Whilst fasting which of the following break the fast and which do not, Eye drops, eardrops, nose drops, and asthma inhaler?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

I am an Aalim working in a hospital here in the U.K. I am preparing a fact sheet for Muslim Patients about medication during Ramadhan. I am aware of the Fataawa our Ulama and Mufti Sahebs have given saying: Eye drops do not break fast. Eardrops do break fast. Nose drops do break fast. Asthma Inhaler does break fast. The problem I face is that in another hospital, a similar guidance sheet was issued to Muslims and the Imam there gave advice that it is O.K. to take all of the above during Fast. I decided to look into this further. As I understand it, the underlying principle is that anything which benefits the stomach will break the fast, (correct me if I?m wrong). I?ve asked a few practicing Muslim Dr.’s and they say, ?Our Fatwa regarding Ear drops does not make sense as it has no connection with the stomach, therefore it should not break the fast.? ?The Fatwa regarding eye drops does not make sense as it has a connection or a passage to the stomach, therefore should break the fast.? ?The Fatwa regarding the salbutamol inhaler does not make sense as it goes through the throat into the veins and circulates in the blood and does not benefit the stomach, therefore should not break the fast.?


In order to clearly understand the response to your query, one needs to
understand that some Jurists, after much consideration and research, have
concluded that when any liquid, food or medicine reaches, ingests and
settles in one of the three considered cavaties of the human body viz. the
throat, the stomach, the intestines, nullifies the fast.

It is important to note that the Jurists have also identified other
apertures and pathways which lead to any of the above three major cavaties.
Some of these apertures are the ears, nose, and the anal aperture. Of note
is the fact that the medical profession has a slight disagreement with the
Fuqaha with regards to:-
* The ear: whilst some Jurists considered the outer ear to have a direct
pathway to the throat, subsequently reaching the stomach, the E.N.T experts
are of the opinion that there is no link. Their view is that the only time
when any liquid will pass through from the outer ear to the middle ear is
when the tympanic membrane (eardrum) is perforated. * Regarding this
difference, contemporary Jurists like Mufti Rafi Uthmani (D.B) strongly
advise that the views of the E.N.T experts of our time be accepted, since
there is no certainty with regards to the ear having a passage to the
throat. We should therefore refer this matter to the medical experts. (Refer
to Dhaabitul-mufattiraat fi majaalit-tadaawi p.g 54)
* The eyes: the medical profession clearly state that a narrow duct links up
the eye cavity with the throat via the nose. Regarding this difference
Hazrat Mufti Rafi Uthmani Saheb explains that:- = Ahadith have proven that
the use of surma and/or eye drops does not nullify the fast. (One should
bear in mind that after something is clearly proven from the Quraan or the
Ahaadith, one is oblidged to accept it whether it makes sense to him or not)
additionally, this duct is so narrow that whatever passes through it from
the eye is (insignifant and) negligible. ( Ibid pg.59)

As far as the inhaler is concerned, in the light of the above one can safely
conclude that all medication taken by inhalation necessarily pass through
the throat before they eventually settle in the lungs, thus nullifying the
fast. Additionally, some of this medication also finds its way to the

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Moulana Na’eem Motala


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This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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