The Nafl or Optional Fasts

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 3-Fasting, Zakaat, Qurbani, Hajj etc. / Sunday, August 31st, 2008
  1. For the nafl fast it
    is permissible to specify the intention by saying: “I am keeping a nafl
    fast”, or to merely say: “I am keeping a fast”. Both are correct.

  2. It is permissible to
    make the intention for a nafl fast until an hour before mid-day. If, for
    example, until 10am a person did not have the intention of fasting and had
    not consumed any food or drink until then and thereafter he decided to fast
    and kept the fast; this fast will also be valid.

  3. Apart from the month
    of Ramadhân, a person may keep nafl fasts whenever he wishes. The more he
    fasts, the greater the reward. However, it is not permissible to fast on the
    days of eid ul-fitr, eid ul-ad’hâ, and the 11th, 12th, and 13th of
    Zil Hijjah
    . In the entire year, it is harâm to fast on these five
    days only. Apart from these days, it is permissible to fast on all other

  4. If a person takes an
    oath that he will fast on the day of Eid, the fast of that day will still
    not be permissible. In place of that day, he should keep
    it on some other day.

  5. If a person takes an
    oath that he will fast for the entire year and that he will not leave out a
    single day, even then he cannot fast on these five days. He should fast on
    the remainder of the days and thereafter keep qada of these five days.

  6. By making the
    intention of keeping a nafl fast, this nafl fast becomes wâjib on the
    person. If a person makes an intention before subah sâdiq that he is
    going to fast today and later (after subah sâdiq) breaks this fast,
    it will be wâjib on him to make qada of this fast.

  7. A person made an
    intention at night that he will fast the following day. However, prior to
    subah sâdiq
    he changed his intention and did not fast. Qada will not be

  8. It is not permissible
    to keep a nafl fast without the permission of the husband. If the wife fasts
    without her husband’s permission and he orders her to break it, it will be
    permissible for her to break it. When he permits her, she must make qada of
    that fast.

  9. A guest went to a
    person’s house, or, a person was invited to a meal somewhere. If the person
    who was invited feels that by his not partaking of the meal, his host will
    feel insulted or feel ill at heart, it will be permissible to break the nafl
    fast. It is also permissible for the host to break his nafl fast on account
    of the guest.

  10. A person made the
    intention of fasting on Eid day and also kept the fast. Even then he should
    break his fast and qada will not be wâjib on him.

  11. It is mustahab
    to fast on the 10th of Muharram. It is mentioned in a Hadith that the
    one who fasts on this day will have his sins of the past year forgiven. (In
    addition to this, it is also mustahab to fast on the 9th or 11th. It
    is makrûh to fast on the 10th alone.)

  12. Similarly, there is
    also a great reward in fasting on the 9th of Zil Hijjah. By fasting
    on this day, the sins for the past year and the following year are forgiven.
    If a person fasts from the 1st till the 9th of Zil Hijjah,
    the rewards will be increased manifold.

  13. Fasting on the 15th
    of Sha’bân and the six days after eid ul-fitr is more virtuous
    than keeping other nafl fasts.

  14. If a person fasts on
    the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month, it is as if he has fasted for the
    entire year. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to fast on these
    days. He also used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. If a person tries to
    fast on these days, he will also be greatly rewarded.

One Reply to “The Nafl or Optional Fasts”

  1. Assalaam aleykum. I would like to access Islamic literature to enrich my Islamic knowledge and guide none muslims who are the majority in the locality I live. I have already read quite valuable information. Jazakumul-LLAHU khairan.


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