post

Rules concerning tooth brush (Miswak) during fasting

Question 391: Salamualekum members. Please what is the view of ahlulbat on chewing stick (miswak) whiles fasting?

Answer 391: One of the things which is considered as makru for a person observing Fast is to clean his teeth with a wet toothbrush.

If a person, who is fasting, takes the tooth brush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.[1]

When one rinses his mouth with water because it has dried due to thirst or to get rid of a bad smell of mouth and the water uncontrollably goes down one’s throat and one has already known it that if he\she does so the water will go down his\her throat, qadha has to be given.[2]

A fast is not invalidated by swallowing the saliva which has gathered in the mouth, even if it has gathered due to recalling something. Likewise, according to the stronger opinion, (a fast is not invalidated) by swallowing the phlegm which has not yet reached the cavity of mouth, without there being any difference whether it has come down from the head or has emerged from the chest (or lungs). As regards the phlegm which has reached the cavity of mouth, caution must not be given up by abstaining from swallowing it. If the phlegm has come out of the mouth, and then a person swallows it, his fast shall thereby be rendered void. The same rule applies to saliva. Rather, (the same rule shall apply) if there is a pebble in the mouth of a person, and he takes it out, and there is some saliva on it, then the person puts it again into his mouth and swallows it. (The same rule shall apply), if a tailor wets a thread by his saliva, then puts it back into his mouth, and swallows it along with the moisture on it. (The same rule shall apply), if a person uses the tooth brush, and it comes out wet with saliva, and then he puts its back into his mouth and swallows the moisture etc., on it, and his fast shall be rendered void.

Of course, if the moisture on the tooth brush is mixed up with his saliva in a way that it may not be said that he has swallowed his saliva with something other in it, there shall be no harm. The same rule applies to tasting broth, chewing the food or the amount of water left after rinsing. Likewise, there is no harm in chewing the bark of a tree, according to the more valid opinion, even if its taste has remained in his saliva as long as it is not due to the scattering of its particles, even if they are absorbed in the mouth.[3]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answers:

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting, answer 572.

Index: Using Asthma Inhaler does not break the Fast, answer 575.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

Index: Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr, answer 384.

Index: Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam, answer 196.

Index: Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl, answer 034.

Index: Fast in countries with long days, answer 106.

Index: Niyyat for Fasting: How to make intention to Fast Ramadan, answer 627.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding Fasting, Eating and Drinking.

[2] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini (ra)), Vol. 1, Pg. 892, Q  1573; Ibid, Pgs. 895-942, Q 1582&1690; the Official website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Rules concerning Fasting, occasions on which it is obligatory to observe the Qadha only;  Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 272.

[3] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Chapter on Things Which Must Be Refrained in a Fast.

post

Number of things which are Makruh for a person observing fast

Question 566: Could you explain those acts which are makruh for a person observing fast?

Answer 566: There are a number of things which are disapproved for a person observing fast. They are as follows:

  1. Coming in contact with women by kissing, touching or sporting with them, which is lustful for young men, and for those who become sexually excited it is even stronger. This is when a person does not intend discharge of semen, and it may not occur to him by habit; otherwise, it is forbidden in a specified fast. Rather it is better to give it up, even in case of a person who by habit is not sexually excited, though there is likelihood of his being excited by it.
  2. Applying antimony, when sprinkled in the eyes, or when it contains musk, or it reaches the throat, or it is feared that it will reach the throat, or its (bitter) taste may be found in the throat due to the aloe, etc., contained in it.
  3. Pulling out blood by cupping, etc., which may cause weakness, or whatever belongs to the same category, which may cause excitement of bile, without there being difference in its practice in Ramadãn or any other month? Rather its disapproval is stronger during Ramadan Rather it is forbidden during Ramadàn, but generally even in a specified fast, when it is known that it may cause swooning which invalidates fast, and there is no necessity for doing it.
  4. Entering Hammãm (to take bath) when there is fear that it may cause weakness.
  5. Snuffing, particularly despite the knowledge it may reach the brain or the stomach. Rather, it would invalidate the fast if it reaches the throat.
  6. Smelling the flowers, particularly the narcissus, and it means any vegetable having a (pleasant) smell. Of course, there is no harm in using perfumes as they are the gifts of a person keeping fast, but it is better to give up the perfume of musk. Rather, it is disapproved for a fasting person to apply it, in the same way as it is better to give up smelling strong scents which may reach the throat.

Note: There is no harm if a man sits in water (for steaming), but it is disapproved for a woman, in the same way as it is disapproved for both men and women to soak the cloth and place it on their bodies. There is no harm in chewing foodstuff for feeding children or birds, or tasting broth, to the exclusion of other things, in a way that it may not reach the throat, or it may reach the throat unintentionally, or intentionally but out of forgetfulness. There is no difference in putting food in the mouth, regardless whether it is for some valid reason or not. It is disapproved to taste any and every thing.

There is no harm in brushing the teeth with a dry brush, rather it is recommended to do so. It is not far from being disapproved to use a wet brush for teeth, in the same way as it is disapproved to pull out molar teeth; rather, do anything generally which may cause bleeding.[1]

According to Sayyid Sistani (ha), certain things are Makrooh for a person observing fast, some of them are mentioned below:
Using eye drops and applying Surma if its taste or smell reaches the throat. Performing an act, which causes weakness, like blood-letting (extracting the blood from the body) or going for hot bath. Inhaling a snuff if one is not aware that it might reach the throat; and if one is aware that it will reach the throat its use is not permissible. Smelling fragrant herbs. For women, to sit in the water. Using suppository, that is, letting into rectum a stimulant for bowels. Wetting the dress which one is wearing.

Getting a tooth extracted or doing something as a result of which there is bleeding in the mouth. Cleaning the teeth with a wet toothbrush. Putting water or any other liquid in the mouth without a good cause.

It is also Makrooh for a fasting person to court or woo his wife without the intention of ejaculation; or to do something which excites him sexually. And if he does it with the intention of ejaculation, and no ejaculation takes place, his fast, as an obligatory precaution, will be deemed void.[2]

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, rules concerning acts which are disapproved for a person keeping Fast.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Things which are Makrooh for a person observing Fast.