Answer last updated on:
5th November 2004
Location: London, UK
Posted by Ridhwan:
Assalam alaikum warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu
First of all I would like to apologise to the admin ( br Yasin ) for intrusion.
The question is one of urgency as it is regards to fasting and it is Ramadaan so I thought to best to post the following fatwa until then.
I came across the following from http://islam.tc/ask-imam/index.php on the issue
Q.Whilst fasting which of the following break the fast and which do not, Eye drops, eardrops, nose drops, and asthma inhaler?
I am an Aalim working in a hospital here in the U.K. I am preparing a fact sheet for Muslim Patients about medication during Ramadhan. I am aware of the Fataawa our Ulama and Mufti Sahebs have given saying: Eye drops do not break fast. Eardrops do break fast. Nose drops do break fast. Asthma Inhaler does break fast. The problem I face is that in another hospital, a similar guidance sheet was issued to Muslims and the Imam there gave advice that it is O.K. to take all of the above during Fast. I decided to look into this further. As I understand it, the underlying principle is that anything which benefits the stomach will break the fast, (correct me if I?m wrong). I?ve asked a few practicing Muslim Dr.?s and they say, ?Our Fatwa regarding Ear drops does not make sense as it has no connection with the stomach, therefore it should not break the fast.? ?The Fatwa regarding eye drops does not make sense as it has a connection or a passage to the stomach, therefore should break the fast.? ?The Fatwa regarding the salbutamol inhaler does not make sense as it goes through the throat into the veins and circulates in the blood and does not benefit the stomach, therefore should not break the fast.?
A.In order to clearly understand the response to your query, one needs to understand that some Jurists, after much consideration and research, have concluded that when any liquid, food or medicine reaches, ingests and settles in one of the three considered cavaties of the human body viz. the throat, the stomach, the intestines, nullifies the fast.
It is important to note that the Jurists have also identified other apertures and pathways which lead to any of the above three major cavaties.
Some of these apertures are the ears, nose, and the anal aperture. Of note is the fact that the medical profession has a slight disagreement with the Fuqaha with regards to:-
* The ear: whilst some Jurists considered the outer ear to have a direct pathway to the throat, subsequently reaching the stomach, the E.N.T experts are of the opinion that there is no link. Their view is that the only time when any liquid will pass through from the outer ear to the middle ear is when the tympanic membrane (eardrum) is perforated. *
Regarding this difference, contemporary Jurists like Mufti Rafi Uthmani (D.B) strongly advise that the views of the E.N.T experts of our time be accepted, since there is no certainty with regards to the ear having a passage to the throat. We should therefore refer this matter to the medical experts. (Refer to Dhaabitul-mufattiraat fi majaalit-tadaawi p.g 54)
* The eyes: the medical profession clearly state that a narrow duct links up the eye cavity with the throat via the nose. Regarding this difference
Hazrat Mufti Rafi Uthmani Saheb explains that:- = Ahadith have proven that the use of surma and/or eye drops does not nullify the fast. (One should bear in mind that after something is clearly proven from the Quraan or the Ahaadith, one is oblidged to accept it whether it makes sense to him or not) additionally, this duct is so narrow that whatever passes through it from the eye is (insignifant and) negligible. ( Ibid pg.59)
As far as the inhaler is concerned, in the light of the above one can safely conclude that all medication taken by inhalation necessarily pass through the throat before they eventually settle in the lungs, thus nullifying the fast
Additionally, some of this medication also finds its way to the stomach.
and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Moulana Na'eem Motala
for: FATWA DEPT.
CHECKED AND APPROVED CORRECT: Mufti Ebrahim Desai
If br Yasin wishes to replace it/edit/delete then do so by all means. I wanted to PM you the link but the PM is disabled on the forum, so had no choice but to post it.
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