What Is the Minimally Required Intention for a Make-Up Fast?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

What is the most basic intention that can be made for a make-up fast? Could you please state an example?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, may Allah protect him, 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]

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said: “Actions are by their intentions.” [Bukhari]

If a person has several fasts to make up he can simply intend in his heart to make up the earliest fast that was obligatory on him. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

The reason for this is that each missed fast should be made up specifically. This can be achieved by making the intention in one’s heart as described above.

If you find it difficult to have this intention in your heart you can suffice yourself by uttering with your tongue your intention by stating for example: “I intend to make up today the earliest fast due upon me.” [Tahtawi, Hashiya ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah]

Keep in mind, while making your intention, to perform this act of worship in order to draw closer to Allah, Most High because this aspect is an integral part of the legal definition of intention in Islamic law. [Tahtawi, Hashiya ‘ala Maraqi al-Falah]

Please remember that the intention to make up a fast has to happen before dawn, during the night, for the make-up fast to be valid. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani