Assalamu‘alaikum SS Dato’ Mufti. What is the ruling of setting a simple intention such as, “I am fasting tomorrow,” and setting one’s intention when he is in prayer?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The intention of “I’m fasting tomorrow,” is not enough, but it should also include the phrase “in the month of Ramadhan”. The reason is, fasting in Ramadhan is a worship specified in a certain time. Thus, specification (ta’yin) is an obligation. However, the final opinion states that the phrase “fardhu (obligation)” is not an obligation when setting the intention for fasting, for it is a known obligation for every mukallaf Muslim. This is the opinion of Syeikh Ba Alawi in Bughiyah al-Mustarsyidin.
Setting intention in your heart while praying is valid as stated in al-Majmu’. Ibn Hajar al-Haitami said: “With it, it is valid to set intention for I’tikaf in prayer.”