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