Praise be to Allah.Praise be to Allaah.
If a person intends to break the fast when he is fasting, whether he is certain about that or is hesitant, then he does not find anything with which to break his fast and he changes his mind again, he has broken his fast and he has to make up that day. This is the view of the Maalikis and Hanbalis, but not the Hanafis and Shaafa’is. See: Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’ (2/92); Haashiyat al-Dasooqi (1/528); al-Majmoo’ (6/313); Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (2/316).
The view that he invalidates his fast is the more correct view, as we shall see below. So if he intends to break his fast and is certain and not hesitant, then he cannot find anything with which to break his fast, so he changes his mind, he has still broken his fast, and he has to make up that day.
But if he is hesitant about breaking the fast, or he makes that conditional upon something, such as if he finds food or drink he will break his fast, then he does not find anything, then in that case his fast is still valid.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: A man was travelling and fasting in Ramadaan, and he intended to break his fast but then he did not find anything with which to break his fast, then he changed his mind and completed the fast until Maghrib. Is his fast valid?
He replied: His fast is not valid and he has to make it up, because when he intended to break the fast, he broke his fast. But if he had said ‘If I find water I will drink, otherwise I will carry on fasting,’ and he did not find any water, then his fast is valid, because his intention was not definite, rather breaking the fast was conditional upon finding something, but he did not find that thing, so his initial intention remained in effect.
Someone may ask: How can we answer the one who says that none of the scholars said that the intention to break the fast is one of the things that break the fast? He replied: we say to the one who says that: He is not familiar with the books of the scholars – the books of the scholars of fiqh and specialties. For example, in Zaad al-Mustaqni’ it says: The one who intends to break the fast has broken the fast. And I warn you, my brothers, against those who are not well versed in knowledge; I warn you against them if they say that they do not know of anyone who said that, or that no one said that. They may be telling the truth, because they do not know the books of the scholars and they have not studied them, and they do not know anything about them. Moreover, even if we assume that this is not to be found in the books of the scholars, didn’t the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Actions are but by intentions”? Yes indeed, he did say that, so if he said “Actions are but by intentions” and this man intended to break his fast, has he broken his fast? Yes, he has broken his fast. End quote from Liqaa’aat al-Baab il-Maftooh (29/20).
And Allaah knows best.