• I’ve had several people asking.. Can we use inhalers whilst fasting? Some ulema have said its okay?

    In my video and written post on the permissibility of eye drops, I have stated an age old principle that: anything which passes the throat or enters the stomach directly or through large orifices (ie mouth or back passage) deliberately (ie taken on purpose- whatever the purpose may be) breaks the fast.

    Based on this principle inhalers contain several hundred micrograms of drug matter which even though seem to be ‘air’, they are not, when actuated, inhalers produce a cloud of suspended solid state particles, either in aerosol form or dry powder form. These particles pass the throat to enter the trachea to make their way into the lungs where they do their job!

    Now according to the rule above.. A person using an inhaler has deliberately inserted these particles in the mouth where they then pass the throat!

    Now the misunderstandings are as follows which have led some scholars to render use valid:

    1. The particles from the inhaler enter the lungs.

    A: indeed they do but they pass the throat thereby break the fast according to the principle stated. In addition some particles do enter the oesophagus also by default.

    2. There is a rule that if anything is accidentally swallowed to the size of a sesame seed or smaller, that does not invalidate the fast. The particles of one puff of an inhaler are still only a fraction of a sesame seed so this can’t break the fast.

    A: this rule just stated is for ‘accidentally’ swallowing… An inhaler is taken deliberately, a purposeful action. Therefore anything taken deliberately (as per original principle above), breaks the fast and so in this case does the use of an inhaler.

    3. An inhaler is like breathing in air?

    A: no it’s not, the inhaler produces a cloud of minute drug particles.

    Also particles of the medication dissolve in the saliva which is subsequently swallowed.

    All in all, the conclusion is, the use of an inhaler will render the fast void.

    May I add here that if your medical condition necessitates the use of an inhaler, you may use it, your fast will break but you will not be sinful for this, you have a valid shar’i uzr/reason. There is no kaffara, simply kadha. Keep kadha fast on another day, maybe a shorter winter day where you may be able to get through the day easier without the use of an inhaler. And if you can’t even do this then you can give fidya.

    Allah ﷻ & His Rasool ﷺ know best.

    By Shaykh Abu Yusha Yasin

  • A burning question for many… Can I use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches whilst fasting?

    Answer: YES!!!

    According to the ahnaaf, the usool is that anything which enters the mouth and crosses the throat and anything which enters the stomach directly or via a large hole or orifice during fasting hours, will render the fast fasid/invalidated.

    It is undisputed that rubbing oil on your skin during fasting is permitted, yet some of this oil enters the body and possibly even the blood stream through the vascular system in the skin. Why is rubbing oil still permitted? Because of the rule I’ve just stated above. The oil that penetrates through the skin and potentially enters the body will be through the pores in the skin and according to this rule, they are not large holes or orifices to the throat or stomach, hence it is permitted to massage oil anywhere on the body!
    Similarly it is permissible to use creams, lotions, gels, skin medication for the same reason.

    Now NRT patches.. What are they and how do they work? They are a matrix patch containing nicotine which when applied to the skin, this nicotine is released regularly over a period of time ranging from 15 to 24 hours. This nicotine is absorbed via the pores in the skin, into the vascular system and blood stream and is transported around the body where the nicotine then undergoes its pharmacological and pharmacokinetics processes and saturates the nicotine receptors in the body, thereby reducing the cravings to smoke cigarettes.

    The crux? Nicotine being absorbed through pores in the skin does not invalidate the fast based on the principle above!

    Therefore use of NRT patches do not break the fast!

    Similarly, pain relief patches such as fentanyl etc are also permitted. Basically, anything applied to the skin does not break the fast.

    This rule is stated by all the classical scholars and books including Bahrur Ra’ik, Allama Ibn Abideen’s Radd Ul Muhtar, Durr al Mukhtar et al!

    Ps: same principle upon which eye drops is permitted during fasting without breaking the fast!

    Allah ﷻ & His Rasool ﷺ know best.

    By Shaykh Abu Yusha Yasin

  • It is permissible to take injections (any kind: i.e intramuscular, intravenous, joint cavities etc etc) whilst fasting. This does not break your fast. Likewise intravenous drips of medication, glucose or anything else do not break your fast!


    We come back to the same rule I’ve stated over and over again:

    Only if the ‘ayn/original matter (I.e the actual food, medicine, etc) enters the stomach (not its effects) via large holes/orifices (not pores or pore like structures), only then will the fast be rendered invalid and broken. Stated by all classical fuqaha.

    Based on this, an injection delivers medication to the blood stream, or muscle or joint etc where it then perform its function either at the injection site or around the body through distribution via the bloodstream and vascular system. It DOES NOT ENTER THE STOMACH itself. If anything does enter the stomach it is not the ‘ayn (original matter) but the effects (if at all).

    Therefore according to the principle above stated by all classical scholars and texts, the use of injections does not break the fast. The original matter does not enter the stomach!

    Some modern scholars have ruled that injections, drips, etc do break the fast and they use the reason that the injection, drop etc provides sustenance/energy/strength to immune system etc etc which is what the effects of food are also (sustaining and energising the body etc) and on this basis they have said injections break the fast.

    It must be noted that this reason does not conform to the rulings of the classical scholars and texts who all state the principle above. As long as this principle is adopted then injections cannot break the fast. In order to accept the ruling of the modern scholars who state injections do break the fast, it would be necessary to reject the principle stated by the classical fuqaha or to make it mansookh (abrogate it). Alternatively the principle would need amending. Is there any one in the modern world who can do this? If there is, let them bring their evidence forward.

    Answer adapted from bahrur ra’iq, durr e mukhtar, radd Ul muhtar et al and summarised from ‘Rafiq u sa’imeen’ by Mufti Azam Pakistan, Mufti Rafiq Al Hasni.

    Allah ﷻ & His Rasool ﷺ know best.

    By Shaykh Abu Yusha Yasin

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