Question: Is it necessary to make an intention when fasting?

Answer: It is necessary to have an intention for an act of worship to be valid. What is meant by an intention is for a person to know in his heart what act of worship he is intending to do. This is sufficient for the validity for an action. 

One may verbalise his intention for fasting in the following way;

نَوَيْت أَنْ أَصُومَ غَدًا لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى

“I intend to fast tomorrow for Allah the Exalted”

If a person is making an intention in the morning i.e. before fajar until Dahwatul Kubra (midday) one may make the following intention:

نَوَيْت أَنْ أَصُومَ هَذَا الْيَوْمَ لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى

“I intend to fast the fardh fast today for Allah the Exalted”

 من شرط الصيام النية (شرح مختصر الطحاوي ج٢ص٤٠٣

And Allah Knows Best

Yusuf Moosagie 

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