding what they eat, as long as it is halal: a fasting person, and the person eating the suhoor meal and the one guarding the frontier in the way of Allaah.” [Hadith grading:] Fabricated.
The Imaam said, “And maybe one of the bad effects of this [fabricated] hadith is the [resultant] state of the Muslims today—for when they sit to break their fast in Ramadan, a person won’t know to get up [and step away] from the food except just before Ishaa due to how many various types of food, drink, fruit and desserts he devours! And how can this not be the case when the hadith says that such a person is one of those who will not be called to account over what he eats!
So due to that they combined the excessiveness which one has been prohibited from in the Book and the Sunnah with the delaying of Maghrib which has [also] been prohibited in his saying, “My nation will remain in good …” or he said, “… upon the Fitrah, as long as they do not delay Maghrib until the stars appear.” (Al-Haakim declared it to be authentic and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him and it is as they both said, for it has other paths and supporting proofs which I pointed to in Saheeh Sunan Abi Daawood, no. 444).
An encouragement to hasten in opening the fast has also been reported in many hadiths, like, “The people will continue to be fine as long as they hasten the opening of the fast.” So both hadiths must be implemented in a manner where one doesn’t negate the other, and that is done by starting iftaar with a few small bites of food by which one’s hunger is calmed down, and then he gets up to pray and then, if he wants, he can come back to the food until he fulfils his need therefrom.
Some of this has been demonstrated in the practical Sunnah, for Anas said, “The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates, but if there were no fresh dates, he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates, he took some mouthfuls of water.” (Reported by Abu Daawood and at-Tirmidhi and he said it was hasan, and it is in Saheeh Abi Daawood, no. 2040, and the one before it is agreed upon and it has been checked in Al-Irwaa, 899).”