What breaks the fast and what does not

Section Six – That which breaks the fast and that which does not

In this section read about:
1. Sexual intercourse whilst on travel
2. Rulings regarding wet dreams in Ramadan
3. Kissing and playing with one’s wife whilst fasting
4. Ejaculated semen in foreplay with wife whilst fasting
5. Bleeding whilst fasting
6. Drops of blood flowed from nose whilst fasting
7. Blood drawn out for analysis purposes
8. Donating blood whilst fasting
9. The ruling regarding the cupper and the cupped
10. When does blood flowing out nullify the fast?
11. Vomitting whilst fasting
12. Taking an injection whilst fasting
13. Using the miswaak whilst fasting
14. Using toothpaste whilst fasting
15. The use of oil-based and liquid-based perfumes whilst fasting
16. Applying perfume on the hands, face, body and clothes
17. Using atomiser mouth fresheners whilst fasting
18. Using eye drops and ointment/liniment for the eyes whilst fasting
19. Being abusive whilst fasting
20. Backbiting and slandering whilst fasting
21. Bad speech during the month of Ramadan
22. Sleeping throughout the day whilst fasting
23. Swallowed water taking a bath, whilst fasting
24. Tasting food whilst fasting

1. Sexual intercourse whilst on travel

Question: Is it permissible for the traveller to have sexual intercourse with his wife during the day of Ramadan?

Response: In the Name of Allaah and all Praise is for Allaah. If he were a traveller or suffering from an illness which permitted him to break his fast then there is no expiation nor problem for him but, instead, it is for him to make up the day for which he had sexual intercourse with his wife. This is because the traveller and the one who is ill are permitted to break the fast, engage in sexual intercourse and the like of this. Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) has said: {(Fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) feed a poor person (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know}, [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 184]. The ruling for the woman in this regard is the (same) ruling (as) for the man. So, if she were travelling or suffering from an illness which made it difficult for her to fast, there would be no expiation for her to carry out.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 439/Fatwa No.363)

2. Rulings regarding wet dreams in Ramadan

Question: If one who is fasting has a wet dream during the day in Ramadan, does this nullify his fast or not and should he perform the ritual purification (of ghusl)?

Response: If one who is fasting has had a wet dream during the day in Ramadan, then his fast is sound and is not affected by the wet dream, because he had not done so intentionally. However, it is obligatory for him to perform the ritual purification (ghusl) so as to perform the prayer. To be prompt in performing the ritual purification is better, but not obligatory, and Allaah knows best.Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 440/Fatwa No.365), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/ Page 162)

3. Kissing and playing with one’s wife whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible for one who is fasting to kiss his wife and play with her on the bed during the days of Ramadan?

Response: Yes, it is permissible for one who is fasting to kiss his wife and play with her during the day in Ramadan. However, if he excretes semen then his fast becomes nullified. If this occurs during the day in Ramadan, it is obligatory he refrains (from all that which nullifies the fast) for the rest of the day and it is obligatory that he makes up the fast for that day. If this occurs in other than Ramadan, then his fast is nullified but it is not obligatory for him to refrain. However, if his fast was that which was obligatory upon him, then it is obligatory he make up that day. If the fast was supererogatory (naafilah), then he doesn’t have to make it up.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 454/Fatwa No.383)

4. Ejaculated semen in foreplay with wife whilst fasting

Question: A man came to his wife during the day in Ramadan without having skin contact with her. Then he ejaculated semen. We wish to know what the ruling is for him?

Response: We inform you that your fast that day is nullified and it is obligatory that you make it up and there is no expiation for you to make as this is only particular to sexual intercourse.Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal-ash-Shaykh / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 455/Fatwa No.385), also (Fataawa wa Rasaa.il Samaahatu ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal-ash-Shaykh, Volume 4/Page 190-191))

5. Bleeding whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling of the one who bleeds whilst fasting?

Response: If the person was to bleed without intention whilst fasting, then his fast is valid.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 461/ Fatwa No.394), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.12082)

6. Drops of blood flowed from nose whilst fasting

Question: The questioner says he was fasting in Ramadan and when he touched his nose some drops of blood flowed out without intention. Does this affect my fast? Is my fast that day valid or do I have to repeat it?

Response: If the situation is as you state, then your fast is valid and there is no need for you to repeat it. This does not affect your fast, Allaah-Willing.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 463/ Fatwa No.397), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.1730)

7. Blood drawn out for analysis purposes

Question: What is the ruling regarding someone who has half a measure of blood drawn out of his right arm for analysis purposes whilst fasting during the day in Ramadan?

Response: The fast is not nullified for this (analysis), rather it is exempted from. This is because it is a necessity and not from that which is known, from the pure Sharee’ah, to break the fast.Shaykh Ibn Baaz (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 465/ Fatwa No.400)

8. Donating blood whilst fasting

Question: Does donating blood during the day in Ramadan break the fast?

Response: Yes! If he donates and a lot of blood is drawn out, then he breaks his fast as it is regarded as similar to cupping (hijaamah).Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 467, Fatwa No.405)

9. The ruling regarding the cupper and the cupped

Question: Is the fast of the cupper and the cupped broken during the day in Ramadan? What is the ruling, do they continue with their fast broken or make up for that which has passed or what?

Response: The fast of the cupper and the cupped is broken and they must refrain from all that which breaks the fast, and they must make up this day. That which the Prophet said is: ((The cupper and the cupped have broken their fast)).The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 470/ Fatwa No.408), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No.11917)

10. When does blood flowing out nullify the fast?

Question: With respect to blood flowing out, what are the situations in which it nullifies the fast?

Response: The fast is not nullified except by cupping according to that which is correct. There is a strong difference of opinion in this and many see that the fast is not nullified even by cupping. However, the consensus is that cupping nullifies the fast.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 476/ Fatwa No. 416)

11. Vomitting whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling of one who vomits whilst fasting, does he have to make up his fast or not?

Response: It’s ruling is that he does not have to make it up. As for the one who intentionally vomits, then he must make up his fast, as the Prophet (saw) said: ((One who vomits, then he does not have to make it up, and he who intentionally vomits, then he has to make it up)). Transmitted by Imaam Ahmad and the Four Imaams of the Sunan (Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee, an-Nasaa’ee and ibn Maajah) with a Saheeh chain of narration on the authority of Aboo Hurayrah. Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 481/ Fatwa No. 424)

12. Taking an injection whilst fasting

Question: I took an injection in my vein during the day in Ramadan. Is my fast for this day valid or is it obligatory upon me to make up this day?

Response: If this injection was nutritional (in any form) then it nullifies the fast whether it is in the vein or other than that. If, however, it is a tranquiliser or an analgesic for pain pr that which is similar to it then this does not break the fast. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 485/ Fatwa No. 433)

13. Using the miswaak whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling concerning the one who fasts using a miswaak (tooth stick) after zawaal (when the sun is at its highest point and there is no shadow)?

Response: The use of the miswaak either before or after zawaal is a Sunnah as it is a Sunnah at other than these times. This is because the Hadeeth regarding the use of the miswaak is general and does not exempt the one who is fasting either before zawaal or after zawaal. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((The miswaak is a purifier for the mouth, (and) much liked by the Lord, . . .)). Also, he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((If it were not that I feared inconvenience for my Ummah, I would have ordered them to use the miswaak before each prayer)).Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 491/ Fatwa No. 440), also (al-Fataawa libni ‘Uthaymeen – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1 / Page 167)

14. Using toothpaste whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible for one who is fasting to use toothpaste during the day?

Response: It is permissible for one who is fasting to use toothpaste , being careful that nothing from the solution goes down his throat. It is preferable he clean his mouth with a miswaak and other than it from that which doesn’t reach the throat, just as one should not exaggerate whilst gargling the water in the mouth during ablution (wudoo). Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 496/ Fatwa No. 445), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fatawaa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/ Fatwa No. 158)

15. The use of oil-based and liquid-based perfumes whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible to use perfume such as oil-based ‘ood and colognes and incense during the day in Ramadan?

Response: Yes, it is permissible to use them on the condition that one does not inhale the incense.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fatawaa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 499/ Fatwa No.451)

16. Applying perfume on the hands, face, body and clothes

Question: Does using liquid-based perfume from the bottle break the fast if one applies it on his hands, face, body and clothes?

Response: Using perfume in this described manner does not break the fast.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ Page 500/ Fatwa No. 455), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’llmiyyah – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Fatwa No.9517)

17. Using atomiser mouth fresheners whilst fasting

Question: There exists in pharmacies freshners for the mouth in small atomisers. Is it permissible to use them during the day in Ramadan to remove the smell from the mouth?

Response: It is enough to use the miswaak which the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa-sallaam) has recommended for the mouth whilst fasting rather than the atomisers for the mouth. There is no problem in using the atomiser as long as nothing reaches the throat. However, it is befitting not to dislike the odour (of the mouth) resulting from the fast, since it is indicative of obedience to Allaah as it is beloved to Allaah. It is mentioned in a hadeeth: ((The odour emmanating from the mouth of one who is fasting is more pleasant to Allaah than the smell of musk)). Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 501/Fatwa No.457), also (al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa ash-Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan, Volume 3/ Page 130)

18. Using eye drops and ointment/liniment for the eyes whilst fasting

Question: What is the ruling regarding (putting) eye drops and ointment/liniment in the eyes?

Response: It is no problem for one who fasts to apply kohl to his eyes and likewise eye drops and (also) ears drops even if he finds the taste of them (reach) his throat. This does not break his fast. This is because it is neither food or drink and nor does it constitute food or drink. Rather, the evidence prohibits eating and drinking, so that which does not constitute this cannot be regarded as such. What we have mentioned is the opinion of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and it is correct.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 509/Fatwa No.469), also (Fiqh al-’Ibaadaat libni ‘Uthaymeen, Page 191-192)

19. Being abusive whilst fasting

Question: Some people, whilst driving in their cars and they are fasting, begin to use bad language leading to the abuse of others when the traffic becomes busy. So, what is the ruling concerning their fast?

Response: As for the fast, then it is correct as the impermissible statements and actions do not invalidate the fast. However, without doubt it reduces the reward and loses its benefits and fruits. From that which is intended from the fast is fear of Allaah (Taqwah) as He (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) said: {O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious)} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 183]. So, Allaah has explained the wisdom behind the obligation of fasting upon us and that is to attain fear of Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala). The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((One who does not abandon evil talk and actions, then Allaah is not in need of him abandoning his food and drink (i.e. his fasting)). Rather, the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) commanded the one who is fasting that, should someone curse him or attempt to kill him, he should say: ((I am fasting)) such that the one who is swearing and abusing is deterred. By this, he will know that the one who is fasting has not responded because of any weakness but, rather, because of piety and fear of Allaah because he is fasting. That which is obligatory upon the fasting person and other than him is that he be patient and persevering, not allowing these conflicting issues to affect him regardless of how he feels inside. It is confirmed from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that a man said: ((O Messenger of Allaah, advise me)). He (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) replied: ((Don’t become angry)) and he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) repeated this a number of times: ((Don’t become angry)). So, how many people feel remorse at what they have done in anger, and wish that they hadn’t said or done such and such whilst angry. But that which has come to pass is not possible to take back.Shaykh Ibn Fowzaan (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/ page 517/ Fatwa No. 481), also (al-Fataawa libni Fowzaan – Kitaab ad-Da’wah, Volume 1/ Page 158-160)

20. Backbiting and slandering whilst fasting

Question: Does backbiting and slandering during the day in Ramadan break the fast?

Response: Backbiting and slandering does not break the fast. However, it reduces the effect of the fast. Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) says: {O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious)} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 183]. Also, the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: ((One who does not abandon evil talk and actions and ignorance then Allaah is not in need of him abandoning food and water (whilst fasting) )).Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 518/Fatwa No. 482), also (al-Fataawa lbni-’Uthaymeen, Kitaab ad-Da’waah, Volume 1/Page 166-167)

21. Bad speech during the month of Ramadan

Question: Does impermissible (Haraam) speech during the day in Ramadan nullify the fast?

Response: If we read the saying of Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala), {O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-Muttaqoon (the pious)} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 183], we find the wisdom behind the obligation to fast is attaining fear of Allaah (Taqwah) and worshipping Allaah. Taqwah is to abandon all that is haraam and incorporating all that is commanded, avoiding all that is warned against. The Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa-sallaam) said: ((One who does not abandon evil talk and actions, then Allaah is not in need of him abandoning his food and drink (i.e. his fasting)). Based upon this, it is confirmation (for the one who is fasting) to abandon all that is haraam from speech and actions so as not to backbite, lie, slander or trade in haraam. So, keep away from haraam, and if a person were to do this throughout the entire month (of Ramadan), he would find himself upright for the rest of the year. Sadly, however, many people who fast do not differentiate between the time in which they fast and when they aren’t It has became a norm whereby they indulge in haraam speech, lying, cheating and so on. They don’t feel upon the peace and tranquility of the fast. These actions (of bad speech etc.) do not nullify the fast but do reduce the reward and, possibly, deflects the reward for the fast completely and Allaah’s Assistance is sought.Shaykh Ibn al-’Uthaymeen / (Faatwa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 520/ Fatwa No. 485), also (Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-’Uthaymeen, Volume 1/Page 501-502)

22. Sleeping throughout the day whilst fasting

Question: During Ramadan, if one was to take the pre-dawn meal (sahoor) and pray the Fajr prayer, then sleep until noon and prayed the Dhuhr prayer after which he would sleep until Asr, then pray the Asr prayer and, again, sleep until the time of breaking the fast (at Maghrib), would his fast be correct?

Response: If the situation is as mentioned, then his fast is correct. However, continuing in this fashion throughout the day (i.e. sleeping) is a waste and neglect on his part, especially since the month of Ramadan is a blessed month. It is befitting that the Muslim seek benefit from that which will aid him by reading the Qur.aan aplenty, working (for halaal earnings) and seeking knowledge. And with Allaah (subhaanahu wa-ta’aala) is the success, and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions.The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa, comprising – Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Baaz; Deputy Head: Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee; Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan. (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 522/Fatwa No.488), also (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-’Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., Fatwa No. 12901)

23. Swallowed water taking a bath, whilst fasting

Question: A man who was fasting took a bath and due to the strong pressure of the water, he ended up swallowing some water without intending to. Does he have to make this fast up?

Response: He does not have to make this fast up because he hadn’t intended that, so his ruling is that of one who is forced and one who has forgotten.Shaykh Ibn Baaz / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 537/Fatwa No. 511), also (Majmoo’ Fataawa ash-Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez bin ‘Abdullaah bin Baaz, Volume 3/Page 252)

24. Tasting food whilst fasting

Question: Is it permissible for a cook to taste the food whilst fasting?

Response: There is no problem with tasting food out of necessity and this is done by placing it on the tip of the tongue to see how sweet or sour it is. However, nothing of it should be swallowed, rather, it should be spat out or taken out of the mouth and with that the fast is not nullified (according to the preferred opinion). And Allaah knows best. Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 2/Page 543/Fatwa No.524) / (Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 46)

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