The Seat of the Niyyah

The Seat of the Niyyah

The Seat of the Niyyah

There is near consensus among the scholars that the seat of M-
yyah, 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 it with your tongue, “I want to pray, fast, give alms,
etc.” The exception is on Hajj, where verbal utterance of Talbi-
yah is mandated.

In the case of Sawm (fasting), You intend in your heart that the
abstinence from fast – breakers is meant to be a worship for Al-
lah alone in order 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 re-
strain 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 dawn, would not have fasted.” (Ahmed/Ibn

However, many scholars said this is for obligatory fasting, like
Ramadan, but when the fasting is non-essential, one can make
niyyah during daytime, 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. or 4:00 p.m. to hold fast, provided
he did not eat or drink anything before the time he makes his


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