How should the Muslim intend to fast?

Written by Ismat. Posted in Ramadan


How should the Muslim intend to fast?

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
Question: How should a person form his intention to fast Ramadan? When should he have the intention to fast? 


Praise be to Allaah. 

“The intention (niyyah) means resolving to fast. It is essential to have the intention the night before, night by night, in Ramadaan.” 

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, vol. 10, p. 246) 

“Some scholars were of the view that in the case of a repeated act of worship, it is sufficient to form the intention once the first time one does, unless the sequence of repetition is interrupted, in which case a new intention must be formed. On this basis, if a person has the intention of fasting on the first day of Ramadaan that he will fast this whole month, that is enough to cover the whole month, so long as he does not have an excuse to break his fast and thus break this continuity, such as traveling during Ramadaan. In that case, when he wants to resume fasting he must form the intention of fasting again.

This is the more correct opinion, because all the Muslims, if you ask them, will say that they intend to fast the whole month from beginning to end. So even if the intention is not formed literally, it is there by implication, because the basic principle is that it does not stop. Hence we say that if the continuity is broken for some permissible reason, then one starts fasting again, the intention must be renewed. This is the view which brings peace of mind.” 

al-Sharh al-Mumti’, vol. 6, p. 369-370).

Islam Q&A

Uttering the intention to fast out loud is an innovation (bid’ah)


Question: 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.

Islam Q&A

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