What Are the Rulings regarding Intention When Making Up Fasts?
Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi
In the past, if make up fasts were made without bringing to mind an intention, are they valid?
By this I mean I knew I was doing a make up fast that day but I didn’t specifically bring it to mind. I also didn’t state which make up fast it was (such as the first one due upon me).
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
I pray this finds you in the best of states.
Making up a fast without intention won’t fulfill the duty to make up this fast and the fasting of that day will be deemed a voluntary fast. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
The Reality of Intention
You can safely assume that your intention to make up your fasts was present when you were fasting. Why would you start fasting otherwise?
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, may Allah protect him, has mentioned in a previous answer that:
An “intention” is “a firm resolve to perform an act of worship.” In relation to fasting, “it is to know in your heart that you will fast that day.” [al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, quoting al-Khulasa]
As such, it is rarely conceivable that a Muslim does not have an intention in Ramadan, the scholars tell us. It is even explained that the very intention to get up for the pre-dawn meal (suhur) is an effective intention to fast. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
As for specifying which fast you are making up specifically, there are two positions in the Hanafi school.
According to the first position it is necessary to specify which Ramadan fast you are making up and according to the second one, it is not necessary to do so. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
Thus you can assume that your makeup fasts were valid. Nonetheless, it remains superior for you to repeat them.
Allah, Most High, says: “However, should any one of you be sick or on a journey, then (he should fast) a number of other days (equal to the missed ones).” [Quran, 2:184]
And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani