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What Nullifies The Fast and What does Not?

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What nullifies the fast and what does not? Summary of frequently asked questions

The following do not invalidate and nullify the fast:

  • Eating or drinking forgetfully (whilst not conscious of fast)
  • Swallowing one’s own saliva and the wetness that remains after washing the mouth
  • Ear Drops ( unless the eardrum is perforated )
  • Eye Drops or contact lenses
  • Sniffing up mucus even if its descends in the throat
  • Inhaling smoke or dust unintentionally
  • Using nicotine patches, creams, deodorant, makeup or oil
  • Touching one’s spouse
  • Involuntary ejaculation or engaging in sexual intercourse forgetfully
  • Starting the fast in the state of major ritual impurity
  • Injection or blood transfusion or kidney dialysis or glucose or saline drip
  • Blood test or cupping or any form of blood extraction
  • Tooth extraction subject to not swallowing the blood or medicine
  • Laparoscopy / Keyhole Surgery
  • Inhaling air through continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or inhaling oxygen as long as not combined with another substance
  • Miswak or Toothbrush (toothpaste should be avoided for risk of being swallowed)
  • Vomiting unintentionally or vomiting intentionally less than a mouthful
  • Swallowing vomit that emerges unintentionally even if it is a mouthful
  • Swimming or submerging body in water without swallowing water
  • Backbiting or lying

The following will invalidate and nullify the fast:

  • Eating or drinking deliberately* or accidentally (whilst conscious of fast). This includes:
    • Swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash
    • Swallowing blood from the gums or toothpaste or mouthwash if they preponderate (dominate) over the saliva
    • Swallowing what is between the teeth if it is the size of a small chickpea or larger
    • Swallowing the saliva of one’s spouse
    • Nasal spray
    • Medicine inhalers such as Asthma Inhaler (There are two views in relation to this. The preferred opinion is that it nullifies the fast. One should therefore continue with the fast in Ramadan but make Qadha)
  • Inhaling smoke deliberately; this includes smoking cigarettes
  • Sexual intercourse deliberately*
  • Ejaculation caused by physical stimulation deliberately or accidentally; this includes masturbation
  • Vomiting a mouthful deliberately
  • Returning a mouthful vomit down the throat deliberately
  • Menstruation or post-natal bleeding
  • Endoscopy (due to the lubricant)

* Eating, drinking and sexual intercourse deliberately in Ramadan will also necessitate Kaffarah.

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