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Making the Intention to Fast

Author: Shaykh Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi’ee (rahimahullah)

Source: Irshaad-ul-Afaadhil-Kiraam Ilaa Masaaili Tata’alluqi bi-Siyaam wal-Qiyaam

Translator: Aboo ‘Imraan al-Mekseekee


Is it obligatory to make a single intention for the fast of Ramadhaan (daily) or is it sufficient to make the intention to fast the entire month of Ramadhaan all at once? And (if it is to be done that way) at what interval should it be done?


The Prophet (may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Actions are but by intentions, so every man will get what he intended.” This is evidence upon the necessity to have an intention regarding all actions, so what is apparent is that the individual makes the intention (to fast) every day but this does not mean that he says: “I intend to fast on this day in Ramadhaan, rather the intention is an objective, so when you wake up to eat Suhoor then this is considered an intention, and your refraining from food and drink is considered intention.

As for the Prophetic narration: “Whoever does not make the intention for the next days fast in the evening then there is no fast for him.”

Then it is a weak narration that is considered Mudhtarib (an insufficiently supported narration) even though some of the Ulamaa have raised it to the level of Hasan, so what is correct is that it has Idhtiraab (insufficiency) in its chain of narration.


One Intention for the Whole Month?


Does every day on which the fast is performed in Ramadan require an intention, or is it sufficient to make one intention for the whole month?


It is sufficient in Ramadan to make one intention at the beginning of it, because even if the fasting person did not make an intention for every day the night before, that was has intention at the start of the month. But if the fasting is broken during the month due to a journey, or illness or the like, he must make the fresh intention, because he has broken it by abandoning the fast due to travel, illness or the like. 


Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen

Islamic Verdicts on The Pillars of Islaam, vol.2, page.644


The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) said: "Whoever does not intend to fast before dawn, there is no fast for him." Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 730



Question # 37643: Uttering the intention to fast out loud is an innovation (bid’ah)


In India we make the niyah of Saum as "ALLAH HUMMA ASOOMO JADAN LAKA FAGFIRLEE MA KADDAMTU WA MA AKHARTU", I am not sure of the meaning, but is it the right niyah?if yes please explain the meaning or please give me the right niyah proved by Qu`ran and Hadith.  



Praise be to Allaah.  

The Ramadaan fast and other acts of worship are not valid unless accompanied by the proper intention, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Actions are but by intentions, and everyone shall have but that which he intended…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1; Muslim, 1907)

The intention is subject to the condition that it be made at night, before the dawn comes, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not intend to fast before dawn, there is no fast for him.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 730. According to a version narrated by al-Nasaa’i (2334): “Whoever does not intend to fast from the night before, there is no fast for him.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 573. What is meant is that whoever does not intend to fast and resolve to do so from the night before, his fast is not valid.

The intention (niyyah) is an action of the heart. The Muslim should resolve in his heart that he is going to fast tomorrow. It is not prescribed for him to utter it out loud and say, “I intend to fast” or “I will fast tomorrow” or other phrases that have been innovated by some people. The correct intention is when a person resolves in his heart that he is going to fast tomorrow.

Hence Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in al-Ikhtiyaaraat (p. 191):

If it crosses a person’s mind that he is going to fast tomorrow, then he has made the intention.

The Standing Committee was asked:

How should a person intend to fast Ramadaan?

They replied:

The intention is done by resolving to fast. It is essential that the intention to fast Ramadaan be made every night.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/246

And Allaah knows best.







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