Types of Compulsory Fasting: Definition, Intentions, Time and Conditions

Types of Compulsory Fasting – Muslims are certainly no strangers to fasting. Fasting is one of the worships that is most liked by Allah SWT so that we can get ridho from Him. Fasting activities include obligatory fasting and sunnah fasting. 

What are the types of obligatory fasting? Then how to read the intention so that our fasting is accepted by Allah SWT? 

Come on, let’s see~

Types of Compulsory Fasting

1. Ramadan fasting

a. Meaning of Ramadan Fasting

Ramadan fasting is a mandatory fast that is carried out for one full month once a year. Ramadan fasting is the third pillar of faith. The month of Ramadan is a month filled with the blessings and forgiveness of Allah SWT. 

Apart from that, in the month of Ramadan there is also a night that has the glory of more than a thousand months, namely Lailatul Qadar. On the night of Lailatul Qadar, we as Muslims are encouraged to worship and ask Him for forgiveness in order to receive His grace. 

Allah SWT made it obligatory to fast Ramadan for the first time in the second year of Hijriyah. At that time, Rasulullah SAW had just received an order from Him to move the Qibla direction from Baitul Maqdis (Palestine) towards the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Then Allah SWT said:

يَٰٓأَ يُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ master امَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلصِّيَ present 

It means: 

“O you who believe, it is prescribed for you to fast as it was prescribed for those before you in order to be pious”. (QS. Al-Baqarah: 183)

Then, Rasulullah SAW said about the obligation of fasting in Ramadan.

“From Abu Abdurrahman bin Umar bin Khattab Radiyallahu’anhuna said: I heard Rasulullah SAW say: “Islam is upheld on five grounds, namely: (1) testify that there is no God (worthy of worship) except Allah, and that the Prophet Muhammad SAW he is the messenger of Allah, (2) establishes five daily prayers, (3) pays zakat, (4) performs pilgrimage to Baitullah, and (5) fasts during Ramadan. (Reported by At-Tirmidhi and Muslim)

b. Reading the intention of fasting Ramadan

It’s the same as when doing something, we definitely need intentions that come from the heart. Therefore, during Ramadan fasting, intentions are also needed that are read sincerely from the heart. The intention of this Ramadan fasting is a testament to our affirmation of our sincerity to carry out this worship.

There are arguments that suggest the intention of fasting. Namely: “Who does not make up his mind to fast before the time of Hajar, then we will not fast,” (Sahih Hadith narrated by Abu Dadu: 2008, Al-Tirmidhi: 662, and al-Nasa’i: 2293)

Then, what is the intention of fasting for Ramadan which must be recited after the sahur activity. Namely it reads:

نَوَيْتُ صَوْمَ غَدٍ عَنْ أَدَاءِ فَرْضِ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانِ هذِهِ السَّنَةِ لِلهِ تَعَالَى

It means:

“I intend to fast tomorrow to fulfill fardhu in this month of Ramadan this year, because of Allah Ta’ala.”

c. Ramadan Fasting Time

In Ramadan fasting, the time of its implementation is from sunrise to sunset, during the month of Ramadan. 

According to Al Mawardi in the book Iqna’, there are two divisions of dawn during the fasting month of Ramadan. Namely Fajar Kadzib and Fajar Sadiq. 

This is supported by the words of Rasulullah SAW (from Ibn Abbas RA), which reads: “There are two dawns, the first is that it is not forbidden to eat (for those who are fasting), it is not lawful to pray at that time. The second is that it is forbidden to eat and it is permissible to pray at dawn.”

Based on these words, it can be concluded that when Fajar Kadzib appears, those of us who want to fast during Ramadan are not allowed to pray at dawn and are still allowed to eat & drink. Meanwhile, when Fajar Sadiq appears, we are allowed to pray at dawn and it is forbidden to eat and drink. 

Then, what if when we are eating and drinking, then we hear the call to prayer which indicates that Fajar Sadiq has appeared? 

According to the words of the Prophet, namely “If one of you hears the call to prayer even though the glass is in his hand, do not put it down until it fulfills his need.”

So, from the words of Rasulullah SAW, it is concluded that when we are eating and drinking (during sahur), then hearing the call to prayer for Fajar Sadiq, we are encouraged to continue eating and drinking until it runs out. 

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Practices during the month of Ramadan

  • Tarawih prayer is one of the sunnah prayers which can only be carried out during the month of Ramadan.
  • Witr prayer and other sunnah prayers
  • Giving alms to those in need, for example inviting iftar together
  • Tadarrus, namely reading the holy book Al-Quran after tarawih prayer
  • I’tikaf in the mosque

2. Sacrifice fast

What is expatriate fasting? Why is it called obligatory fasting as well?

a. Meaning of Sacrifice Fasting

Kafarat fasting is a fast that must be done to “replace” the “broken” Ramadan fast. Fasting is mandatory, especially for those who “ruin” the fast of Ramadan because of sexual intercourse.

b. Types of Kafarat Fasts & Time of Implementation

There are several types of expatriate fasting and their causes, namely

1) Fasting expiation caused by violating the prohibition of Hajj. 

This fast is carried out by tamattu’ or qiran which requires paying the fasting fine by slaughtering a goat or sheep. 

However, if you are unable, you can replace it by fasting for three days while still in the holy land of Mecca; and seven days after arriving in his homeland.

2) Fasting expiation caused by violating an oath or promise. 

This fast is carried out if someone has promised to do something but he cannot fulfill it, then it is obligatory for him to pay a fine by fasting for three days. However, if he is unable to carry it out, he is obliged to feed ten poor people.

لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِٱللَّغۡوِ فِيٓ أَيۡمَٰنِكُمۡ وَلَٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ ٱلۡأَيۡمَٰنَۖ فَكَفَّٰرَتُهُۥٓ إِطۡعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَٰكِينَ مِنۡ أَوۡسَطِ مَا تُطۡعِمُونَ أَهۡلِيكُمۡ أَوۡ كِسۡوَتُهُمۡ أَوۡ تَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٖۖ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَٰثَةِ أَيَّامٖۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّٰرَةُ أَيۡمَٰنِكُمۡ إِذَا حَلَفۡتُمۡۚ وَٱحۡفَظُوٓاْ أَيۡمَٰنَكُمۡۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ ءَايَٰتِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ  

It means:

“Allah will not punish you because of your oaths that were not intended (to swear), but He will punish you for oaths that you intentionally do, then expiating (breaking) that oath, is to feed ten poor people, that is, from the food you used to eat.” give it to your family, or clothe them or free a slave. Whoever is unable to do that, then he will be expiated from fasting for three days. That is the expiation of your oaths if you swear (and you break them). And keep your vows. Thus Allah explains to you His laws so that you may be grateful (to Him) (QS. Al Maidah: 89)

3) Fasting expiation because of the oath of zihar

This expiation fast is done for a husband who aligns his wife’s back with his mother’s back. In QS Al-Mujadilah verse 2 states that the words of a husband who likens his wife as his mother, are unjust.

In this case, if the husband wants to atone for his sin, he is required to fast for two consecutive months. In accordance with the word of Allah in one of the surahs of the holy book of the Koran:

وَٱلَّذِينَ يُظَٰهِرُونَ مِن نِّسَآئِهِمۡ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُواْ فَتَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٖ مِّن قَبۡلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّاۚ ذَٰلِكُمۡ تُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٞ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ شَهۡرَيۡنِ مُتَتَابِعَيۡنِ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّاۖ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَسۡتَطِعۡ فَإِطۡعَامُ سِتِّينَ مِسۡكِينٗاۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِتُؤۡمِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦۚ وَتِلۡكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِۗ وَلِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

It means: 

Those who commit zhihar to their wives, then they want to take back what they said, then (it is obligatory for them) to free a slave before the two husband and wife mix. This is what you have been taught, and Allah is Aware of what you do. Whoever does not get (a slave), then (it is obligatory for him) to fast for two consecutive months before the two are mixed.” (QS. Al-Mujaadilah: 3-4)

4) Fasting expiation for committing unintentional killing

A person who commits unintentional killing is obliged to pay a fine by fasting for two consecutive months.

5. Fasting expiation for having intercourse with husband and wife during the month of Ramadan

If a husband and wife engage in sexual intercourse intentionally during the fasting month of Ramadan, it is recommended that they replace this fast by fasting expiation for two consecutive months.

Previously, Allah SWT had forbidden His people to have intercourse during the day in the month of Ramadan. 

In this type of expatriate fasting, there are three levels, namely:

  • Freeing slaves from other people.
  • Fasting for two consecutive months if unable to free a slave.
  • Giving alms to the poor totaling 60 people, each of whom is given ¾ liter per day, if they are unable to fast for two consecutive months.

c. Reading the intention of fasting expiation

The implementation of the fasting of expatriate is the same as the implementation of fasting in general. Starting from doing the meal, withholding food and drink until evening. 

The most striking difference is the intent reading, ie

نوَيْتُ صَوْمَ غَدٍ لِكَفَارَةِ فَرْضًا ِللهِ تَعَالَى

It means:

“I intend to fast tomorrow to carry out kifarat because of Allah Ta’ala”

3. The Votive Fast

a. The Meaning of the Votive Fast

Votive fasts are fasts that have been promised by someone because they have succeeded in getting something good. In this votive fast it becomes mandatory to carry out because of the promise he had previously made to Allah SWT.

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For example when we say “If I succeed in the thesis exam tomorrow, I will fast”. So these words must be implemented.

Regarding votive fasting, Allah SWT has said about this:

ثُمَّ لۡيَقۡضُواْ تَفَثَهُمۡ وَلۡيُوفُواْ نُذُورَهُمۡ وَلۡيَطَّوَّفُواْ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱليَِ 

It means:

“… and let them complete their vows and let them perform tawaf around the old house (Baitullah)” ( Al-Hajj: 29)

b. Nazar Fasting Intention Readings

Before carrying out the votive fast, we are required to read the intention first. This intention is not only said in the heart, but also pronounced orally. 

The reading of the intention is read at night before doing the votive fast.

The following is the reading of the intention for the vows fast:

نَوَيْتُ صَوْمَ النَّذَرِ لِلّٰهِ تَعَالىَ

(Nawaitu shauman nadzri lillahi ta’aala)

It means:

“I intend to fast vows because Allah ta’ala”

c. Types of Votive Fasts

1) Nazar Lajjaj

Nazar Lajjaj is a type of vow that is made with the aim of motivating someone to want to do something, preventing someone from doing something, or even to ensure the truth of the news someone has conveyed.

2) Nazar Tabarrur

This type of vow is made when there is someone who feels capable of carrying out a service without depending on certain things. 

d. The Law of the Votive Fast

Previously it was explained that the votive fast is carried out because of a promise made by someone concerned so that it is mandatory to carry it out. Thus, if a person does not carry out the fast according to his vow, then it is clear that he is a sinner. 

Rasulullah SAW said about this:

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : من نذر ان يطيع الله فليطعه ومن نذران يعصيه فلا يهصه. (رواه البخاري ومسلم)

It means:

“From Aisha ra. he said, Rasulullah SAW. said: “Whoever makes a vow to obey Allah, let him obey Him and whoever makes a vow to disobey Allah, then he should not do it . ” (HR. Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Fasting Requirements

Before carrying out fasting, it would be nice for you to understand what are the obligatory conditions. There are two categories of fasting conditions, namely the obligatory conditions of fasting and the conditions for the validity of fasting.

1. Requirements for Compulsory Fasting

a. Islamic religion. 

Fasting as an obligatory worship is a command from Allah SWT to His people who are Muslims. Remember that fasting is the third pillar of faith?

The purpose of this fast is so that we as Muslims can become a Muslim with a muttaqiin personality. 

b. Have Common Sense

A man who has common sense is someone who is not in a state of madness. Common sense plays an important role in the mandatory requirements of fasting. Why?

Because with reason and a healthy mindset, a person can clearly regulate his passions. In addition, he is also not careless in carrying out actions that roughly break the fast.

c. Already Baligh (Adult)

There is a limit to say a child has reached puberty (adult) or not, namely a) for boys, they have experienced ihtilaam or wet dreams; b) for girls, already experiencing menstruation.

d. Able to Run Fasting Worship

Being able here means that someone really has the physical ability to carry out fasting. The three conditions previously mentioned may all have been fulfilled, but the physical possession does not allow for fasting, so he is not required to carry out the worship.

An example is a person who is sick or is old, so he does not have the physical ability to fast. So, people who are sick and old are not obliged to fast.

e. Residents ( Muqim )

For Muslims who already have a place to live in an area, it is obligatory for him to fast. Meanwhile, Muslims who are not living or are traveling ( travelers ), it is not their duty to fast. 

A traveler is not required to fast, but is obliged to make up for the fast on another day. 

2. Legal Terms of Fasting

a. Intention

Intentions can be interpreted as intentions or desires that appear in the heart. So that in carrying out fasting, be it obligatory fasting or sunnah fasting, you must read the intention first. 

Allah SWT has rewarded us with goodness only from our intentions. Then, when we are able to carry out these intentions, then we will get ten goodness. 


b. Having the ability to distinguish between good and bad
c. Clean from menstruation and childbirth
d. Do not fast on days when it is not permissible to fast

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  • Definition of Al-Quran and Hadith
  • Definition of Morals
  • Noble Qualities
  • Honest Behavior in Islam
  • Definition of Zakat
  • Pillars of Hajj
  • Understanding Faith In Angels
  • Understanding Aurat
  • List of 99 Asmaul Husna
  • Zakat Fitrah and Zakat Mal
  • Meaning of Tablighi
  • Definition of Zakat Mal
  • The Meaning of the Title Al-Amin Rasulullah SAW
  • Definition of Faith in Language and Terms

Author: Rifda Arum

Editor: Farah Fadila


Wow, Abdul. (2018). The Secrets and Virtues of Sunnah Fasting . Yogyakarta: Mueeza Publisher.