Can you make the intention for fasting after Fajr?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

Yes, you can make the intention for fasting after Fajr for certain types of fasts. In the Hanafi Madhab this is permitted for Nafl and Ada Ramadan fasts.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، قَالَتْ: دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ فَقَالَ: هَلْ عِنْدَكُمْ شَيْءٌ؟ فَقُلْنَا: لَا، قَالَ: فَإِنِّي إِذَنْ صَائِمٌ

(Sayidah) Ayeshah (May Allah Most High be pleased with her) said: One day, the Prophet ﷺ entered upon us and said, ‘Do you have anything (to eat)?’ We said, No. He ﷺ said, ‘In that case, I am fasting.’ (Sahih Muslim, 1154 – 170).

In the Hadith above the Holy Prophet ﷺ asked if there was any food to eat. Thereafter, the Prophet ﷺ made the intention to fast. Since the Hadith mentioned that this occurred during the day (one day) and not during the night, many scholars (including Hanafis) concluded that it is permitted to make intention after Fajr.

The narration in Imam al-Tabarani’s al-Mojam al-Kabeer (969) is more explicit regarding the fact that this occurred in the morning. The Hanafi scholars explained that this dispensation, of being permitted to establish the intention to fast after Fajr, is only permitted for certain fasts.

وَصَوْمُ رَمَضَانَ، وَالنَّذْرِ الْمُعَيَّنِ يَجُوزُ بِنِيَّةٍ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ وَإِلَى نِصْفِ النَّهَارِ، وَبِمُطْلَقِ النِّيَّةِ، وَبِنِيَّةِ النَّفْلِ. وَالنَّفْلُ يَجُوزُ بِنِيَّةٍ مِنَ النَّهَارِ، وَيَجُوزُ صَوْمُ رَمَضَانَ بِنِيَّةِ وَاجِبٍ آخَرَ، وَبَاقِي الصَّوْمِ لَا يَجُوزُ إِلَّا بِنِيَّةٍ مُعَيَّنَةٍ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ. (المختار)

The fast of Ramadan and the specified vow fasts are permitted with an intention established at (anytime from) the night to the middle of the day. The intention can be unspecified, or an intention of Nafl. It is permitted to fast a Nafl fast with an intention established in the daytime. The Ramadan fast is permitted with the intention of another Wajib. All other fasts are not permitted except with a specified intention from the night. (Imam al-Mowsili, al-Mukhtaar Matn al-Ikhtiyaar).

As seen in the Nass (text) above. It is permitted to establish an intention for the Ramadan fast, specified vow and Nafl fast in the daytime. However, there is a great deal of detail related to this issue. This detail must be studied thoroughly, otherwise a person is liable to misunderstand.

For example, it is permitted to establish an intention in the daytime for a Ramadan fast. This ruling is only applicable to the Ramadan fast in Ramadan (Ada). It does not apply to a Ramadan fast that is being made up outside of Ramadan (Qadaa). That would necessitate a specific intention, which must be established prior to Fajr.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (04.04.2023)