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Can I Make My Intention in the Morning for Making Up a Missed Fast?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have a doubt regarding the Shafi ruling of making an intention for missed obligatory fasts. Is my fast valid if I intend it before dhuhr and didn’t do anything that would nullify the fast? Also, sometimes, I intend to fast the night before, but my intention wavers when I get up at suhur, but I don’t eat anything. Is my fast is valid?


Thank you for your question.


The intention of making up a missed obligatory fast must be made before dawn. And if your intention wavers at suhur time, your fast is still valid, as you still intended to fast, and did not decide not to fast.

I have copied and pasted the Intentions section from Shaykh Jamir’s fasting document linked below:

The Integrals of Fasting

The integrals of fasting are two: a) The intention and b) Refraining from those things that nullify the fast

The Intention for an Obligatory Fast

The intention is obligatory to say in the heart and recommended to say with the tongue.

The intention for a fast in Ramadan must:

  • Be made at night
  • Consist of the type of fast intended (Ramadan)

E.g. “I intend to fast tomorrow for Ramadan”

The most complete formula for the intention is:

“I intend to fast tomorrow as a current performance of the obligation of Ramadan of this year for Allah most High”.

This optimal formula is valid by consensus and in all schools.

  • Be made at night: This means the intention for an obligatory fast must be made at night, anytime between Maghrib and Fajr. It is valid to make the intention just after Maghrib has come in, and before one has actually broken the current days fast (for example, at the adhan of Maghrib and before eating your first date).

This must be done each night for each obligatory fasting day, as each day is considered a separate act of worship.

Note: The above condition of intending the fast does not apply to the intention for supererogatory fasts which can be made anytime after Maghrib and before Dhur (on the condition the person has not done already anything that would normally break the fast, such as eating, or having sexual intercourse).

It is not obligatory to say in the intention that it is an ‘obligatory/fard’ fast (as there are no voluntary fasts in Ramadan).

Note: As for making up a missed day of Ramadan, it is not obligatory to say ‘of Ramadan’ in the intention, as it automatically defaults to the make-up fast (unless one intends something else).

It is recommended on the night of the first day of Ramadan to make the intention for the next day (as a Shafi’i), but also to make the intention to follow the Maliki school and intend to fast the ‘whole of Ramadan,’ just in case one forgets to make the intention in any of the coming days of Ramadan. Whilst this does not change the necessity of making up the missed day in our school (because of having forgotten the intention), inwardly, the fast is validated through Imam Malik’s opinion.

It is recommended for someone who forgets to make the intention at night (which means his fasting is not counted in our school) to nevertheless make the intention before Dhur with the intention of following the Hanafi school, for the same reasons explained above (and as long as he hasn’t done anything that breaks the fast).
The Fiqh of Fasting Ramadan According to the School of Imam Shafi’i

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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