Inhaling Smoke, Emitting Pre-Sexual Fluid, Accidental Eating and Fasting in Maliki School

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Is it true that in the Maliki school if you unintentionally inhale cigarette smoke, steam or incense, emit pre-ejaculatory liquid or accidentally eat food that you’ve broken your fast?


Inhaling Smoke, Steam and Incense While Fasting

According to the Maliki school, inhaling smoke, steam or incense:

1. Will break the fast if the smoke reached the back of the throat. This is if the smoke was inhaled intentionally, or care was not taken to avoid it.

2. Will not break the fast if the inhalation was beyond one’s control. An example would be when one is on a street and inhales some accidentally.

The reason for this ruling given by Al-Dusuqi in his marginal notes on the Sharh Al-Kabir by Dardir on the Mukhtasar is that, “incense and steam are both matter and have an affect on the brain, giving it a benefit similar to that of food.”

Pre-ejaculatory Fluid (madhy)

In terms of the pre-ejaculatory fluid (madhy):

1. It breaks the fast if a person had control over the thoughts or touching, and then the fluid was released.

2. If one did not have control over the release of madhy, such as when one is asleep, then the fast is not broken.

While fasting, one of the matters that we must control is the intentional release of sexual fluid in addition to avoiding consumption of food and drink.

[Mukhtasar Khalil]

Accidentally Eating or Drinking

If one accidentally eats or drinks somethings, the fast is broken but they must continue the fast until sunset. The process of continuing to fast after it has been broken is called “imsaak.” The person who eats or drinks accidentally would then have to repeat that fast.

The reason why Imam Malik considered the fast to not be valid is that the purpose of fasting, which is not having anything digestible reach the throat or stomach, was not completely achieved. [Tafsir Al-Qurtubi]