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FAQ’s pertaining to Fasting 


Q: Does a minor child have to fast?

A: Fasting is not obligatory on a child.


Q: Does a pregnant woman have to fast?

A: By default, a pregnant woman has to fast. However, if illness or harm is genuinely feared upon herself or the foetus, she is exempted from fasting. She will have to do Qadhā’ later.


Q: Does a sick person have to fast?

A: A sick person is exempted from fasting if there is genuine reason to believe that the current illness will worsen by fasting or that his recovery will be prolonged due to fasting.


Q: Can a traveller omit fasting?

A: A Shar’ī musāfir (traveller) who embarked on his journey prior to dawn is permitted to omit the fast of that day. As long as he is a Shar’ī musāfir, he may omit fasting.


Q: What about travelling during the day?

A: If a person embarked on a journey during the day (after dawn), he/she will have to fast that day.


Q: Will the application of eye drops break the fast?

A: Using eye drops will not break the fast.


Q: Can eardrops be used?

A: If a person’s eardrum is not perforated (intact), he may use ear drops. If someone has perforated ear drums, it will not be permissible to use ear drops.


Q: Can we use insulin injections whilst fasting?

A: It is permissible to use insulin injections. Injections do not break a fast.


Q: Will a nasal spray break the fast?

A: Yes, a nasal spray will break the fast.


Q: Can mouthwash be used whilst fasting?

A: It is disliked to use mouthwash whilst fasting.


Q: Is it permissible to brush the teeth and use toothpaste?

A: It is disliked to use toothpaste whilst fasting. One may brush the teeth or use a (flavourless) miswak.


Q: Can an addicted smoker smoke whilst fasting?

A: It is not permissible to smoke whilst fasting. Smoking will break the fast and necessitate Qadhā and Kaffārah. A smoker may use a transdermal nicotine patch if they find it difficult to cope.


Q: What is the ruling for using suppositories?

A: Insertion of suppositories up the rear passage will invalidate the fast.


Q: I forgetfully ate whilst fasting?

A: If one was totally unaware that he was fasting, the fast will not be broken regardless of what was consumed.


Q: By mistake I swallowed water whilst doing wudhu?

A: Doing an act mistakenly will break one’s fast. However, only Qadhā will be necessary.


Q: I engaged in intercourse with my spouse?

A: Intercourse will invalidate the fast and will make Qadhā and Kaffārah compulsory.


Q: Will engaging in intimacy break the fast?

A: Being intimate is disliked if it will lead one further. If one experiences ejaculation, the fast will be broken.


Q: I had a wet dream whilst fasting. Is my fast broken?

A: A wet dream will not invalidate the fast.


Q. Does the use of an injection break the fast?
A. The fast is not nullified. However if the injection is injected directly into the stomach or brain, the fast would break. (Ahsanul Fatawa, V: 4, P: 432)

NB. Dosages of Insulin injected to the abdomen do not invalidate the fast as it is not injected directly into the stomach.

Q. Does the use of a drip break the fast?
A. The usage of an IV drip will not break the fast. However, IV drips should only be used for medical reasons while fasting. (Fataawa Mahmoodiya, V: 10, P: 149, Farooqiyyah)

Q. Can I have a blood test done whilst fasting?
A. Yes, you could do so provided that you do not become so weak that fasting becomes difficult. (AhsanulFatawa, V: 4, P: 435, Sa’eed)

Q. If one vomits, does it break the fast?
A. Normal vomiting does not break the fast. Only induced vomiting will break the fast if the amount vomited was more than a mouthful. (al-Fataawa al-Hindiyyah– V: 1, P: 203/4)

The definition of “mouthful (vomit)” is that which one cannot hold back in one’s mouth without difficulty.

Q. Can one take a bath after Sehri, to be cleared from the state of Janaabat (requiring Fardh Ghusal)?
A. It is not advisable to unnecessarily delay the Fardh Ghusl. However, if one is in the position that he wants to partake of Sehri before taking the Ghusl then it is permissible.

Q. If one is fasting and sprays perfume on oneself and accidentally inhales some of the perfume, will it break the fast? Will Qadha have to be made?
A. One’s fast does not break by wearing, feeling or smelling fragrance. However, if one was to intentionally inhale something that has a perceptible body, such as smoke (like the smoke of lobaan, the vapour of perfumes, agharbatti, Oudh etc.), then one’s fast would become invalid. (Tahtawi ala Maraqil Falaah, P:660)

Q. Does masturbating break the fast?
A. It is not permissible to masturbate, whether fasting or not. However if one does masturbate whilst fasting then the fast will break and a Qadha will have to be kept. (Raddul Muhtaar, V:. 2, P: 399)

NB: One should make sincere and abundant Taubah for this act.

Q. Is it permissible for a husband and wife to kiss whilst fasting?
A. It is permissible, provided that:

i. One does not swallow the saliva of his/her partner.
ii. One has control over his/her desire and is not driven by desire to sexual intercourse or ejaculation. (Raddul Muhtaar, V: 2, P: 410)

However such an action in the state of fasting is not advisable. If the saliva of the spouse is swallowed then not only is Qadha to be made but also Kaffaarah (i.e. fasting consecutively for 60 days).

Q. I am an asthmatic. Does the usage of the pump break my fast?
A. It is advisable that you use your pump at Sehri and Iftaar time. Using the pump due to an asthma attack whilst fasting will break the fast. Only a Qadha fast will be required.

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport
Durban, South Africa
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
Website : www.jamiat.org.za

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