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(829 words)

(a.), intention. The acts prescribed by the Islamic s̲h̲arīʿa , obligatory or not, require to be preceded by a declaration by the performer, that he intends to perform such an act. This declaration, pronounced audibly or mentally, is called niyya . Without it, the act would be bāṭil [q.v.].

The niyya is required before the performance of the ʿibādāt , such as washing, bathing, prayer, alms, fasting, retreat, pilgrimage, sacrifice. “Ceremonial acts without niyya are not valid”, says al-G̲h̲azālī ( Iḥyāʾ , Cairo 1282, iv, 316). Yet a survey of the opinions of the lawyers regarding the niyya

Cite this page
Wensinck, A.J., “Niyya”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 17 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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