01 Feb, 2023 | Wednesday 9-Rajab-1444

Make niyaah (intention) to fast with this dua:

وَبِصَوْمِ غَدٍ نَّوَيْتَ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمـَضَانَ

Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri ramadan

(I intend to keep the fast tomorrow in the month of Ramadan)

Or:

نـَوَيْتُ صَوْمَ غـَدٍ عَـنْ ا َدَاءِ فـَرْضِ شـَهْرِ رَمـَضَانَ هـَذِهِ السَّـنـَةِ لِلـّهِ تـَعَالىَ

Nawaitu sauma ghadin an’adai fardu syahri ramadhana hadzihissanati lillahita’ala

(I intend to do obligatory fast tomorrow in the month of Ramadan this year because of Allah)

There is near consensus among the scholars that the seat of Niyyah, or intention, is the heart. What you want to do for what reason and for the sake of whom will be known by none but you and the All-Knower, Allah (SWT). Thus, you do not need to utter with your tongue, "I want to pray, fast, give alms, etc." The exception is on Hajj, where verbal utterance of Talbiyah is mandated.

In the case of Sawm (fasting), You intend in your heart that abstinence from fast-breakers is meant to worship Allah alone to seek His pleasure. If you observe sahuur (the last meal before beginning fasting) with this above intent, you will have achieved the requirement of niyyah. If you restrain from fast-breakers during daylight hours, with the above intent, you have achieved the requirements of niyyah, even if you did not eat sahuur.

Hafsah, the Prophet's wife (raa,) related the Prophet (saas) said: "Whoever does not make niyyah (intention for fasting) before fajr, would not have fasted." (Ahmed/Ibn Khuzaimah)

However, many scholars said this is for obligatory fastings, like Ramadan, but when fasting is non-essential, one can make niyyah before dhuhr, if he has not eaten anything. The Prophet's wife reported that the Prophet (saas) visited his wives and asked, "Do you have something to eat?" She said, "They replied 'no.' He then said, "I am fasting." (Muslim)

This hadith indicates the believer can have a valid fast, even if he decides after 10:00 a.m, provided he did not eat or drink anything before the time he makes his decision.