Types of fasts and those, which require intention

CategoriesSawm (fast) [227]

Types of fasts and those, which require intention

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.


There are six types of fasts:

  1. Farz – They are the fasts of Ramadhan, unperformed fasts of Ramadhan, Kaffarah and Nazr which are the fasts one vows to perform.
  2. Wajib – Are the voluntary fasts that were ruined.  If a person begins to observe a voluntary fast and thereafter breaks it, then it becomes necessary to do qadha of it.
  3. Sunnat – Fasts of Ashura
  4. Mustuhuub – Fasting three days of every month.  It is desirable to fast on 13th, 14th and 15th of every lunar month.  Also it is recommended to fast on the Mondays and Thursdays of each week, the six days of Shawwal and the fasting of Saaiduna Dawud Alayhis Salam.
  5. Nafl – Those fasts which are not mentioned in the above categories.
  6. Makruh – These are of two types.  Firstly, Makruh Tanzihi such as fasting on only the 10th of Muharram without fasting on the 9th of Muharram.  Secondly, Makruh Tahrimi which is the fasting on the day of Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Adha and the days of Tahriq, which are the 11th, 12th and 13th of Zul Hijjah.  It is also Makruh Tahrimi to single out Friday and Saturday alone for a day of fasting unless it coincides with ones regular days of fasting.   (Nuruul Idah p.135- p.136)

The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said, “Do not single out Friday among days for fasting unless one among you is accustomed to fast which coincides with this (Friday).”  (Sahih Muslim p.360 v.1)

There are three fasts for which it is not a condition to be specific in the intention or to make the intention at night before dawn.

  1. Fasts of Ramadhan
  2. Nazr (vow) of a specific day
  3. Nafl fasts                                                                  (Nuruul Idah p.137)

However, one will have to make an intention before ‘Dahwatul Kubra’  (Islamic Midday).  The Islamic midday if from the break of dawn until the time the sun reaches its peak.  (Ahsanul Fatawa p.437 v.4)

There are four fasts that require ones intention to be specific and to be made at night.

  1. Qadha of Ramadhan
  2. Qadha of Mafl after it was ruined
  3. Kaffarah fasts
  4. Nazr (vow) in a general way (Nazr Mutlaq)              (Nuruul Idah p.137)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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