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Fasting FAQs Part 1


Q: Does applying eye drops invalidate the fast as eye drops can be tasted in the mouth?
A: No, even though the eye drops may be tasted in the mouth.


Q: Does swallowing one’s own saliva whilst fasting break the fast?
A: No, irrespective of the amount swallowed. However, it is disliked to deliberately gather one’s own saliva in the mouth and swallow it whilst fasting.


Q: Is it permissible to have a blood test whilst fasting?
A: Yes and this will not invalidate the fast. However, it will be disliked to have a blood test if one fears that by having a blood test, he/she will become weak and thus will be unable to maintain the fast.


Q: Will an injection invalidate the fast?
A: No. However, it is best to avoid unnecessarily taking injections whilst fasting.


Q: Will smoking invalidate the fast?
A: Yes.


Q: Will using a nasal spray or Asthma inhaler invalidate the fast?
A: Yes.


Q: Will having a wet dream, whilst fasting invalidate the fast?
A: No.


Q: Is it permissible to have sexual intercourse whilst fasting.
A: No. It will invalidate the fast, in which case one will have to make up for the fast and it will also make Kaffârah binding.


Q: Is it permissible to have sexual intercourse during the nights of Ramadhan?
A: Yes. One must stop before the Fajr starting time.


Q: Is it permissible to kiss one’s wife whilst fasting?
A: Yes, if there is no fear of it leading to intercourse or ejaculation. Otherwise it will be disliked, and if one ejaculates then the fast will be invalid. Also the saliva of the spouse must not be swallowed which will cause kaffarah to become compulsory.

The term Kaffarah refers to the penalty upon a person who intentionally breaks his fast for no valid Shari’ reason by either eating, drinking or engaging in conjugal relations during the fast of Ramadaan. In the case of Kaffarah becoming obligatory on a person, a person will have to fast for 60 days consecutively. If a person cannot fast for 60 days consecutively due to a valid Shari’ reason, for e.g., old age or a chronic illness, then he would have to feed 60 poor people two full meals for 1 day, or feed one poor person two full meals a day for 60 days or give them the equivalent in monetary value. The average type of a meal is 1.6kg of wheat or flour or its value. (Maraaqil Falaah 1/250/1)


Q: Does mistakenly swallowing water during Wudhu invalidate the fast?
A: Yes. In such case one will only have to make up( qadha ) for the fast and Kaffârah will not be binding.


Q: Can one use mouthwash and brush the teeth using tooth paste whilst fasting?
A: Both are disliked ( makrooh ) as there is a strong chance of consuming them.


Q: Can a female apply henna whilst fasting?
A: Yes.


Q: Can one apply oil to the head whilst fasting?
A: Yes.


Q: Can one apply cream on the face and body whilst fasting?
A: Yes.

Q: Does forgetfully consuming food or water invalidate the fast?
A: No.


Q: Does one have to have Suhûr for the fast to be valid?
A: No. However, partaking in Suhûr should not be missed as it is a Sunnah.


Q: Does ear drops or ear oil invalidate the fast?
A: When the eardrum is perforated (has a hole/tear), then applying eardrops will invalidate the fast as this will allow the drops to go to the inner ear and throat, subsequently reaching the stomach. Otherwise, it will not invalidate the fast. Water going into the ears will not break the fast.


Q: Is one excused from fasting merely because the days are too long?
A: No.


Q: Will inhaling dust or smoke invalidate the fast?
A: If it’s unintentional, then no.


Q: Will vomiting invalidate the fast?
A: Vomiting unintentionally or intentionally vomiting less than a mouthful will not invalidate the fast. (A mouthful is that which cannot be kept in the mouth but with difficulty). Only vomiting a mouthful or more intentionally or swallowing the vomit intentionally will break the fast.


Q: Will menstruation and post-natal bleeding invalidate the fast?
A: Yes. A woman in such state cannot fast and will have to make up for her missed fasts(qadha)


Q: Will a pregnant or breastfeeding woman  have to fast?
A: Yes. However, if there is fear of sickness or harm to her or the baby, then she is excused from fasting, in which case she will have to make up for the fast/s later.


Q: Is a sick person excused from fasting?
A: An ill person is excused from fasting, if he falls ill and fears that his situation will get worse if he fasts or his recovery will be delayed or he will suffer an additional illness.


Q: Does a traveller have to fast?
A:  The musafir does not have to fast. Subject to the condition that he is a Musâfir according to Sharia and he travels prior to dawn. A Musâfir travelling after dawn will have to fast. Qadha will have to be kept after.


Q: Can a person break his fast, due to some illness that necessitates him to take medicine?
A: In such situation, if not breaking the fast could bring danger to his life or seriously affect his health , then it will be permitted to break the fast, in which case one will have to make up for the fast/s.


Q: What is Fidyah and who gives it?
A: A person who does not have the strength and ability to fast due to a long-lasting or terminal illness and has no hope of recovering even after Ramadhan should give Fidyah. Fidyah is a form of compensation. For each fast the compensation is equivalent to that which is given as Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (approx. R20 Ramadan 1441 / 2020 value ) in monetary value for each fast). As soon as one recovers, such that he gains the ability to fast, then he will have to make up for the previous fasts and whatever was given as Fidyah will be additional reward.

And Allah, the Almighty knows best

Jamiat KZN Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 
Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport

Durban, South Africa
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099

Email: fatwa@jamiat.org.za
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
Website : www.jamiat.org.za

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