Allah the Most Merciful wishes ease for His slaves and not hardships. Therefore, He has allowed various things for the person who observes fast to perform and has promised no harm if they are practiced. Below are some of the things that are not harmful to ones fasting.
- Brushing the teeth.
It is permissible to brush the teeth particularly using branches of a certain tree (Siwak), which is even desirable during fasting. Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about using toothpaste whilst fasting. He said: there is nothing wrong with brushing the teeth in the daytime of Ramadan so long as one is careful to avoid swallowing any of it.
But it is preferable not to use the toothpaste because the toothpaste is too strong and may go down into the throat. Instead of doing that during the day, one should do it at night.
- Taking a bath or cooling oneself with water, air conditioning, etc.
Abu-Bakr ibn ‘Abdurrahman reported from a number of companions that they had seen Allah’s Messenger pour water over his head while he was fasting due to thirst or extreme heat. (Ahmad and Abu Dawud).
Similarly, one can submerge himself/ herself in water or swim without invalidating the fast.
- Washing the mouth or the nose with water.
There is no harm to wash the mouth with water without gargling. It is disliked to exaggerate gargling of water into the mouth or the nose while performing ablution. In a hadith, our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Perform the ablution well. Clean the base of your fingers and sniff water into the nose but be careful when you are observing fast”. (At-Tirmidhi)
- Using perfumes
There is also no harm of applying perfumes on the head or the body during fasting.
- Blood-letting or donation for medical purposes
It is permissible to have a blood test or to donate blood without causing hardship. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) cupped while he was in the state of Ihram, and also while he was observing a fast.” (Bukhari)
Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked whether they disliked the cupping for a fasting person. He replied in the negative and said, “Only if it causes weakness.” (Bukhari).
However, for blood donation, it is better to delay until after sunset.
- Taking injections or medicine containing no food
It is allowed to take injections which have no food value irrespective of their taste being felt in the mouth or not. Similarly, using mouth inhaler if necessary because it is neither food nor beverage substitute.
- Tasting food on the condition that it does not reach the throat.
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“There is no harm for a person to taste vinegar or anything whilst he is fasting as long as it does not enter his throat”. (Bukhari)
- Applying Kohl or eye-drop.
It is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) to apply Kohl to his eyes. A number of the Prophets companions used to apply Kohl while fasting, among them, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) did not see any harm in the use of Kohl for the fasting person. (Bukhari).
Similar is wearing or smelling perfumes. Similarly, applying eye drops do not invalidate fasting according to scholarly opinion.
- Dental filing, extracting or scaling teeth.
It is permissible to have dental filing or teeth extraction during fasting, however, such a patient should avoid swallowing medicine or blood.
- Kissing and embracing (wives) for one who has the ability to control desires.
This is indicated in the Hadith reported by Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her),
“The Prophet (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) would kiss and embrace (his wives) while he was fasting, for he had the most control of all of you over his desires” (Bukhari and Muslim).
Please to know more about the rulings of kissing in Ramadan, please reach out to this article: Kissing whilst fasting in Ramadan.
- Swallowing things which are not possible to avoid.
There is no harm for the person who observes fast to swallow his/her saliva, the dust of the road, sifting flour, smoke and so on. All these unprotected things are all overlooked Insha’Allah.
- Having food in the mouth when Fajr is beginning.
It is recommended that when Fajr starts if a person has food in his hands, he should finish eating.
- Eating or drinking something unknowingly or being forced to do so.
If anyone, through forgetfulness, does something that would ordinarily break the fast, i.e. eat, drink, etc. his/her fast remains intact, provided he/she abandons the act as soon as one remembers that he/she is fasting.
Allah the Most Merciful says:
“… Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error… “(Al- Baqarah, Verse: 286)
This is also indicated in the Hadith reported from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) Said:
“Whoever forgets while he was fasting and eats or drinks let him complete his fast because Allah has fed him and given him to drink” (Bukhari and Muslim)
- Discharge of semen (as a result of thinking, or a wet dream).
Though this does not nullify the fast, it requires a bath.
- Unintentional vomiting (vomiting by itself).
This is evident by the Prophet saying:
“Whoever has an attack of vomiting while he is fasting, then no atonement is required of him, but whoever vomits intentionally then let him fast another day in its place. ” (Abu- Dawood, At-Tirmidhi, and others)
- Bleeding by itself such as nose-bleeding or during extraction of tooth etc.
For heavy bleeding while fasting, which causes weaknesses, it is better to break the fast and compensate for it.
Alhamdulillah, this brings us to the end of this topic. Insha’Allah, anyone who has a special question should submit his or her questions here. And Allah knows best.