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Does Rinsing Mouth and Nose Affect Fasting?

16 April, 2022
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Some people say that rinsing the mouth and the nose influences the validity of fasting. Is it true?

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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In this fatwa:

There is nothing wrong in rinsing the nose or mouth during fasting, as long as one is cautious not to let water enter his mouth or nose.


With regard to your question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, Member of the North American Fiqh Council, states:

Rinsing mouth and nose during wudu (ablution) is either classified as a Sunnah act of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), according to Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik, and Ash-Shafi`i, or as an obligation, according to Imam Ahmad who considers it to be a part of washing the face.

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In both cases, one should not abandon rinsing them when making wudu whether fasting or not.

It is noteworthy that a fasting person should not exaggerate in doing it. Here, we recall the Prophetic Hadith that reads, “When you rinse your nose, overdo it except if you are observing fasting.” (Abu Dawud) 

Accordingly, if one rinses his mouth or nose in wudu while fasting and some water goes down his throat without intending or overdoing it, his fast remains valid.

This is similar to the case when dust from the roadway or a fly enters the throat, which is regarded as a mistake, for which this nation will not be held accountable, even if some scholars differ regarding them.

Also, rinsing the mouth for other aims than wudu will not invalidate one’s fasting as long as none of the water goes down the throat.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.