Is it necessary to make an intention before fasting? Answered by Dr Zakir Naik

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Dr Zakir Naik
Published at : 19 Dec 2020
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Dr. Zakir: As far as the intentions is concerned as I mentioned earlier that intention is a Fard and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) said,

Its mentioned in Sunan Nasai in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2331 our beloved Prophet said

"A person's fast is not accepted if he does not make an intention in the previous night."

That means for all the Fard fasting compulsory fasting making intention the previous night is compulsory, it can be any part of the previous night; it can even be till as late as just before the Fajr time. Anytime of the night you can make the intention. A person can make an intention ion the beginning of Ramadhaan and it can be valid for the full month of Ramadhaan unless it he breaks it if he is sick or if he is traveling then he has to again make an intention but one intention is also sufficient and many people think they have a misconception that verbally saying it aloud is a must which is not a requirement. I don't have to say verbally that I intend to fast because my intention, neeya is from the heart.

For example if I get up late in the night much before Fajr time for fasting suppose my son when we have got up to do our Suhoor late in the night and my son asks me that why have you got up? I will tell him because we have to fast! It's already understood. The neeya is there, I don't have to say that I have got up to fast. The neeya is there so aeeya is important, neeya is in the heart. You don't have to say it with your tongue that's what most of the people think and I don't know of any Hadith which says that the Prophet or the Sahabas they ever said loudly that I intend to fast. Intention is in the heart and one intention is sufficient for the full month of Ramadhaan unless as I said its broken but this in only for the Fard fast.

For a voluntary fast, fast which is not a Fard fast intention is not a Fard because there is a Hadith again mentioned in

Sunan Nasai, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith no. 2323

"Once the Prophet, he tells his wife that I want food to eat, the wife said there is no food to eat. So he said okay I am fasting"

That means his intention was not there before, in the previous night, he made it on the stop. He abstained from before dawn but his intention was afterwards, in the morning so for the voluntary fast it's not compulsory to be made early the previous night except that it is a very important voluntary fast like Shura, the 10th of Muharram, Ash-Sura or it can be the day of Arafat. It's preferable to make the intention before berceuse it's a very important fast.

For all the other voluntary fast, it's not compulsory to be made before previous night. For the neeya there are other 3 things which are very important one thing, if its by force, and if something is broken then it can be forgiven or by error or by forgetfulness.

As Allah says in the Quran in Surah Nahl ch. no. 16 verse no. 106 that after a person has believed then if he does something of unbelief, does something of Kufr except by force that means if he does something by force even Kufr or Shirk, Allah will forgive.

So if someone forces a person to break the fast, his Neeya wasn't there, he can be forgiven.

And Allah says in Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 286 that

"O Lord please do not catch us, please do not hold us responsible when we err, when we make a mistake or when we forget"

So if a person in his forgetfulness breaks his fast like have water, Allah will forgive him or if because of a mistake, Allah will forgive him which we shall deal later InshaAllah.

Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah! It is lot of very important information there regarding which I am sure going to be massive benefit to everyone who is listening and watching.

Dr. Zakir: InshaAllah.
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