01 Feb, 2023 | Wednesday 9-Rajab-1444

Although fasting entails restriction and abstinence certain things are permitted for the faster to do. They include:

Bathing (Al-Ghusul), provided extra caution is taken to prevent water from being swallowed by the mouth or nose.

' Aishah (raa) reported that: "The Messenger of Allah (saas) used to wake up defiled with semen while fasting, then he took his bath." (Bukhari and Muslim)

In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (saas) has been seen pouring water on his head while he was fasting to minimize thirst and heat.

These two reports prove that bathing is lawful during the fast, regardless of the reason, whether to cool the body or for cleanliness. Ibn `Umar (raa) has been reported to have wet a cloth and covered his body with it. Anas bin Malik (raa) used to have a pool and he used to jump into it to cool his body.

Al-Kuhl, coloring the eyelids, or using eye drops, such as ``Visine'', is permitted whether the solution reaches the throat or not, the reason being the eyes are not the regular passage for food or nourishment. The strength of this case lies in the report by Anas bin Malik, (raa), who was the Messenger's cook for life. Anas used to color his eyes with Kuhl while fasting.

Being in the company of the Prophet (saas) for that long, while coloring the eyes, the Prophet would have seen him and corrected him if it was wrong. So is the case with ear drops or any medicine being applied on open wounds, whether the person feels it in the throat or not, because these things are not food or drink, nor are they substitutes. The above is the understanding of many scholars, including Imams Shafi'e, Abu Hanifah, and Sheikh Ibn 'Taymiyyah (raa)

Kissing (Qublah) for faster who can control himself, for married couples, expressing affection toward each other by kissing is inevitable. It may take place any time, day or night. To deny or prohibit this feeling during Ramadan would undoubtedly lead to some hardship. Therefore, the Lawgiver permitted a man to kiss his spouse on the cheek, hand, or mouth or hold his hand and embrace, if he feels like it and can control his feelings. The Messenger's wife Aishah (raa) reported: " The Messenger (saas) used to kiss while fasting and to embrace while fasting, but he was the ablest person to control his desire." (Tirmidhi, Bukhari, Muslim)

In another report by 'Umar (raa), he stated: "I felt the urge one day during fast, so I kissed (my wife). After realizing what I had done, I went to the Messenger of Allah (saas) and informed him that I had committed a great sin by kissing while fasting. The Messenger responded: `Do you have breakfast if you rinse your mouth with water?' Umar said, `No, nothing is wrong with rinsing.' Then, the Messenger said, `Why to bother?'" (Ahmed/Abu-Dawuud)

Inferring from this hadith, many scholars among the companions see nothing wrong with kissing, provided the believer can control his feelings. If he cannot control himself, kissing becomes haraam (unlawful) because it leads to unlawful acts. This general rule is known in Islamic jurisprudence as saduz zaree'ah (closing the door that may lead to unlawful acts). The fear of getting carried away leads some scholars to say kissing is undesirable (makruuh) and one better not do it for fear of ejaculation.

Rinsing Mouth (Madmadah) Is one of the procedures of ablution (wudu). Therefore, the faster is permitted to rinse his mouth and cleanse his nose by sniffing in water and blowing it out. However, during fasting, the process should be applied lightly for fear of swallowing water. The Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "...If you sniff water through your nose do it thoroughly unless you are fasting." (Abu Dawud)

This hadith indicates two things: the faster who is making wudu or just wants to rinse his mouth should do it with utmost caution least he may swallow the water and invalidate his fast. The hadith is proof that the nose is a regular passage, like the mouth, of nourishment and as such takes, it rules. Thus, if water passes through the mouth or nose to the stomach, the fast is invalidated. Not so with the eyes or ears.

But what if, during rinsing, you swallow water? Does that break the fast? If water reaches the throat unintentionally, or without negligence on your part, the fast is still valid, but if water is swallowed intentionally, the fast is nullified.

What are the unavoidable things that are permitted in Ramadan?

Things that are a part of daily living, such as swallowing saliva, mucus, street dust, or mill dust (for workers at the mill), are unavoidable, and they do not nullify the fast. Also, tasting of foods by cooks or tasting it with the intention to buy, provided the food is not swallowed, but spit out. Nor is the fast affected by smelling perfume or using it on the body or cloth. But intentionally sniffing any particles that might travel through the nose to the belly would spoil the fast.

The faster is allowed to eat and drink and have sexual intercourse from sundown until the break of dawn. When dawn breaks and there is food in the mouth, it should be spitting out and one should cease ejaculation. If one swallows the food or continues to have sex, his fast is nullified. In a hadith by Muslim and Bukhari (raa) reported by 'Aisha (raa) the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "When Bilal calls adhan at night eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktum calls."

The hadith indicates there used to be two adhans; the first one was announced by Bilal Ibn Rabah (raa). The purpose of which was twofold: to wake the believers up for sahuur and to indicate the period of sahuur; and Abdullah Ibn Umm-Maktum's to announce the time to stop eating and prepare for morning prayer.

For women, bleeding as a result of menstruation, or post-childbirth, if the blood stops, may delay their bathing (ghusl) until daybreak and may they wake up for fasting, but they should cleanse themselves, before performing prayer, Salaat.