Assalam u alaikum
Q:Is using an inhaler (symbicort and Ventolin) permissible while fasting?
Also is applying vix vapor rub permissible while fasting?
Wa Alaikum Assalaam,
A: It is not permissible to use an inhaler while fasting. This is due to the fact that inhalers deliver medication (that contains a drug) directly to the lungs.
In inhalers, medication is typically stored in a solution which is delivered to the lungs in an aerosolized form. Hence, it is not only ‘air’ or ‘gas’ but it is a liquid medication that is stored in a certain form that is released as a fine spray.
Due to the fact that inhalers break the fast, the learnt jurists have explained the law of using an inhaler if one suffers from a permanent illness that requires him to continuously use the inhaler, and have also explained the law when one is not in such a state. The great scholar, Mufti Ridha’ul Haq (D.B.) has written, ‘if one suffers from such a permanent illness in which he cannot do without the inhaler, then he can use the inhaler while fasting, but pay a fidya for every day (on which he uses it). In this way, he will try to obey the command of Allah to the best of his ability. If one does not suffer from such a permanent illness that requires him to continuously use the inhaler, then he should make Qadha for the days on which he used the inhaler. However, kafara will not be upon him. One suffering with a permanent illness is treated under the law of a very old person who cannot keep the fast. In the case of the person who must use the inhaler continuously, he should keep the fast to the extent of his ability and use the inhaler for his sickness. But, he must also pay the fidya for the days on which he used the inhaler while in a state of fasting.’ (Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakariya Vol.3 Pgs. 281,282. Zam Zam publishers Karachi Pakistan 2009).
The same ruling has been given by the great scholar, Mufti Khalid Saifullah Rahman (D.B.). (Kitabul Fatawa Vol.3 Pg. 392. Zam Zam publishers Karachi Pakistan 2008).
With respect to the usage of vicks vapour rub, this does not break the fast. Hence, it is permissible to use while fasting, since it is only the effects of the ‘rub’ that reaches to the body and not the ‘rub’ (medicine) itself. (Kitabul Fatawa Vol.3 Pg. 394 Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakariya Vol.3 Pgs. 374).
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan