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Things That Break the Fast (Al-Mufaṭṭirāt)

بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ

The information below is for use during Ramaḍān fasting regarding things that break the fast and based on the rulings of contemporary Ḥanafī jurists. The information has been compiled using various sources listed at the end. If you have any constructive comments please email them to Dr. A. Hussain,

More detailed explanation can be found on this page



The following things break the fast according to contemporary Ḥanafī jurists unless the person has an excuse such as per items 11 to 14. If you break or miss a fast you must make up for it (qaḍā') and you make also be liable for expiation (kaffāra) for breaking the fast, see items 29 to 38.

  1. Anything taken by mouth, nose or back passage (or by any other route such as a gastric tube, gastrostomy, jejunostomy and ileostomy) that reaches the throat, stomach or intestine.
  2. Sexual intercourse involving penetration via front or back passage with or without ejaculation as well as ejaculation caused by physical stimulation.
  3. Nasal drops and nasal spray.
  4. Use of an inhaler and use of nebuliser. Deliberate inhalation of smoke, vapour, steam, aerosol or incense through mouth or nose. 
  5. Bronchoscopy via the mouth and transoesophageal echocardiography involving the use of lubricating material.
  6. Insertion of a gastric tube, gastroscopy, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and rectal examination involving the use of lubricating material. Insertion of one’s own wet finger into the rectum, or a suppository or an enema.
  7. Unintentional vomiting if swallowed deliberately.
  8. Intentional vomiting of a mouthful or more.
  9. Accidentally swallowing water during wuḍūʼ or ghusl or bits of miswāk or toothpaste.
  10. Menstruation and post-natal bleeding (forbidden to fast).

If a person has one of the following excuses present then the fast is not broken:

  1. Something done out of forgetfulness does not break the fast e.g. eating, drinking or sexual intercourse.
  2. Unavoidable substances which enter the throat do not break the fast e.g. dust, smoke, incense, fly, bug, one’s own mucus, saliva or snot.
  3. Food taken before Fajr that is stuck between the teeth and is less than size of a chickpea will not invalidate the fast if swallowed.
  4. A very small substance which enters the mouth which is chewed but it’s taste is not found in the throat.

The following acts do not break the fast according to contemporary Ḥanafī jurists:

  1. Swallowing one’s own saliva or nasal mucus from the mouth or nose.
  2. Use of miswāk (dry or wet) at any time of the day. 
  3. Application of oil to body skin or hair.
  4. Application or smell of 'attar or perfume.
  5. Unintentional vomiting (see 7 and 8 above).
  6. Wet dream, ejaculation or orgasm due to visual stimulation or thinking (see 2 above).
  7. If one wakes up in state of janāba (state of major impurity), even if one remains in that state until Maghrib while fasting.
  8. Giving blood for blood test or donating blood.
  9. Eye drops (vast majority of jurists do not consider the eye to be an invalidating orifice based on ḥadīth).
  10. Ear drops (providing the eardrum which acts as a barrier between the ear canal and throat is intact).
  11. Injections of any type (such as intramuscular, subcutaneous, intravenous, including intravenous infusions of any type and blood transfusion) because these do not reach the digestive tract (throat, stomach or intestine) via an invalidating orifice.
  12. Medication, examination and instrumentation of the urethra, bladder, vagina and uterus do not invalidate the fast (e.g. cystoscopy, urinary catheterization, cervical smear, hysteroscopy, IUD insertion and female pelvic examination) because there is no passage from the urinary system nor from the female genital tract to the digestive tract (throat, stomach and intestine).
  13. Peritoneal dialysis and haemodialysis.
  14. Backbiting.

For Ramaḍān fasts expiation (kaffāra)* is required in addition to making up the broken fast (qaḍā') for the following acts (as per Ḥanafī fiqh) if done willingly and intentionally without being compelled and without an excuse as mentioned by the jurists.

  1. Sexual intercourse involving penetration via front or back passage with or without ejaculation.
  2. Swallowing of a spouse’s (or friend's) saliva.
  3. Intentionally eating or drinking (even if it is a very small amount) something that nourishes, medicates, or pleases the body in some way or is normally consumed.
  4. If a person breaks his fast twice or more times on the same day by the same act that requires qaḍā'.
  5. If a person breaks his fast on more than one day during Ramaḍān by the same act that requires qaḍā'.
  6. Eating intentionally after an act that he mistakenly believes has broken his fast such as backbiting, applying oil to hair, or touching or kissing his wife without ejaculating.

A person who is liable for expiation (kaffāra) is exempted from expiation (kaffāra) if he/ she has one of the following excuses, in which case only qaḍā' fast is necessary:

  1. The day on which he/ she broke the fast the intention for fasting was made during that day after Fajr time unless the person was aware of this fact and then deliberately broke the fast without any reason.
  2. Menstruation started later the same day on which the fast was broken.
  3. Post-natal bleeding took place later the same day on which the fast was broken.
  4. Affliction with illness, later the same day, which allows the breaking of the fast.

* The rules regarding expiation (kaffāra) are complicated so you must seek advice from someone with appropriate knowledge of this subject. 



Useful links (Hanafi fiqh sites) and Sources of information used

Nur al-idah (Classical Hanafi fiqh textbook)

Principles on what invalidates the fast based on "Dabit al-Mufattirat" by Mufti Rafi Usmani 

Criterion of Breaking Fast Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt 

Actions which break the fast A Manual of Hanafi fiqh

FAQs on fasting Fatwa Jamiatul Ulema South Africa

Can one take a steam bath while fasting or not? Darul-Ifta Jamia Binoria Aalamia

Does the use of a drip break the fast? Fataawa Mahmoodiya, V: 10, P: 149, Farooqiyyah   Also see.

Does Fasting become void if eye-drops are used in the eyes? Darul-Ifta Jamia Binoria Aalamia

Using Eyedrops while Fasting Fatwa Jamiatul Ulema South Africa

Can we use inhaler while fasting? Darul-Ifta Jamia Binoria Aalamia

Use of Asthma Inhaler Fatwa Jamiatul Ulema South Africa

Test of sperms for purpose of fertility while fasting in Ramadan (IVF)  Darul-Ifta Jamia Binoria Aalamia

Is it permissible for a woman to have a pap smear while fasting?  Darul-Ifta Jamia Binoria Aalamia

Does a cervical smear test invalidate one’s fast? Detailed fatwa by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam (Leicester)

Is it permissible to apply a haemorrhoids ointment inside of the anus while fasting? Darul-Ifta Jamia Binoria Aalamia

Can a person make an intention to keep a Fast after Sehri time has ended? Jamiatul Ulema South Africa


Are you a HCP requiring more details of medical interventions which invalidate the fast?