Shaykh Muhammad S. Adly
Imam of Masjid Al-Muslimiin and Director of the Islamic Center of Columbia, SC
Nullifiers of Fasting
1- Eating and drinking deliberately: If one ate or drank while forgetting that he/she is fasting, then he/she is not required to offer makeup or expiation.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah: “The Prophet said: ‘If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully, then he should complete his fast, for what he has eaten or drunk, has been given to him by Allah.'” (Agreed upon)
2- Intentional Vomiting: However, if he/she could not help vomiting, then there is no atonement or expiation required of him.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah: “The Prophet said: ‘If one has a sudden attack of vomiting while one is fasting, no atonement is required of him, but if he vomits intentionally he must make atonement.'” (Abu Dawood)
3- During Menstrual and Postpartum: Even at the last moment of the day due to the consensus of the scholars.
4- Sexual Intercourse: which requires an expiation as in the following hadith:
Narrated Abu Hurayrah (t): “While we were sitting with the Prophet a man came and said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I have been ruined.’ Allah’s Messenger asked what was the matter with him. He replied: ‘I had sexual intercourse with my wife while I was fasting.’ Allah’s Messenger asked him: ‘Can you afford to free a slave?’ He replied in the negative. Allah’s Messenger asked him: ‘Can you fast for two successive months?’ He replied in the negative. The Prophet asked him: ‘Can you afford to feed sixty poor persons?’ He replied in the negative. The Prophet kept silent and while we were in that state, a big basket full of dates was brought to the Prophet. He asked: ‘Where is the questioner?’ He replied: ‘I (am here).’ The Prophet said (to him): ‘Take this (basket of dates) and give it in charity.’ The man said: ‘Should I give it to a person poorer than I? By Allah, there is no family between its (i.e. Medina’s) two mountains who is poorer than I.’ The Prophet smiled till his pre-molar teeth became visible and then said: ‘Feed your family with it.'” (Agreed upon)
Things That Do Not Nullify One’s Fast
1- To mistakenly or forgetfully eat and drink. In doing so, one is not required to make up the fast or pay a penalty. The Messenger of Allah (r) said:
“Whoever forgets whilst fasting and then eats or drinks then he should complete his fast for verily it is Allah who provided him the food and water.” (Agreed upon)
The Messenger of Allah (r) also said: “Indeed, Allah has overlooked that which my followers fall into mistakenly or out of forgetfulness or that which they are forced to do.” (Reported by Tabaraani)
2- Unintentional vomiting:
The Messenger of Allah (r) said: “Whoever is overcome by vomiting whilst fasting, then he is not required to make up the fast.” (Reported by al-Haakim)
3- Using the miswaak (tooth stick) at all times, and likewise using a toothbrush and toothpaste.
4- Gargling water and sniffing water up the nose and blowing it out, so long as none of this is done excessively.
The Messenger of Allah (r) said to Laqeet ibn Saburah: “Perform the wudoo. And wash between the fingers and exaggerate in sniffing water up the nose and blowing it out, unless you are fasting.” (Saheeh Abu Dawood)
5- Applying kohl (eyeliner) to the eyes and Medicinal eye and ear drops, even if the taste reaches your throat.
6- To taste food, with the condition nothing passes the throat to the stomach.
7- A young or old man kissing his wife so long as it does not lead to sexual intercourse, as the Prophet (r) used to kiss `Aishah whilst he was fasting. (Agreed upon)
8- Taking a necessary injection so long as it is not nutrition-based, i.e. a substitute for food, etc.
9- To swallow saliva or phlegm and that which one is unable to avoid such as dust and the like.
10- The application of medication which does not enter the stomach, including as creams/ointments as well as inhalers and nebulizers for asthma sufferers.
11- Having a tooth removed or blood coming out of the nose or mouth.
12- To chew gum which (does not dissolve and thereby pass the throat into the stomach) does not have any taste.
13- If the time for Fajr begins whilst the bowl of food is in your hands, then do not put it down until you have satisfied your need. The Messenger of Allah (r) said:
“If any of you hear the call (to the Fajr prayer) whilst the bowl (of food) is in your hands, then do not put it down until you have satisfied your need from it.” (Saheeh Abu Dawood)
14- Delaying taking the ghusl (shower) if one is in a state of janaabah (sexual defilement after intercourse) or post-menses or post-partum bleeding until after the time of Fajr has begun.
15- To perfume oneself with oils, and not incense-based perfumes.
16- Taking a shower to cool oneself down.
17- Rinsing the mouth out of thirst, bad breath, heat or other reason without swallowing the water.
18- Taking a nap during the day while fasting.
19- Narrated Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri: “Allah’s Messenger said: ‘Do not fast continuously day and night (practice al-Wisal) and if anyone of you intends to fast continuously day and night, he should continue till the Sahar (late night) time.’ They said: ‘But you practice al-Wisal, O Allah’s Messenger!’ The Prophet said: ‘I am not similar to you; during my sleep, I have One Who makes me eat and drink.'”
From the book: “The fasting of ramadan” by Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Jameel Zeenoo