things that break the fast

Things that can and cannot break your fast. According to a Sunnah, “Every deed of the Son of Adam is for himself, except fasting – it is for Me, and I shall reward it.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

Ramadan is the most auspicious month for the Muslims. It gives one a chance to rejuvenate the faith and strengthen and intensify the spirituality for a better life. This is the month which teaches us to be patient, kind and grateful by giving (sadqah and zakat), and fasting. However, there are a few things which have been confusing for most of the people for a long time; things that can and can not break your fast. If you are wondering about the same issue as well, then read on. We have compiled a list of things which may and may not break your fast. Make sure you go through the list.

What Can Invalidate Your Fast In Ramadan?

Here are a few reasons why you need to know about the things which can and can not break your fast.

  • Being more aware of the rituals of Ramadan and fasting clarifies the small questions bothering you all the time.
  • It helps you know more about enhancing your spirituality and revivifying your faith and soul.
  • These tips will give you a better understanding about staying away from detestable things (makrūh).
  • Having more knowledge about such things can prevent you from things that might be abominable.

↓ 10 – The most Sinful Act which Invalidates the Fast:

One of the most sinful things which lead to the invalidation of the fast is sexual intercourse. It not only breaks one’s fast but is unrighteous and immoral, if conducted deliberately during the day time in Ramadan.

As directly narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1936; Muslim, 1111;

Whoever has intercourse during the day in Ramadan deliberately and of his or her own free will, in which the two circumcised parts meet, and the tip of the penis disappears in either of the two passages, has invalidated his fast, whether he ejaculates or not. He has to repent, complete that day (i.e., not eat or drink until sunset), make up that day’s fast later on and offer a severe expiation. The evidence for that is the hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “I am doomed, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Why are you doomed?” He said, “I had intercourse with my wife (during the day) in Ramadan.” He said, “Can you free a slave?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you fast for two consecutive months?” He said, “No.” He said, “Can you feed sixty poor persons?” He said, “No.”

This hadith indicates that there is no turning back once a Muslim conducts this sin; however, an individual can repent and ask for forgiveness. Indeed Allah is the most gracious and merciful.

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↓ 9 – Wearing Perfume while Fasting: 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (Fatwas of the Standing Committee) it says: “All smells and fragrances in general, whether perfumes or otherwise, do not invalidate the fast in Ramadan or at other times, whether the fast is obligatory or nafl. “

Thus it can be concluded that wearing perfume is permissible and doesn’t invalidate your fast as long as it is not inhaled or ingested.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

“With regard to perfume, it is permissible for the fasting person to put it on at the beginning of the day and the end, whether the perfume is in the form of incense, oil or whatever, but it is not permissible to inhale incense because incense contains particles which, if inhaled, may reach the stomach through the nose.”

Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Laqeet ibn Sabrah: “Rinse your nose thoroughly unless you are fasting.” 

Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam, p. 46.

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↓ 8 – Bleeding from Nose Breaks Fast?

Ayah number 286 from Surah Baqarah says:

“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets a reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. ‘Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error”.

From the Ayah above, it can be interpreted that Allah doesn’t burden a Muslim beyond his tolerance and limits.

Moreover, it is narrated by Abu Dawood, 2366; al-Tirmidhi, 788; al-Nasaa’i, 87; Ibn Maajah, 407. Classed as sahee by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 631;

But if it is possible to prevent it, or to spit it out, and you do not do so, and you swallow it deliberately, then this breaks the fast. The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to Laqeet ibn Sabrah: “Go to extremes when rinsing your nose unless you are fasting.”

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↓ 7 – Brushing your Teeth while Fasting:

Even though brushing your teeth do not break your fast, however using strong mouthwashes and toothpaste are prohibited since there are chances of being ingested.

According to an authentic source:

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about using toothpaste while fasting. He said: there is nothing wrong with that so long as one is careful to avoid swallowing any of it, just as it is prescribed in Islam for the fasting person to use the Miswaak (tooth-stick). 

Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/247.

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↓ 6 – Lying and Swearing Doesn’t Break your Fast:

Slandering, backbiting, cursing, lying and swearing, are not only considered immoral and sinful but are haraam as well; however it doesn’t break your fast.

As narrated by Al-Bukhaari, 1903, 6075. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, Allah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” 

Moreover,

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If anyone of you is fasting, let him not utter obscenities or act in an ignorant manner, and if anyone insults him or wants to fight him, let him say, I am fasting.” 

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↓ 5 – Intentionally Eating and Drinking while Fasting: 

There are typically two cases; a person who eats intentionally while fasting and the one who forgets and eats or drinks. There are hadiths for both the cases;

For eating unintentionally, our Prophet (SAW) said; “Whoever forgets he is fasting and eats or drinks, let him complete his fast for it is Allaah Who has fed him and given him to drink.” (Al-Bukhari (6669) and Muslim (1155) narrated that Abu Hurayrah).

For the person who breaks his fast intentionally, there is undoubtedly a  kaffarah which means compensation on deliberately missing the fast.

Abu Huraira narrated:
“A person came to our master the Prophet and said, ‘O the Messenger of Allah, I am ruined.’ Our master, the Prophet, asked what happened. He said that he had broken the Ramadan fast intentionally. Our master, the Prophet told him to free a slave. When he said that he had no slave, he ordered him to fast for two months incessantly. When he said that he was unable to do so, he told him to feed poor people.”

This means if a person breaks his fast intentionally, he/she must fast for 60 consecutive days and if not possible (due to health conditions) then he/she should feed 60 poor people (Radd-ul-Mukhtar).

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↓ 4 – Vomiting during Fasting: 

Intentionally sticking the finger down the throat and vomiting breaks one’s fast. However, in case of any illness or sickness vomiting while fasting is permissible.

It is narrated by Abu Dawood, 2380; al-Tirmidhi, 720.

Prophet (SAW) said; “Whoever vomits involuntarily does not have to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately let him make up the fast.”

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↓ 3 – Does Smoking Break your Fast? 

Many scholars consider smoking as haraam, which is one of the reasons why it is forbidden while fasting. However, there is another reason why it impermissible during fasting. While you smoke you tend to ingest the small particles which directly enter your stomach, therefore smoking during Ramadan is proscribed and debarred.

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Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

“It is permissible to use it during the day in Ramadaan and to smell it, except for bukhoor (incense), because incense contains particles that can reach the stomach, and that is smoke.”

Fataawa Islamiyyah, 2/128.

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↓ 2 – Kissing and Hugging while Fasting: 

There are numerous sunnahs and references regarding this issue.

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“If one swallows the saliva of another, one’s fast will be invalidated without expiation (kaffara) being necessary, unless the saliva is of one’s friend (or spouse), for that will also necessitate expiation.” (1/203)

Moreover, it is also reported from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) that he would kiss his wife and our mother Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) passionately (by sucking on her tongue) while in the state of fasting. (Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 2378).

However, according to many Fuqahah, exchange of saliva while kissing can invalidate one’s fast.

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↓ 1 – Waking in the state of Janna-bah: 

Waking up in a state of Jannabah (post-sexual intercourse impurity) does not break your fast considering that you take a shower after sahoor.

it is narrated that, “The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) sometimes used to be in a state of Janaabah at the time of Fajr (dawn), so, he used to perform Ghusl and fast.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).

In another Hadeeth, the Prophet (SAW) replied to a man who asked him about this case saying: “Me too. The prayer (Fajr) is called while I am in a state of Jannabah, so I fast”.

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Summing it all up:

↓ Some Every Day Acts That DO NOT Break Your Fast

  • Brushing your teeth – Though it is preferable to avoid it or use a miswaak instead.
  • Taking insulin injections – This is acceptable for diabetes patients
  • Applying makeup – Nailpolish does not break your fast but you need to take it off to perform wuzzu. In the case of lipstick, it is better to avoid as it can come in touch with the tongue. Applying perfumes too does not break the fast, but it is discouraged as you might accidentally inhale while spraying and break your fast.
  • Using foul language, listening to music or telling lies – All these will not break the fast, but they are all highly discouraged as they go against the spirit of Islam and Ramadan.

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