As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 7


Actions permitted while fasting or Actions that do not nullify the fast

Postponing the Ghusl (purity bath): If one is in the state of Janabah, he is allowed to make the intention of fasting and take his suhoor while postponing his ghusl until the break of dawn. Aisha and Umm Salamah (radhi allahu anhuma) narrated, “Sometimes, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was in a state of Janabah from his wives and Fajr came upon him, then he would bath and fast.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]
    Menstruating women and women experiencing post-natal bleeding may delay the ghusl until after the dawn (if the blood ceases at night) and observe the fast, but the intention of fasting should be made before dawn (for obligatory fasts).
Note: Ghusl is a pre-condition for offering prayer and prayer is an obligation without which the fast is incomplete, therefore, one should hasten the ghusl in order to offer the Fajr prayer.

Using Siwaak: Amir Ibn Rabea (radhi allahu anahu) narrates, “I have seen Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) using siwaak so many times whilst fasting that I cannot count.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee] and he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, “The siwaak is a means of cleansing the mouth and pleasing the Lord.” [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer (no, 3695)]

Rinsing the Mouth and Sniffing: The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to wash his mouth and nose whilst fasting, but he prohibited the fasting person from sniffing strongly. He said, “… and breath water into your nose strongly, unless you are fasting.” [Abu Dawood (2/305)]

Smelling Perfumes: One is permitted to smell perfumes and good odors, but he should avoid directly sniffing the Indian Qust (incense) (al-Bukhour) and all that has smoke.

Taking Bath or Pouring Cold Water Over the Head. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to pour water over his head whilst fasting due to heat. [Abu Dawood] Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anahu) would soak a garment in water and put it over himself while he was fasting. And al-Hasan (radhi allahu anahu) said, 'There is no harm in rinsing the mouth and cooling one's body with cold water while fasting.' [See, Fath al-Baree (4/153), Mukhtasar Saheeh al-Bukharee (no. 451) of Shaikh al-Albanee]

Applying Kohl (eyeliner, surma) or similar things, which enter the eyes for beauty or medicinal purposes do not nullify the fast. This was the conclusion preferred by Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) in his important treatise, ‘Haqeeqat as-Siyam’ and also by his student, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (rahimahullah) in his valuable book, ‘Zaadul-Ma'aad.’ Imam al-Bukharee (rahimahullah) says in his Saheeh, “…Anas, al-Hasan and Ibraheem did not see any harm in using Kohl for the fasting person.” [Mukhtasar Saheeh al-Bukharee (no. 451) of Shaikh Al-Albanee]

Eye, Ear or Nose Drops, Wearing Perfumes, Oiling one's Hair do not break the fast because they are neither food nor its substitute.

Taking Injections, which do not provide nourishment and are meant for medical treatment only, such as penicillin, insulin, or injections for the purpose of vaccination, do not affect the fast at all, regardless of whether they are taken via muscle or vein. The injections with nutritional values such as glucose or vitamins, etc., are considered as food and therefore, nullify the fast.

Bloodletting for Medical Purposes: If the amount of blood is small and it does not harm the person, then it does not invalidate his fast, such as the small amount of blood that is taken for testing. [See, Blood, which invalidates fasting (pg. 11)]

Kissing and Embracing one's Wife is permissible, if one is able to control his desires. Aa'isha (radhi allahu anha) reported that Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to kiss her and embrace (his wives) while he was fasting and he had more power to control his desires than anybody else did. [See, Saheeh al-Bukharee (4/131)]

Unintentional Vomiting. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, “Whoever has an attack of vomit, then no atonement is required of him, but whoever vomits intentionally then let him make al-Qadaa for it.” [Abu Dawood (2/310). Its isnad is saheeh as Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said in Haqeeqat as-Siyaam (p. 14)]

Tasting Food does not nullify the fast provided the food does not reach the throat, in light of the report from Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anahu), who said, “There is no harm for a person to taste vinegar or anything else whilst he is fasting as long as it does not enter his throat.” [(Mu'allaq) Saheeh al-Bukharee (4/154)]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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