Actions That Do & Don’t Break The Fast

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

“In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”

Actions that break the fast:

  • Masturbation
  • Ejaculation caused by physical stimulation accidentally or intentionally
  • Sexual intercourse deliberately
  • Vomiting a mouthful intentionally
  • Swallowing any amount of vomit intentionally
  • Asthma pumps / Inhalers (continue fasting but make qadha)
  • Nasal sprays
  • Enema
  • Deliberate Eating / drinking
  • To eat and drink forgetting that one is fasting and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, eating and drinking again.
  • To continue eating and drinking after dawn or to break the fast before the sunset sets in, due to a
    cloudy sky or a faulty watch etc., and then realizing one’s mistake.
  • For women to apply medicine in to the urinary organs.
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Inhaling smoke intentionally
  • Inhaling bukhoor intentionally
  • Sheesha / Hookah
  • Intentionally inhaling steam
  • Inhaling Vicks steam
  • Swallowing toothpaste / mouthwash
  • Swallowing blood from the teeth / gums if it’s more than the saliva.
  • Swallowing saliva of one’s spouse
  • Endoscopy
  • Menstruation / haidh
  • Post natal bleeding / nifaas
  • Medicine inserted through a females vagina
  • Swallowing something edible, equal to or bigger than a grain of gram (a chick pea), which was stuck between the teeth. However if it is first taken out of the mouth and then swallowed, it will
  • break the fast whether it is larger or smaller than the size of a gram.
  • Inserting a wet tampon
  • Laparoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Swallowing water whilst swimming intentionally & unintentionally

Actions that don’t break the fast:

  • Blood test
  • Nose bleeds
  • Cutting hair
  • Cutting nails
  • Vomiting unintentionally
  • Vomiting less than a mouthful intentionally
  • Water entering the ears
  • Wet dream
  • Eating / drinking forgetfully
  • Swallowing one’s own saliva
  • Swallowing phlegm (recommended to spit it out)
  • Kissing one’s spouse
  • Embracing the spouse
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse forgetfully
  • Applying perfume
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Applying eye drops
  • Applying eyeliner
  • Doing Miswaak
  • Applying lip balm, however if it is swallowed the fast will break.
  • Injections
  • Taking an insulin injection whilst fasting is permissible. The insulin does not nullify the fast. However, in the case where the insulin is directly injected into the stomach the fast will be nullified.
  • Cupping
  • Starting the fast in a major ritual impurity
  • Injections
  • Swimming (without swallowing any water)
  • Backbiting
  • Lying
  • Covid 19 test
  • Covid 19 vaccine
  • Rubbing oil onto the body or hair
  • Inhaling smoke unintentionally
  • Brushing the teeth without toothpaste
  • Using toothpaste is makrooh (disliked) during a fast as long as it is not swallowed. If swallowed, it will break the fast. The teeth should be brushed before the suhur time expires.
  • Applying fragrance
  • Inserting a dry tampon
  • Ear drops
  • Dyeing hair
  • Hair removal / shaving
  • Cleaning ears with cotton bud
  • Acupuncture
  • Nicotine Patches


Intentionally vomiting (is when you make yourself vomit- putting fingers down throat etc)

Unintentionally vomiting (vomiting without causing it to happen purposely)

When does it break the fast?

A) If you vomit intentionally & it is LESS than a mouthful, it does not break the fast..
B) If you vomit intentionally & it is a mouthful or more then it will break the fast.
C) Unintentionally vomiting does not break the fast regardless of its amount.
D) If you vomit intentionally & swallow it, the fast will break regardless of it’s amount..
E) If you vomit unintentionally & swallow it intentionally fast will break.
F) If you vomit unintentionally & swallow it by mistake the fast will not break

*Mouthful is the amount one cannot holdback without difficulty*

Ear drops

The application of ear drops inside the ear will not affect the fast as long as the ear drum is not perforated. If the ear drum is perforated a person should wait until it has fully healed and have it checked that it is fully healed by a medical expert before application of ear drops. This normally takes a few weeks without complications. Sometimes it may become infected in which case a person would need to wait longer for it to heal before they use ear drops. Ear drops should also not be used as part of the treatment to heal the perforated ear drum whilst fasting.

Smear test

Some scholars are of the opinion that a vaginal exam does not break the fast.

On the other hand some scholars say, if the mechanical instrument used for a vaginal exam or smear test was dry, the fast will not break. However if there was some gel on it, the fast will break, hence such examinations & tests should be avoided in Ramadhan.


If the camera used was dry, the fast will not break. However if there was some gel on it, the fast will break, hence such examinations & tests should be avoided in Ramadhan.


Applying Vicks on the external part of the nose will not break the fast. One should not apply Vicks in the inner part of the nose as a precaution.

Inhaling Vicks steam will break the fast

Dental Procedures

An injection of local anaesthetic will not invalidate the fast. It is permissible to take an injection during fasting.

One should try & delay dental procedures till after Ramadhan or whilst they are not fasting. However if there is severe need to undergo the procedure, one should request the dentist to try and ensure that any liquid/substance does not go down the throat. If any substance/liquid goes down the throat, it will invalidate ones fast. If blood enters the throat and it is equal to or in excess to the amount of saliva, it will also invalidate the fast. One will have to do qadha only for the invalidated fast.

The best way to deal with emergency appointments is to try and get one as early as possible in the morning. The reason for this is that according to the hanafi school of thought one may make an intention to fast up to zawwal (midday). (This can be determined by calculating the midpoint between Fajr and Maghrib time of that day. Please bear in mind this may change daily, zawwal does not refer to noon). Go to the dentist without eating / drinking anything past subah sadiq (suhoor) & get your procedure done. If nothing goes down the throat you can intend to fast & if something does go down the throat then you didn’t have a fast to begin with so you haven’t broken a fast.


If the blood goes down through the nose and into the throat internally, the fast will not break. However if blood comes out of the nose, then if the blood enters the mouth and is swallowed (if more than saliva), then the fast will break


If one intentionally & deliberately inhales through one’s nose a perfume that has a perceptible body such as the smoke of bukhoor / agar bhatti then one’s fast will break. One will have to do qadha of the fast (make it up). Kaffarah (expiation) will not be necessary.

If the smoke of a perfume entered through one’s nose or throat unintentionally, then one’s fast will not break.

~Written by Umm Aa’ishah -Graduate of Ar-Rahman Madrassah (Bolton)