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OCD and fasting

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by FatwaCentre.org

As salamu alaikum. Please note that I would like answers according to Hanafi fiqh because that is what I follow. I would also really appreciate if I was given a direct answer instead of being referred to answers because I believe this situation is unique and don’t think these exact questions have been asked even if maybe similar questions have been. It’s very important all points are answered, as best as you can. I’m trying to post this before Ramadan starts so perhaps this year can be much easier In sha Allah.

I should start off by saying I have Obessive compulsive disorder (OCD) concerning the deen. Nobody taught me the religion so I had to teach myself and I’ve found many different answers online that have confused me, so I tend to go the extremes and this becomes an obsession.

Concerning fasting:

1- Often when people speak, the tongue briefly touches the lip, so the lip becomes wet with saliva. Then when one continues talking, this wetness will naturally enter one’s mouth, does this invalidate the fast? Is one expected to spit out this wetness

2- When washing my face in wudu or while in the shower, I find it difficult to avoid water going into my mouth. According to hanafi fiqh I know that fast is broken if water enters throat even acidentally but I find it difficult to avoid this especially as I usually breathe with my mouth and find it difficult to use my nose to breathe. I was just wondering what is expected? I try to keep my lips closed as much as possible but find I end up spitting several times between each time I wash my face as well as drying my lips to avoid anything. I do feel like this is excessive but my mind doesn’t know what to make of the situation as what I’ve read is that any water can’t enter at all, so I just don’t know what to do. What should I do while I’m in the shower, water is constantly dripping onto my face and onto my lips? Please detail how this should be done

3 – During Ramadan, I tend to get cold sores on my lips. These leak transparent pus which is obviously impossible not to swallow. I end up putting a bandaid on the sore so that my lips don’t make contact with the pus when I speak, but I obviously can’t walk around like that when outside, so what should I do? I was also wondering if I have to make up the fasts in which I swallowed the pus? Sometimes these sores can pop up twice in Ramadan and can last for half the month. It becomes quite difficult and complicated to do wudu during this because I find that I can taste the pus and need to wash my mouth and spit out several times.

4 – When I spit, the spit often breaks up and some land on my lips. Am I required to wipe the spit on my lips or can I just swallow it?

5 – If I intentionally swallowed a raindrop of water, thinking this is ok and doesn’t break the fast, is my fast broken? If so, do I have to do kaffarah or just make up the day?

6 – When I go the barber, they will spray water on your hair, does inhaling this break the fast?

7 – What does one do when it rains? Water will inevitably land on one’s lips, especially when one is out without an umbrella and it suddenly starts to rain. Is one requires to carry a tissue with him to wipe whatever lands on one’s lips, or is this excused?

Appreciate answers, and remember that saying just ignore the OCD / doubt will not work for me, I just know it. These are real doubts caused by a confusion in the legal matters of the situation, meaning I don’t understand the rulings on these matters and need clarification.

Jazakum Allah khayr.


The answers to your questions have been provided below as you requested. It is however important for you to understand that just as you have queries about the faith and its legal rulings, many of the questions you have are arising as a result of your OCD. The details that you are going into such as being concerned about the wetness of your lip entering your mouth as you speak is a sign that these questions are influenced by your OCD. As you search for answers to your legal questions you should also look for support in overcoming your OCD issues as OCD can make following your religion a challenge and will take your focus away from the main objectives of worship and prayer.

In response to your questions:

1. The wetness on your lips re-entering your mouth will not break your fast as such amounts are unavoidable and are therefore over-looked by shari῾ah. One is not required to spit out this wetness and doing so would be futile as the tongue will always come into contact with the lips making it moist.[1]

2. There is no harm in water entering your mouth and coming into contact with your lips. In fact, a person is required to rinse their mouth out in wudu even if they are fasting. They will then spit the water out once with each rinse and any small amounts of water that remains in the mouth after spitting, will not break the fast even if it goes down the throat. This is because it is impossible to avoid such small quantities of water going down the throat. You do not need to keep drying your lips and do not need to keep your mouth closed. If some water enters your mouth just spit it out once and don’t worry about any water remaining in your mouth as that is forgiven.

3. With cold sores you can dab on the cold sore with a tissue if you feel pus coming out. Pus does not usually keep flowing, rather it might just build up and then gather at the exit of the wound. Just tasting a substance will not break the fast especially when the quantities which remain in the mouth are extremely small.[2]

4. It is fine for you to swallow this spit as such small quantities are impossible to avoid.

5. Intentionally swallowing raindrops will break one’s fast. There are a few possible scenarios. Firstly, if you swallowed the raindrops but had forgotten that you were fasting then the fast will not break. If you were aware that you were fasting and accidently swallowed raindrops, for example, there was heavy down pour, and you licked your lips and some water came into mouth and was swallowed then you will have to make up for that fast but kaffarah will not be necessary as it was by accident and without thinking. If you were aware that you were fasting and intentionally took rain water into your mouth and swallowed it then you will have to do kaffarah as well.[3]

6. Small particles of steam, spray and smoke are so fine that if a person does not intentionally inhale them the fast will not break.[4] When sitting at the barbers a person does not intentionally inhale the spray of a barber hence if some particles were to inadvertently enter the mouth whilst breathing the fast will not break.

7. If it is raining and there is a substantial amount of raining falling onto your face you can just wipe away or spit out once to ensure that the rainwater is not in your mouth.

[1]  الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 396)

(أو بقي بلل في فيه بعد المضمضة وابتلعه مع الريق) كطعم أدوية ومص إهليلج بخلاف نحو سكر.

(قوله أو بقي بلل في فيه بعد المضمضة) جعله في الفتح والبدائع شبيه دخول الدخان والغبار ومقتضاه أن العلة على عدم إمكان التحرز عنه، وينبغي اشتراط البصق بعد مج الماء لاختلاط الماء بالبصاق، فلا يخرج بمجرد المج نعم لا يشترط المبالغة في البصق؛ لأن الباقي بعده مجرد بلل ورطوبة لا يمكن التحرز عنه وعلى ما قلنا ينبغي أن يحمل قوله في البزازية إذا بقي بعد المضمضة ماء فابتلعه بالبزاق لم يفطر لتعذر الاحتراز فتأمل (قوله: كطعم أدوية) أي لو دق دواء فوجد طعمه في حلقه زيلعي وغيره. وفي القهستاني طعم الأدوية وريح العطر إذا وجد في حلقه لم يفطر كما في المحيط (قوله: ومص إهليلج) أي بأن مضغها فدخل البصاق حلقه ولا يدخل من عينها في جوفه لا يفسد صومه كما في التتارخانية وغيرها وفي المغرب الهليلج معروف عن الليث، وكذا في القانون وعن أبي عبيد الإهليلجة بكسر اللام الأخيرة ولا تقل هليلجة وكذا قال الفراء. اهـ. .

(أو ابتلع ما بين أسنانه وهو دون الحمصة) لأنه تبع لريقه، ولو قدرها أفطر كما سيجيء (أو خرج الدم من بين أسنانه ودخل حلقه) يعني ولم يصل إلى جوفه أما إذا وصل فإن غلب الدم أو تساويا فسد وإلا لا، إلا إذا وجد طعمه بزازية واستحسنه المصنف وهو ما عليه الأكثر وسيجيء

[2] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 400)

(أو ذاق شيئا بفمه) وإن كره (لم يفطر) جواب الشرط وكذا لو فتل الخيط ببزاقه مرارا وإن بقي فيه عقد البزاق إلا أن يكون مصبوغا وظهر لونه في ريقه وابتلعه ذاكرا

[3] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 403)

(أو دخل حلقه مطر أو ثلج) بنفسه لإمكان التحرز عنه بضم فمه بخلاف نحو الغبار والقطرتين من دموعه أو عرقه وأما في الأكثر -فإن وجد الملوحة في جميع فمه واجتمع شيء كثير وابتلعه أفطر وإلا لا خلاصة

(قوله: مطر أو ثلج) فيفسد في الصحيح ولو بقطرة وقيل لا يفسد في المطر ويفسد في الثلج وقيل بالعكس بزازية (قوله: بنفسه) أي بأن سبق إلى حلقه بذاته ولم يبتلعه بصنعه إمداد (قوله: والقطرتين) … ملخصا وبالتعليل بعدم إمكان التحرز يظهر الفرق بين الدمع والمطر كما أشار إليه الشارح فتدبر

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 411)

(وكفر) لأنه ظن في غير محله حتى لو أفتاه مفت يعتمد على قوله أو سمع حديثا ولم يعلم تأويله لم يكفر للشبهة

وبه يظهر أن ” يعتمد ” مبني للمجهول فلا يكفي اعتماد المستفتي وحده فافهم

[4]  الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 395)

(أو دخل حلقه غبار أو ذباب أو دخان) ولو ذاكرا استحسانا لعدم إمكان التحرز عنه، ومفاده أنه لو أدخل حلقه الدخان أفطر أي دخان كان ولو عودا أو عنبرا له ذاكرا لإمكان التحرز عنه فليتنبه له كما بسطه الشرنبلالي.

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel

This answer was collected from FatwaCentre.org, which is overseen by Dr. Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera.

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