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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
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The great scholar al-Sa’di says in al-
Fataawa al-Sa’diyyah (p. 228):
Cancelling one’s intention with
regard to acts of worship is of two
types: one which does not have any
effect, which is after the act of
worship has been completed. … The
second is cancelling the intention
for the acts of worship when one is
still doing it. … This means that the
act of worship is not valid.
Does this mean that if it occurs to
me to break an obligatory fast, my
fast becomes invalid? What if that
occurs to me but I do not form the
intention to break my fast, is that
o.k.? What is the ruling on that?
Similarly in the case of wudoo’, if in
the middle of it I begin to doubt
whether there is some urine there,
for example, then I do not find any.
Sometimes I form the intention to
stop doing wudoo’, then I go back
and complete it after not finding
anything. Should I start again from
scratch because I stopped intending
wudoo’ in this case?.


Praise be to Allaah.
If a person forms the intention to
stop doing an act of worship whilst
he is doing it, it becomes invalid. No
exception is made except in the case
of Hajj and ‘umrah, which do not
become invalid if the intention is
cancelled or even if a person
declares that he is going to stop.
Rather the muhrim remains in
ihraam until he has completed the
rituals or he exits ihraam because of
being prevented from continuing.
It says in al-Mughni (1/278): If he
started his prayer with a sound
intention, then he forms the
intention to stop praying and exit
from it, then it becomes invalid.
This was the view of al-Shaafa’i. End
It says in Zaad al-Mustanqi’ in the
chapter on prayer: If he decides to
end his prayer whilst praying or he
becomes hesitant, then his prayer is
invalidated. In the chapter on
fasting he said: The one who forms
the intention to break the fast has
broken the fast.
But Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may
Allaah have mercy on him) said in
al-Sharh that hesitating about
ending the prayer does not make
the prayer invalid. See: al-Sharh al-
Mumti’ (1/486). An example of
hesitating is if he hears someone
knocking at the door, and he
wonders whether he should stop
praying or carry on?
Thus it is clear that if a person
decides to stop the act of worship,
it becomes invalid, but if that was
simply a thought that crossed his
mind, it does not invalidate the act
of worship.
Based on this, if the idea of
stopping the fast simply occurs to
one, it does not invalidate the fast
until he decides and forms the
intention to break the fast.
Similarly, if whilst doing wudoo’ he
becomes uncertain as to whether
urine has come out of him, and he
pauses and looks, but does not
intend to stop doing wudoo’, and he
does not find anything, then his
wudoo’ is not invalidated.
Similarly if he intends to stop doing
wudoo’ his wudoo’ is invalidated,
and it is not permissible for him to
complete it, rather he must start all
over again.
It says in al-Insaaf (1/151): If he
cancels his intention whilst
purifying himself, what he has
already done is invalidated,
according to the correct view. This
was the view favoured by Ibn ‘Aqeel
and by al-Majd in his commentary.
And it was said that what has
already been done is not invalidated
thereby; this was stated by al-
Musannaf in al-Mughni. End quote.
But one must beware of waswasah,
because the shaytaan may come to
a person and make him think that
something has come out of him, and
the person may get carried away
with that and hardly be able to do
any act of worship without doubting
about it, which may cause him
hardship and distress. Please see
question no. .
And Allaah knows best.


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