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Priority in Shaban: Optional or Missed Fasts?

25 February, 2023
Q As-salamu `alaykum. If I missed fasts in previous Ramadan and I did not make up for them, what should I do? Should I make up for them or fast the recommended fasts in Shaban?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

  • One is recommended to make up for the days missed as soon as possible.
  • Fasting the missed days of Ramadan has priority over optional or recommended fasting.
  • It is permissible, according to some scholars, to formulate a double intention of performing recommended or optional fasts while making up for the missed ones.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

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If you miss Ramadan fasting, your first priority is to make up for the missed fasts. After having done so, you can fast the recommended or optional ones as you please. One of the principles of Islam, as stated by the first caliph, Abu Bakr (may Allah be well pleased him), is “Allah does not accept voluntary deeds unless the obligatory ones are fulfilled.”

However, there are some scholars who are of the view that while making up for the missed fasts, you may also make the double intention of performing recommended ones. Allah is Infinitely Merciful.

It is, therefore, befitting us, His servants, to knock at the door of His mercy, hoping that He will never turn us away. May Allah inspire us to draw nearer to Him in every possible way, amen.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

Source: Excerpted, with slight modifications, from