The following dua (prayers) are recited at the beginning and end of the fast to indicate and affirm the intention of the fast. A persons intention when fasting is to bring him/herself closer to God. The purpose of making an intention before every deed is to remind our inner self and confirm with our verbal intention that we seek the pleasure of God in our all actions. Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri Ramadan.
Fasting (sawm) in Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, an expression of our faith that reminds us of our frailty and brings us closer to Allah. As with any act, sincerity and intention are paramount, and the dua for fasting expresses our intent to fulfil our obligation to our Creator during this most blessed of months.
Ramadan is the most precious month of the year for
Muslims, a month whose arrival should be greeted with joy, anticipation and
commitment. Even those who are not as earnest in their worship at other
times of the year often devote themselves fully to the worship of Allah
during this blessed period. Intent is the foundation of any act of worship.
We may read salaat, recite from the Quran, act piously or constantly make
duas, but if we are not clear or are lacking in our intention – to please
our Creator – then those acts can become virtually meaningless.
The same principle applies to Ramadan and fasting. Rather than treating it as a chore or duty, we should be clear in our hearts as to why we are carrying out such a sacrifice of our worldly needs and desires. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him) stated: “Whoever does not have the intention of fasting before Fajr, there is no fast for him.” (Hadith Ahmad). The intent and commitment to worship by fasting in Ramadan has to be in our hearts, at suhoor when we start our fast and at iftar when we should read a dua before breaking fast to thank Allah for his blessings..
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