Ramadan FAQ’s – General

Q- Does smoking invalidate the fast?

A: Smoking nullifies the fast. Both Qadhaa and Kaffarah become Waajib.


Q- Is it permissible to apply oil to the head whilst fasting?

A. It is permissible to apply oil to the head. The fast will not be nullified. (Fataawa Raheemiya)


Q- I am writing exams during Ramadhan and find it difficult to concentrate whilst hungry. Can I delay my fast until after Ramadhan?

A. It is not permissible to delay the fasts in this instance. You may however consider delaying the exams which in many instances is not impossible. Keep your fast and pray to Allah Ta’ala to make it easy for you. (Fataawa Raheemiya Vol. 2. pg 34)


Q- If I have a wet dream whilst fasting is my fast still valid?

A. Yes, the fast is still valid. However, when gargling the mouth or cleaning the nose during the Ghusl one should be careful not to allow the water to go down the throat or above the nasal bone. (Shaami)


Q- Is swimming permissible whilst fasting?

A. It is not advisable to swim whilst fasting. If water is swallowed by mistake or enters through the nose and goes beyond the nasal bone, reaching the nasal cavity the fast will break and a qadha will have to be kept. (Tahtaawi Alaa Maraaqil Falaah, pg. 672)


Q- Can one use toothpaste, toothpowder or mouthwash whilst fasting?

A. It is reprehensible (makrooh) to do so. Should any of these substances be swallowed the fast will be nullified. (Jawaahirul Fiqh)


Q- How can we compensate for the fasts and Salah we missed many years ago?

A- Qadha should be made for the fasts and Salahs missed over the years. If the fast was broken intentionally without a valid reason after commencing it, then this would necessitate fulfilling the Kaffaara as well.


Q- In what way is a Kaffaarah fulfilled?

A: A Kaffaarah may be given in the following two ways:
1) Fasting for two months consecutively without missing a single fast,
2) Feeding sixty poor people.
It should be remembered that if one has the ability to fast then one cannot adopt the second method; rather, one will have to fast for sixty days continuously.


Q- If one is fasting and sprays perfume on oneself and accidentally inhales some of the perfume, will it break the fast? Will Qadha have to be made?

A. One’s fast does not break by applying or smelling fragrance provided one does not inhale the actual liquid. As such, it is permitted to apply perfume (itr), deodorant, or sprays whilst in the state of fasting. However, if one was to intentionally inhale something that has a perceptible body, such as smoke (like the smoke of lobaan, aghar batti, Oudh etc.), then one’s fast would become invalid.


Q- Can one take bath after Sehri, to be cleared from the state of Janaabat (requiring a Fardh Ghusal)?

A. It is not advisable to unnecessarily delay the Fardh Ghusal. However, due to time constraints, if one requires to have the Sehri and delay the Ghusl to after the time of Sehri ends, it is permissible to do so. It is preferable to at least gargle the mouth and put water in the nose before the Sehri time expires.


Q- What is the status of Sehri in Ramadhan?

A- Sehri is a Sunnah practice. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is reported to have said, “Partake of Sehri, for verily there is barakah (blessings) in Sehri.” (Bukhari and Muslim) Notwithstanding this, the fast is valid without Sehri.


Q- If one bites his or her nails whilst fasting, does it break the fast?

A- Biting the nails, irrespective of whether one is fasting or not is a reprehensible act. Hence, it must be refrained from. Nevertheless, biting the nails in itself does not break the fast, although swallowing them would break the fast.


Q- A person experienced a wet dream whilst in the condition of fasting. During Ghusl, at the time of gargling the mouth, he did not intensely gargle the mouth. Also when cleaning the nose, he did not cause the water to reach deep into the nasal cavity. Is his Ghusl  valid? Is the Salaah performed after this Ghusl valid?

A- Yes, his Ghusl is valid. The Salaah that he performed with this Ghusl is also valid. A fasting person does not have to make the water reach the entire mouth thoroughly, nor does he have to make water reach pass the fleshy part of the nose. Rinsing the mouth and the nose lightly and carefully without letting the water reach the throat or top portion of the nose is sufficient.


Q- Does masturbating break the fast?

A. One is not allowed to masturbate, whether fasting or not. However, if one does this vile act whilst fasting then the fast will break and a qadha will have to be kept. (Shaami vol. 2, pg 399)


Q- Can we brush our teeth during fasting i.e. before we leave for Office (Usually between morning 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM?

A- One should not brush ones teeth using toothpaste whilst fasting. One could use a normal Miswaak to clense the teeth. It is best not to use the flavoured Miswaaks that are currently available.


Q- Does the fast break when you use a wet Miswaak, & brush your gums, the water then separates from the Miswaak & little slides down your throat?
A- Using a wet Miswaak does not invalidate the fast. Similarly, if some bristles of the Miswaak are swallowed the fast will not break. However, care should be taken not to allow water to go down the throat as this would break the fast.