Jurisprudential Verdicts about Your Health in Ramadan

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


There is considerable correlation between Islam and medicine. What is ordered by Islam, medicine recommends, and what is forbidden by Islam, Medicine warns against. By reviewing some of the jurisprudential verdicts about your health in Ramadan, the picture becomes clearer.

Forbiddance to fill the stomach with food

The period of abstinence from food during the day in Ramadan, may lead some to devour food at breakfast in a way that may tire the stomach. It was authenticated that the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has recommended resting the stomach by saying, ''The worst that the son of Adam fills is his stomach.'' [Reported by At-Tirmidhi 2380 and authenticated by Al-Albani]

«ما ملأ آدمي وعاء شرا من بطن» رواه الترمذي وصححه الألباني

The virtue of starting the breakfast with dates

The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Whoever finds dates, let him break his fast on it, if not, let him break his fast on water, verily water is purifying.'' [Reported by Ibn Khuzaymah 2066 and its chain of transmission is authenticated by Al-Albani]

«من وجد تمرا فليفطر عليه، ومن لا، فليفطر على ماء، فإنه طهور» رواه ابن خزيمة وقال الألباني: إسناده صحيح

Breaking the fast on dates achieves the important biological benefit in the intestine, which is the speed of absorption of the types of simple sugars found in dates as it spreads throughout the body giving it the required energy.

It was said about the dates that they strengthen the liver and relax the temper, and that eating dates on an empty stomach kills the worms (intestinal or other internal parasites). Modern laboratory tests showed that dried date have about 7.6% of carbohydrates, 2.5% fat, 1.32% of mineral salts, 10% of the fibers in addition to amounts of vitamins A, B1 and B2. Dates are rich in iron, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, manganese, carbon, copper, calcium and magnesium.

This composition of the dates which is created by Allah has given it unrivaled nutritional value. It strengthens the muscles and nerves, it delays aging. If added to milk, it will be the healthiest of foods. Dates are of great benefits to children as they increase their weight. Dates keep the moisture and luster of the eye, as well as strengthening the vision. They strengthen the nerves of hearing, calm the nerves, activate the thyroid gland, help in the diuresis of urine, clean the liver and wash the kidney. If soaked, the liquid remaining is useful for cough. Its fibers are good for constipation. Only the obese and diabetic are prevented from eating dates in large quantities.

The following are selected Fatawa from the book: (The Collection of the Fatawa of his eminence Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Baz, Part III and IV (Fatawa of Zakat (alms giving) and Fasting, prepared by Dr. Abdullah ibn Mohammed ibn Ahmed At-Tayyar, Sheikh Ahmed ibn Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Baz. (Dar Al-Watan, the first edition 1416 hijri year)).

The verdict of whomever it is difficult for him to fast due to old age or illness

If the specialized doctors decide that your illness is incurable, you should feed a poor person for every day of Ramadan; you do not have to make up for these days. The amount is one sa' (a kind of measures) of the food of the country you are in; it might be of dates, rice or others. It is sufficient if you give him a lunch meal or dinner. If the doctors decided that this illness is curable, you do not have to feed a poor person, however, you have to make up for these days when you are cured. Allah Glorified and Exalted has said, {and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days.} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185]

{وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ} البقرة: 185

Transliteration: waman kana mareedan aw AAala safarin faAAiddatun min ayyamin okhara

I ask Allah that He blesses you with healing from all evil, and that He makes what happened to you as a means of purification and expiation of sins, and that He gives you beautiful patience in seeking His reward. He is the Best of those who are responsible.

Intravenous and intramuscular needle

The verdict of Intravenous and intramuscular needle, what is the difference between them for a fasting person?

The answer: The authentic saying is that they do not break the fast. The one breaking the fast is the nutrient injection. Taking blood samples for blood tests does not break the fast as it is not like cupping. Cupping breaks the fast of the one administering it and the one being administered to; as shown in the most authentic opinions of the scholars. The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''The cupper, the person being cupped, both have broken their fast.'' [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi 774, Abu Dawud 2369, Ibn Majah 1370, and Ibn Khuzaymah 1984. It is authenticated by Al-Albani]

«أفطر الحاجم والمحجوم» رواه الترمذي وأبو داود وابن ماجه وابن خزيمة وصححه الألباني

Toothpaste, drops and the like

The verdict of using toothpaste, ear drops, nose drops and eye drops for the fasting person and, if their taste is found in the throat, what should he do?

The answer: using toothpaste to clean the teeth does not break the fast, just like the siwak (Arak toothbrush). However, the fasting person should be cautious none of the taste goes into his stomach; if he, unintentionally, could not help it, then there is nothing wrong in that. The same verdict applies to eye drops and ear drops according to the most authentic opinion of the scholars. If the taste of the drops was found in the throat, then making up for the day is safer but it is not obligatory. The eyes and ears are not natural pass ways for food or drink. As for the nose drops, it is not permissible as the nose is a pass way. Hence, the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''And exaggerate in inhalation (with water through the nose during ablution) unless you are fasting.'' [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi 788, An-Nasa'i 87, Abu Dawud 142, and Ibn Majah 333. It is authenticated by Al-Albani]

«وبالغ في الاستنشاق، إلَّا أن تكون صائمًا» رواه الترمذي والنسائي وأبو داود وابن ماجه وصححه الألباني

So, whoever have done that should make up for their fasting as indicated in the Hadith, and this should be applied to whatever take the same verdict if the taste is found in the throat.

The siwak

Is the fasting person permitted to use the siwak while fasting during the day in Ramadan?

The answer: using the siwak whether at the beginning or the end of the day is permitted. Some scholars say that it is undesirable after the midday which is a fluctuating opinion; the right opinion is that it is not undesirable due to the generality of the saying of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, ''The siwak is a purification for the mouth and it is a way of seeking Allah's pleasures.'' [Reported through Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, it is authenticated by Al-Albani]

«السِّواك مطهرةٌ للفم، مرضاةٌ للرَّبِّ» صححه الألباني

The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has also said, ''Were I not afraid that it would be hard on my followers, I would order them to use the siwak (as obligatory, for cleaning the teeth) upon every prayers.'' [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

«لولا أن أشق على أمَّتي لأمرتهم بالسِّواك عند كلِّ صلاةٍ» رواه البخاري ومسلم

This includes the prayers of zuhr and 'asr (the noon and after noon prayers) which occur after midday. May Allah grant us success.

Teeth treatment

If a person has a toothache and sees the dentist who administers some cleaning, a filling or pull off his teeth, will that affect his fast? If the dentist gives him an injection to anaesthetize the tooth, does that affect his fast?

The answer: there is nothing in what you ask that affects the validity of fasting; it is all forgiven. But you have to be careful not to swallow any medicine or blood. The mentioned injection has no impact on the validity of fasting; because it does not have the meaning of eating or drinking. The basis is the health of the fasting person and his safety.

Asthma patients

What is the verdict of using the oral inhaler? What is the verdict of using this treatment while fasting Ramadan?

The answer: it is permissible if needed according to the words of Allah, Glorified and Exalted, {while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity?} [Surat Al-An'âm 6:119]

{وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلَّا مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ} الأنعام: 119

Transliteration: waqad fassala lakum ma harrama AAalaykum illa ma idturirtum ilayhi

Oral inhalers do not resemble eating or drinking, rather they resemble taking blood for lab tests and innutritious injections.

Mouth Freshener

In the pharmacies there are some mouth fresheners; a spray, is it permissible to use them during the day in Ramadan to remove the smell from the mouth?

The answer: We do not know anything wrong with using something that removes the odor from the mouth of the fasting person and others; if it is pure and permissible.

Epistaxis (nose bleeding)... Blood Tests... Blood Donation

What is the verdict if it comes out of the fasting person some blood as nose bleeding and the like? Is it permissible for the fasting person to donate blood or to take any of it for blood tests?

The answer: the coming out of blood from a fasting person in cases of Epistaxis or Istihadah (womb bleeding between periods) and the like do not invalidate fasting. What invalidate the fasting are menses, puerperium and cupping. There is nothing wrong with a fasting person to take blood for blood tests when needed; the fasting is not invalidated thereby. As for blood donation, it is safer to postpone it until after breaking the fast; because donating blood resembles cupping as it gives a lot of blood.


Does vomiting invalidate fasting?

The answer: so often the fasting person is apt to face unintentional matters such as wounds, nose bleeding, vomiting, or that water or gasoline may reach the throat. All these things do not invalidate fasting, according to the saying of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, ''Whosoever cannot help vomiting does not have to make up for the fast. But whosoever deliberately makes himself vomit, he must make up for the fasting day'' [Narrated by Ibn Majah 1368, and authenticated by Al-Albani]

«من ذرعه القيء فلا قضاء عليه، ومن استقاء فعليه القضاء» رواه ابن ماجه وصححه الألباني


What is the verdict of the fasting person taking an enema if needed?

The answer: there is no sin in that if the patient needed it. This is the more correct scholarly opinion which is favored by Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, and by a large number of the scholars; as it does not resemble eating and drinking.


Does chemotherapy break the fast?

The answer: it is permitted for the ill to break the fast during the days of Ramadan if fasting is harmful or difficult for him to observe, or that he needs to take drugs during the day whether pills, syrup or the like that is taken orally. Allah Almighty has said, {and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days.} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185]

{وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ} البقرة: 185

Transliteration: waman kana mareedan aw AAala safarin faAAiddatun min ayyamin okhara

The Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, ''Verily, Allah Almighty loves it when His concessions are taken, just as He hates it when His sins are committed.'' [Authenticated by Al-Albani 1886 in Sahih Aj-Jami']

«إن الله تعالى يحب أن تؤتى رخصه، كما يكره أن تؤتى معصيته » صححه الألباني

In another narration, ''just as He likes it when His important commandments are followed.'' [Authenticated by Al-Albani 1060 in Sahih At-Targhib]

«كما يحب أن تؤتى عزائمه» صححه الألباني

We ask Allah to bless us with good health and safety.

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EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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