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When i keep fasts, do i make the intention that i am doing VOLUNTARY FAST.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

When i keep fasts, do i make the intention that i am doing VOLUNTARY FAST or MAKING UP FARD FAST? I have missed many fasts and i have lost count.

Please help me on this matter.


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Missed fasts

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Your Question: When i keep fasts, do i make the intention that i am doing VOLUNTARY FAST or MAKING UP FARD FAST?

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.1 Narrated by Umar bin Al Khattab

I heard Allah's Messenger (saws) saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.”


To make an intention to observe a fast is an absolutely obligatory condition of the worship of fasting; and besides if one has obligatory fasts to make up, it would be best that the missed obligatory fasts are made up first before one offers voluntary fasts.


Your Question: I have missed many fasts and i have lost count.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 185:

185 Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (or witnesses) the month should spend it in fasting but if anyone is ill or on a journey the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.


If one has in their past been so negligent in the observance of their obligatory fasts that they have missed so many that they have lost count…. then the absolute first thing one must do is immediately turn back to their Lord Most Gracious in sincere Taubah for their severe negligence and lapse of their obligatory duty, and make a solemn and sincere intention that from this day forward, they will strive to observe every obligatory fast. If the person is sincere in seeking repentance, it is expected that they will find his Lord Merciful and Forgiving.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumur verses 53-54:

(O Prophet) say: “O My servants who have wronged their own souls….Do not despair of Allah’s Mercy! Surely, Allah forgives all sins. He indeed is the All Forgiving, All Merciful. Return to your Lord and submit to Him before the scourge overtakes you; for then you may get no help from anywhere.”


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 135-136:

Allah likes such good people very much, who, if ever they commit a base deed or wrong their own soul by the commission of a sin, remember Allah instantly, and ask for forgiveness from Him for their shortcomings. For who, but Allah, can forgive sins? (And Allah loves those) who do not knowingly persist in the wrongs they did. These will be rewarded with forgiveness from Allah, and with Gardens beneath which canals flow, and they will reside therein forever! How excellent is the reward of those who do good deeds!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 54:

When those come to you who believe in Our Signs, say: "Peace be on you! Your Lord had inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy. Verily if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented and amended (his conduct), Lo! He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."


As a manifestation of their sincere repentance, the person should then estimate the number of fasts they have missed over the years, and strive their hardest to make them up by fasting at other times of the year…..if one is indeed sincere in one’s repentance and the manifestation of one’s repentance, it is expected that their Lord Most Gracious will not only forgive them their negligence, but will reward them abundantly for their repentance.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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