Is your Ramadan fast valid if you make your intention to fast between Fajr and Islamic midday?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala


I was told that it is permissible to keep your fast before midday in Ramadan, provided you do not eat or drink. However, if you eat, close your fast, then ejaculate and have a ghusl before midday and renew your intention to fast, would your fast be valid?


The scenario you mention above is not permissible.  To understand why it is impermissible, we need first to understand some rulings related to fasting:

The Obligation to Fast in Ramadan

Firstly, it is important to know that all legally responsible Muslims must fast during the month of Ramadan, except those who are sick, traveling, or in their menstrual period.  This obligation extends throughout the day, meaning one must maintain the fast from Fajr’s entrance until Maghrib’s entrance.

Therefore, if one were to eat, drink, or engage in intercourse at any point during the fasting period, the fast would be invalidated and have to be made up.  Furthermore, if one broke their fast intentionally, then an expiation of 60 days of consecutive fasting is due in addition to the make-up fast.

Rulings Related to Intention

Secondly, one can indeed make the intention to fast up until midday.  This means that if someone wasn’t sure if they wanted to fast on a particular day, they have until midday (halfway between Fajr and Maghrib) to decide to fast.  If they haven’t decided by this point, they are not fasting.

However, the above applies only when one has abstained from food, drink, and intercourse before the midday point.  Therefore, if one eats, drinks, or has intercourse before this point, they are not allowed to fast.  In Ramadan, it means that he/she is intentionally not fasting an obligatory fast, so both a make-up and expiation are owed.  Outside of Ramadan, it simply means that one cannot fast during the day and must leave the fast for another day.

Reevaluating The Scenario in Question

Keeping these rulings in mind, we can now look at the scenario in question and understand where problems come in:

  1.  In Ramadan, it is obligatory to keep one’s fast throughout the day.
  2.  Eating before midday would invalidate your fast, so a make-up fast is owed.  If done intentionally, an expiation is owed.
  3.  Ejaculation invalidates the fast as well, except if done involuntarily, such as in a wet dream.  Intercourse requires an expiation; masturbation, though sinful, only requires make-up.
  4.  One can intend to fast before midday, but only because they didn’t do anything that would invalidate the fast before that point.  So if, as in your question, the person ate before midday, they cannot “renew” their intention and cannot fast.
  5.  Therefore, the process detailed in your question would not only invalidate the fast for that day in Ramadan but would require makeup and an expiation.
  6.  For further details on fasting, you can see this reader compiled by the SeekersGuidance team: The Ramadan Reader: A Guide to Fasting, Prayer, Qur’an, and Spirituality in the Month of Ramadan

Final Point of Advice: Learn from Reliable Sources

Finally, I would encourage you to study the fiqh of worship from a reliable source.  We often hear rulings based on hearsay and faulty memory, and sometimes we forget the details of rulings ourselves.  This inaccurate information can lead us astray in our practice.

To avoid such problems, we must build a solid base of knowledge.  You can take classes with local scholars or online with SeekersGuidance to accomplish this.  This education will give you a clear understanding of how to worship Allah properly and will protect you from major mistakes.  And Allah knows best.

Barak Allahu Fikum,

Wasim Shiliwala

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani