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Does Sniffing or Swallowing Mucus Nullify My Fasting or Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Does sniffing/sucking in of the mucus that’s not within my nostrils nullify my fasting/prayer?


In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Especially Merciful. O Allah send the choicest Peace and Blessings upon Prophet Muhammad and guide us all to that which pleases Allah.

Thank you for your question.

Substances Entering the Body Cavity while Praying

The prayer is invalidated when any (even if a little) substance (other than saliva) reaches the body cavity intentionally. It also invalidates the prayer if it occurs absentmindedly or in ignorance of its prohibition, provided the amount of the substance is commonly acknowledged to be much, though not if it is little. [Misri, ʿUmda Al-Salik]

Swallowing Saliva While Fasting

One’s fast is not broken by gathering saliva in the mouth and swallowing it, bringing saliva as far forward as the tongue (but not to the lips) and then swallowing it, or coughing up phlegm from the throat and spitting it out. [ibid.]

Allowing phlegm or mucus at the back of the mouth to be swallowed when one could have spat it out, will break one’s fast according to the preponderant view in the Shafiʿi School. [ibid.]

Contemporary Shafi’i scholars, like Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, offer an alternative view to the above ruling. In the Hanafi School, this does not break the fast, even if intentional [Al-Hadiyya Al-‘Ala’iyya]

Allah knows best.

I pray that this is beneficial.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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