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.

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