Can I Keep an Unknown Number of Fasts With Additional Ones Counting As Voluntary?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I intend to make up missed fasts across multiple years. I am unsure about how many of them there are or how many are obligatory for me to make up due to differences in scholarly opinions and not remembering due to the passage of time. The amount could vary greatly.

Can I make a dual intention for my fasts such that it counts as making up a fast if need be, and any extra I do afterward is voluntary? If I fast multiple extra days with the intention of making up a missed one, even though it was not obligatory on me, is that fast wasted, or is it taken as voluntary worship?

If only one intention can be made, is it reasonable for me to make up the fasts in reverse order so that I can make up the ones?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question, and intending to fulfill the debt of fasting due to Allah Most High.

What you need to do is write down each year and jog your memory to estimate how many fasts you didn’t keep each year with reasonable surety and make them up. You may add an extra; in this way, if they were not, they will count as voluntary (nafl). Allah Most High is generous, and His bounty is endless and plentiful. He only looks at your intention and works. No fast will be wasted or void of reward and blessing. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction, in sha’ Allah.


Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on SeekersGuidance?

I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.