What nullifies the fast and what does not?

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 (as long as ear drum has no hole)
  • Eye drops or contact lenses
  • Sniffing up mucus even if it descends in the throat
  • Inhaling smoke or dust unintentionally
  • Using nicotine patches, creams, deodorant, makeup or oil
  • Kissing or 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 or Keyhole Surgery
  • Inhaling air through continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or inhaling oxygen as long as not combined with another substance
  • Miswāk or toothbrush (toothpaste should be avoided for risk of being swallowed)
  • Vomiting unintentionally or vomiting less than a mouthful intentionally
  • Swallowing vomit 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 if the medication passes the throat
    • 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 Qaḍā)
  • 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 Ramaḍān will also necessitate Kaffārah.

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

14 Shaʿbān 1436 / 1 June 2015

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Sahib

(Click on the following link for a Spanish translation: que anula el ayuno y que no)