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Hygiene in Ramadan

They say hygiene is half of the imaan (any guesses for the other half?).

This episode, we’ll be answering some FAQs on hygiene in Ramadan – about gargling, brushing of teeth, wet dreams and (yes, even) facials.

I had a wet dream during the day in Ramadan so I performed the ghusl. Does performing the ghusl (obligatory ritual bath) invalidate my fast?

Having a wet dream and performing the ghusl does not invalidate one’s fast. Even if water accidentally enters the ears or one accidentally swallows water (while performing the ablution or bathing), the fast is not invalidated as it is deemed to be accidental.

The Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has said

"Truly, Allah forgives those who have made a mistake, who have forgotten or who were coerced into doing something."

Reported by At-Tabarani

Some people say that gargling and flushing out one’s nose affects one’s fast. How true is this?

Gargling and flushing out one’s nose while performing the ablution is sunnah. When fasting, one cannot do so excessively. As long as one does not do so excessively, and if water enters the throat accidentally, the fast is considered to be valid. Likewise, if dust from the road or even a fly enters his/her throat, it is forgiven for it is unintended.

I have heard that someone who is fasting cannot clear his/her ears or his/her nose, whether by means of a cotton bud or his/her fingers. Using earpiece during fasting can also invalidate one’s fast. Is this true?

Clearing one’s ears or nose will not invalidate the fast. You are hence allowed to clear your nose or ears. This also applies to wearing earpiece.

I had an embarrassing experience. I was coughing, and phlegm came out. But I was too embarrassed to spit because it was by the roadside, and so, I swallowed the phlegm back. I know this is very disgusting, but can I ask if my fasting was nullified by doing so?

No, your fast was not nullified. However, it is not encouraged for you to swallow your phlegm for health and hygiene purposes.

I was wondering if I were to go for a facial involving the process of extracting pimples, will it break my fast? Thank you for taking your time to answer this.

No. Going for facial and extracting pimples do not invalidate the fast.

I am particular about bad breaths and fasting is a challenge in that sense. Is it okay if I were to brush my teeth once or twice during the working hours?

Brushing teeth does not invalidate fasting, as long as we take care to not swallow water, and there does not seem to be a dispute on that.

There is a hadith narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi, a companion by the name of Rabi'ah (ra) mentioned that he had “...seen the Prophet on countless occasions, brushing his صلى الله عليه وسلم teeth with the siwak (tooth stick), while he was in the state of fasting".

However, according to Imam Shafi’e, the ruling for brushing teeth to eliminate bad breath during fasting is makruh or not encouraged.

All answers were advised by the Office of Mufti (OOM). For a full listing of Ramadan FAQs answered by OOM, download the booklet here.

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