Question: If one does not intend to fast the next day of Ramadan, what should one do?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
In Ramadan, one must intend to fast the next day every night sometime between Maghrib and Fajr.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘There is no fast for someone who does not resolve to fast before Fajr.’ (Ibn Khuzayma and others) The same has been narrated from Ibn Umar, Aisha, and Hafsa (Allah be well pleased with them all). (al-Muwatta, Malik)
So if one was menstruating or traveling and ended up not intending to fast the next day but then stopped menstruating before Fajr or stopped being a traveling before Fajr, one must still abstain from those things that break the fast (imsak). This, however, would not count as a ritual fast, so it must be made up afterward. (Bushra al-Karim, Ba ‘Ishn)
Obviously, Allah still rewards not eating and drinking during that day, even if it doesn’t count as a ritual fast. Allah is generous and appreciates our efforts, and He is by no means cheap.
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.