What if?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم       
In the Name of Allah The most Gracious The Most Merciful


A Muslim frequently asks “what if…” during Ramadhan, for example, “what if I vomit is my fast broken?” We will share the answers to these common questions.


What if I Vomit?

Q: If a fasting person vomits involuntarily during the daytime in Ramadan, should they make up for that day?

A: Involuntary vomiting does not invalidate Sawm (Fasting); therefore, the one who experiences it does not have to make up for the day, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whoever vomits involuntarily is not required to make up the fast, but whoever vomits deliberately, must make up the missed fast. (Related by Imam Ahmad and the Compilers of the Sunan [Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah] through an authentic Isnad [chain of narrators]) Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

What if I wake up finding traces of semen?

Q: One Ramadan day during the daytime, I had a wet dream. What is the ruling on this? Am I liable for Kaffarah (expiation)?

A: Anyone who has a wet dream while fasting or in Ihram (ritual state for Hajj or `Umrah) is neither sinful nor liable for Kaffarah. This has no effect on the validity of their Sawm, Hajj, or `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). However, Janabah Ghusl (full ritual bath to cleanse of sexual discharge) must be performed in case Maniy (sperm/vaginal secretions that are released on orgasm) is discharged. Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

What if I go to the dentist?

Q: The dentist uses some substances which the patient can feel their taste or smell. Does the presence of their taste or smell in the mouth affect Sawm (Fast), taking into consideration the fact that the patient can delay the treatment until night or even until after Ramadan?

A: If a fasting person needs to treat their teeth during Sawm, there is nothing wrong with doing this, but they need to be very careful of any medication or its residue going into their throat. However, if something goes unintentionally into their throat, there is no blame on them.

Q: The dentist uses water to cool the teeth of the patient while bleaching them. Does the patient’s unintentional swallowing of this water affect Sawm (Fast)? Please taking into consideration that one can delay the treatment until night or even until after Ramadan.

A: There is no harm in putting water in the mouth of a fasting person for the sake of treatment and other purposes, on the condition that one does not intentionally swallow it. If some of this water goes unwillingly into the patient’s throat, there is no blame on them. However, delaying the treatment until night or until after Ramadan keeps one on the safe side. Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

What if my nose bleeds?

Q: What is the ruling if someone is afflicted with nose bleeding for 28 days while fasting in Ramadan? I am 59 years old and I have never suffered from nosebleeds previously. Last Ramadan, however, my nose would bleed three to six times a day while I was fasting. Blood used to reach my throat, and then I would force it out. The bleeding was from my left nostril.

A: If the reality is as you mentioned, then your Sawm (fasting) is valid as this hemorrhage is not in your control. Therefore, your Sawm can not be judged as invalid. This ruling is taken from the evidence that denote the ease of Shari`ah (Islamic law). Allah (Exalted be He) says: Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He also says: Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty. The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

* There is a difference of opinion on whether a lot of bleeding invalidates fasting such as one who gives a blood transfusion. This is based on the hadith where cupping was forbidden during the month of Ramadhan, some scholars used that as analogy that a lot of bleeding is the same ruling. There are also reports from the Prophet  (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the Salaf, that they performed cupping in Ramadhan so this is a matter of fiqh and one should look into the matter for further information.

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