View Full Version : Ramadaan Part 2 – Time of the Nīyah

08-18-2010, 03:16 AM
Ramadaan Part 2 – Time of the Nīyah
by Shaykh Abdullaah al-Ghudyaan
on Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Islaam, since last week, we have been blessed by a noble guest, a guest of mercy and blessings. One full year has passed since his last visit. He was your guest for 30 days and again, he is at our doorstep waiting for you to open the door so he may fill your homes with blessings and favours of Allaah. He is yours, mine and all Muslims’ guest and we ask Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to enable us to behave well during his stay and to bless us to take advantage of his presence.

It is well known that the more you love your guest, the more you prepare yourself to welcome him; the more you respect your guest, the more things you plan to entertain him or to make his visit most comfortable. And if that guest happens to be someone from among our close relatives coming from overseas, then we plan way ahead before his arrival: we paint our houses, we redesign our living rooms and his name is on every lip. And if that guest is generous and is known to bring precious gifts for all family members, then that makes him a super guest. And we impatiently look forward to his generous gifts.

This blessed guest is not someone who may be a dent on our budget or a cause of any loss in our time or wealth. Rather, that guest is the noblest guest - the guest of mercy, the guest of happiness, the guest, who would not take anything from us, rather he has come to give us the most precious things: the things we are in dire need of, the things which would become the source of our success and happiness. I could go on and on mentioning the virtues of this blessed guest but the time is limited. So I leave it to you to ponder in you free time the advantages and benefits of this precious guest.

This blessed guest is no one other than Ramadaan. Wa maa adraaka maa Ramadaan? This is in itself is a crash course to help us boost our eemaan, get closer to our Rabb and to facilitate for us all means to achieve the certificate of entrance to Jannah. Ramadaan – a school of eemaan and taqwa, where every graduate is a winner.

So do you know of any guest more important than this guest? Do you know of any guest coming with so much khayr (goodness) and blessings? Do you know of any guest staying with you for a month and not asking to spend anything for him rather giving you so abundantly. So let us reflect for some moments and prepare well and take good care of this guest. May Allaah سبحانه و تعالى make us among those who would have Ramadaan a hujjah (evidence) for them and not against them and may Allaah سبحانه و تعالى open all the doors of Jannah for us. May Allaah سبحانه و تعالى give us the tawfeeq to do the Siyaam and the Qiyaam ihtisaaban (seeking the reward).

Brothers and Sisters in Islaam, let us be more attentive to listen and benefit from the words of our highly regarded and noble scholar. Today, we have with us, Shaykh Abdullah bin Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Ghudyaan to give us some reminders about this blessed guest – about this month of Ramaadan. So let us listen attentively so that we may benefit from this and may this help us to take maximum advantage of this guest.

Time of the Nīyah (intention - for Fasting)

Our beloved Shaykh Abdullah Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Ghudyaan حفظه الله تعالى begins:

As-salaamu 'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

He praised Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and sent salaat and salaam upon our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, his family and all his companions.

He then proceeded by saying today's lecture is about the TIME OF THE NĪYAH. He mentioned that the legislation of the nīyah, or the proof of the intention, is the statement of our beloved Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم:

إنَّما الأعْمالُ بالنِّيَّاتِ وإنَّمَا لِكُلّ امرىءٍ مَا نَوَى
Indeed all actions are by intention and for every individual is what he intended.[1]

So, in this hadeeth, it is explained that actions are rewarded according to their intentions and since as-siyaam (fasting) is from the actions, then it requires intention.

Types of Fast

And then he حفظه الله mentioned that fasting is of many types:
One type is mandatory fasting that is obligated and initiated by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and that is the fasting of this month, the month of Ramadaan.

And the second type of fasting is that which is also obligated by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى but the slave of Allaah is the reason of its being mandatory. For instance, kaffaaratul-yameen (كفارة اليمين - atonement for breaking an oath) and kaffaaratul-zihaar (كفارة الظهار) - and that is atonement for saying “my wife is like the back of my mother” (unlawful to be approached) and kaffaaratul-jimaa’ (كفارة الجماع) and that is the expiation for having relation with one's wife whilst fasting in the month of Ramadaan and kaffaaratul-qatl khattan (كفارة القتل خطأ) i.e. the expiation for killing someone accidentally. Siyaam of all these types would be waajib (mandatory) and the siyaam of Ramadaan would be fard (obligated).

Another type of fasting is when the slave makes it obligated upon himself and that is called fasting of an-nadhr (صيام النذر – fasting by making a vow to do so).
So the first category is that which Allaah initiates and obligates, the second category is obligated by Allaah but the slave is the reason of its being obligated and the third category is an-nadhr (making a vow to fast).

Time of the Nīyah

In all these three categories, intention is required and the intention has to be made some time between sunset and the dawn. There are many proofs of this.

From such textual proofs is the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم collected by Imaam Ahmad and the authors of the 4 books of Sunnah and narrated by Hafsah رضي الله عنها that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: Whoever does not resolve to fast before (the appearance of) Fajr then there is no fasting for him.[2]

And in another narration collected by Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi, narrated by 'Aisha رضي الله عنها, that “Whoever does not make the intention of fasting prior to dawn, then there is no fasting for him”.[3] And there are many other proofs proving that a person intending to fast must make the intention before dawn. So if the dawn breaks and the person has not made the intention, or the person makes the nīyah after the break of dawn, then his/her fast would not be correct.

The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned that:

There has been a previous discussion on the compulsory fast and Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has made binding on his slaves and there are certain types of fast that the slave actually makes binding on himself – for example if he makes a pledge or if he is making up Ramadaan. In this case there are certain things that have to be kept in mind – one is that he must have his intention during the night time – this is for the compulsory fast.

As for the optional fast, the person should also have the intention to fast before the true dawn appears. If he wants to fast during the day time (for the optional fast), he is allowed to have his intention during the day time as well; however, with the condition that prior to that, he had not taken anything that would invalidate the fast or anything that would break the fast. The evidence for this is the narration of ‘Aisha رضي الله عنها:

'Aisha, the Mother of the Believers رضي الله عنها (Allaah be pleased with her), reported that one day the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said to me: “Yaa 'Aisha, have you anything (to eat)?” I said: “O Messenger of Allaah, there is nothing with us.” Thereupon he said: “I am observing fast.” She said: The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم went out, and there was a present for us and (at the same time) some visitors dropped in. When the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم came back, I said to him: “O Messenger of Allaah, a present was given to us (and in the meanwhile) there came to us visitors (a major portion of it has been spent on them), but I have saved something for you.” He said: “What is it?” I said: “It is hais (a compound of dates and clarified butter).” He said: “Bring that.” So I brought it to him and he ate it and then said: “I woke up in the morning observing fast.” Talha said: “I narrated this hadith to Mujaahid and he said: This (observing of voluntary fast) is like a person who sets apart Sadaqah out of his wealth. He may spend it if he likes, or he may retain it if he so likes.”[4]

In another narration,
'Aisha, the Mother of the Believers رضي الله عنها (Allaah be pleased with her), reported: The Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم came to me one day and said: “Is there anything with you (to eat)?” I said: “No.” Thereupon he said: “I shall then be fasting.” Then he came to us another day and we said: “Messenger of Allaah, hais has been offered to us as a gift.” Thereupon he said: “Show that to me; I had been fasting since morning.” He then ate it.[5]

So the person, for the compulsory fast, he should make the intention from the night. If he intends to do an optional fast, he should make his intention from the night before or he is allowed to make it during the daytime but with the condition that he has not taken any food or drink and has not done anything that invalidates the fast. This individual also has the choice, under this circumstance, either to continue his fast or to stop fasting. And this is something that he is able to do if there is a need to do so and if he does that, he is not considered as doing something that is sinful.


1. Question: What is the latest time for sahoor (predawn meal)? Is it the time of the adhaan of fajr or can one consume food until the Muadhdhin finishes the adhaan?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله mentions that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions this in the Qur'aan:

وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ
{...and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)...} [Al-Baqarah 2:187]

Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has made this a sign or an indication for all to depend on, in determining the time when a person should refrain from taking in any type or food or anything that would invalidate the fast. Some individuals call the adhaan before the time of the true dawn, others after. It is possible to depend on the calendars that we have in determining the time of the true dawn. If a person happens to be in the Kingdom, he may depend on the calendar from Ummul-Qura; if he is outside, he may depend on the calendar that they have in their locality. However, we should remember that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has made the appearance of the true dawn as a sign in the sky (to indicate) when a person should refrain from consuming.

2. Question: Is it permissible to fast without eating? If you don't wake up for sahoor or Fajr, should I continue eating or should I fast that day?
Answer: The response of the Shaykh to this question: It is compulsory for him to refrain from food and drink – continuing his fast. And it is compulsory for him to make up that day because he did not have his intention in place before the true dawn appeared. However, if a person went to sleep after the night prayer and he had made the intention to fast for the following day and he got up after the rising of the sun, this person's fast is correct because he had his intention before the coming of the true dawn the following day.

3. Question: In our community the Imaam makes frequent mistakes in his recitation during the taraawih prayer. What should be done in such a situation?
Answer: The response of the Shaykh: If the type of mistakes made by this individual changes the meaning, then it is not correct for this person to be in the position of the imaam and you should choose/search for an individual who does not make these types of mistake. However, if the person has perfected an area or certain parts of the Qur'aan, the last part for example, then he prays reciting those parts of the Qur'aan that he has perfected and he leads the people in prayer reciting those verses/chapters that he has perfected.

4. Question: If a pregnant woman dies before keeping (making up) her missed fast then what is the ruling in Islaam? Does the fast for her need to be made up by her son or by her husband?
Answer: The response of the Shaykh: If this lady who was pregnant was unable to fast and she passed away before being able to make up the fast, if the reason for her not fasting was to remove harm from herself, then the only thing that has to be done is that the fast be made up on her behalf. If it is because of her and because of her unborn child, then the fast has to be made up on her behalf and also, some atonement should be given – a kilo and a half of wheat, rice or dates for each day missed.

5. Question: I have chronic asthma and throughout the day I need to take my inhaler or some invasive powder. Would it break my fast?
Answer: It should be used at night time and not during the day. If it is utilized during the daytime, it invalidates the fast.

6. Question: If a woman sees a gynaecologist and gets examined during the time of fasting. Does this break her fast?
Answer: The response of the Shaykh: If there is nothing that is going inside that is considered food or drink i.e. that is going in the stomach area then this type of examination does not invalidate the fast.

7. Question: In our local masjid it is such that one Imaam will lead the first 8 rakaat of taraawih and then they will take a break so that the brothers and sisters who believe that one should only pray 11 can leave. They do not pray witr but just the 8 and then leave. So, these people leave and then another Imaam will come forward and finish praying the 21 rakaat. We have heard the hadeeth that the one who starts and finishes with the Imaam he gains the reward of praying the entire night. So, in this situation if one stops at the 8 would this be considered finishing with the Imaam or should one finish the 21 to gain the reward of praying all night?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله said, the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said “the person who prays with the imaam until he concludes the prayer.”[6] This includes praying the taraawih and the witr also. So those who leave without praying along with the imaam, they would not have this particular reward (of praying the whole night).

That is in addition to the fact that it is not becoming for us to this differences among us concerning this affair. Some people saying that you should only pray 13 and others saying that you should only pray 23. We know that for example, they pray in the Haram (Masjid al-Haram), 23. And some people look at the numbers – the 11, the 13 - and they do not look at the way the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prayed his prayer. How many people consider the way the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prayed, the way he lengthened his standing, lengthened his bowing, the way he lengthened his prostration – this is something people are negligent of. They look at the numbers and they disregard the actual way that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prayed. 'Umar رضي الله عنه for example, when he gathered the people in Ramadaan, he gathered them and directed them to pray 23. So if a person prays 11, he should not be criticized, if he prays 13, he should not be criticized, and those who pray 23 should also not be criticized.

8. Question: Should the traveller during Ramadaan continue to pray the rawaatib (the sunnah prayers attached to the fard salawaat), and is there a reward connected to doing them during this time?
Answer: The response of the Shaykh: The traveller in Ramadaan, he prays the Dhuhr and 'Asr together, he combines them and shortens them. As for Maghrib, it remains 3 raka’aat and he joins it with 'Eesha which would be 2 raka'aat, and he does not pray the rawaatib (those optional prayers that are normally associated with the compulsory prayers). However, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم when he travelled, he would always pray the witr prayer and the two raka'aat before the Fajr prayer.

The traveller and the sick individual should know from the hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that they get the reward for the things that they used to do when they were not in the state of travel or when they were not sick. So for the person who is travelling, it is written for him the full reward of his prayers and if he used to, for example, observe the optional prayers and observe other nawaafil, then that is written for him the same as when he was a resident; and for the sick person, the reward is written for him for what he used to do during his health.

9. Question: I know that fighting during Ramadaan is forbidden unless attacked and after I have announced that "I am fasting" three times. I am asking about training in martial arts (wrestling or other military training). Is this the same as the fighting that is forbidden?
Answer: The Shaykh said there is nothing wrong with this inshaa Allaah.

10. Question: I wanted to ask about the last 10 days of Ramadaan, if one is praying at home alone and not in Masjid. Can I recite the short Surahs which I know by heart or should I recite the longer ones by looking at the Mushaf?
Answer: The Shaykh response: The prayer of a female is better to be performed in her home and she should read from the Qur'aan if she can read from the Qur’aan and if she has memorized some Surahs, then she can also read those Surahs in the salaah.


[1] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, The Book of Revelation (#1), An-Nawawi's 40 Hadith No. 1 and Saheeh Muslim – The Book of Government (#1907)

[2] Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#6538)
من لم يجمع الصيام قبل الفجر فلا صيام له

[3] Reported in Sunan an-Nasaa’ee Kitaab as-Siyaam 4/196 (#2331, 2332). Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh.
من لم يبيت الصيام قبل الفجر فلا صيام له

[4] Reported in Saheeh Muslim: Kitaab as-Siyaam (#1154)
قَالَ لِي رَسُولُ اللهِ -صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ: "يَا عَائِشَةُ هَلْ عِنْدَكُمْ شَيْءٌ؟".
قَالَتْ فَقُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ مَا عِنْدَنَا شَيْءٌ. قَالَ: "فَإِنِّي صَائِمٌ".
قَالَتْ: فَخَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللهِ -صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- فَأُهْدِيَتْ لَنَا هَدِيَّةٌ أَوْ جَاءنَا زَوْرٌ.
قَالَتْ: فَلَمَّا رَجَعَ رَسُولُ اللهِ - صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ أُهْدِيَتْ لَنَا هَدِيَّةٌ أَوْ جَاءنَا زَوْرٌ، وَقَدْ خَبَأْتُ لَكَ شَيْئاً.
قَالَ: "مَا هُوَ؟".
قُلْتُ: حَيْسٌ.
قَالَ: "هَاتِيهِ".
فَجِئْتُ بِهِ فَأَكَلَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: "قَدْ كُنْتُ أَصْبَحْتُ صَائِماً".
قَالَ طَلْحَةُ: فَحَدَّثْتُ مُجَاهِداً بِهَذَا الْحَدِيثِ، فَقَالَ: ذَاكَ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الرَّجُلِ يُخْرِجُ الصَّدَقَةَ مِنْ مَالِهِ، فَإِنْ شَاءَ أَمْضَاهَا وَإِنْ شَاءَ أَمْسَكَهَا

[5] Reported in Saheeh Muslim: Kitaab as-Siyaam (#1154)
دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ النَّبِيُّ -صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ- ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ، فَقَالَ: "هَلْ عِنْدَكُمْ شَيْءٌ؟".
فَقُلْنَا: لاَ.
قَالَ: "فَإِنِّي إِذَنْ صَائِمٌ".
ثُمَّ أَتَانَا يَوْماً آخَرَ فَقُلْنَا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ أُهْدِيَ لَنَا حَيْسٌ.
فَقَالَ: "أَرِينِيهِ فَلَقَدْ أَصْبَحْتُ صَائِماً"، فَأَكَلَ

[6] Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#2417)
إنه من قام مع الإمام حتى ينصرف كتب له قيام ليلة

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