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What Is the Nature of the Niyyah (Intention) of Fasting?

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

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Niyyah (intention) is a required condition in Fard (obligatory) fasts, and in other obligatory fasts such as making up missed fasts or fasts done as an act of expiation (kafaarah).

The Prophet (saws) said: “There is no fast for the person who did not intend to fast from the night before.”
[Abu Da’ud]

The intention may be made at any point during the night, even if it is just a moment before Fajr.

Niyyah means the resolution in the heart to do something; speaking it aloud is bid’ah (a reprehensible innovation), and anyone who knows that tomorrow is one of the days of Ramadaan and wants to fast, has made the intention.

The person who is fasting Ramadaan does not need to repeat the intention every night during Ramadaan; it is sufficient to have the intention at the beginning of the month. If the intention is interrupted by breaking the fast due to travel or sickness – for example – he has to renew the intention to fast when the reason for breaking the fast is no longer present.

If a person does not know that Ramadaan has started until after dawn, he has to stop eating and drinking for the rest of the day, and he has to make that day up later on, according to the majority of scholars.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no fasting for the one who does not have the intention to fast from the night before.”
[Abu Da’ud]

If a prisoner or captive knows that Ramadaan has begun by sighting the moon himself or by being told by a trustworthy person, he has to fast. If he does not know when the month is beginning, he must try to work it out for himself (ijtihaad) and act according what he thinks is most likely. If he later finds out that his fasting coincided with Ramadaan, this is fine according to the majority of scholars, and if his fasting came after Ramadaan, this is fine according to the majority of fuqahaa’, but if his fasting came before Ramadaan, this is not acceptable, and he has to make up the fast.

If part of his fasting coincided with Ramadaan and part of it did not, what coincided with it or came after it is fine, but what came before is not OK. If the matter never becomes clear to him, then his fasting is fine because he did the best he could, and Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.


Written by al Muddaththir

June 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm

One Response

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  1. it is good but could be better


    June 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

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