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.
In this fatwa:
It is absolutely fine to brush your teeth in the morning with toothpaste while fasting so long as you take care not to swallow the paste.
In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
Islam is a religion which pays attention to the cleanliness, decency, and the good appearance and smell of its adherents.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded his companions to use siwak in cleaning their teeth and continued to use it while fasting. Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi report an authentic hadith narrated by `Amir ibn Rabi`ah. He said: “I have seen the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) using a tooth-stick (siwak) while he was fasting more often than I could count.”
It is absolutely fine to brush one’s teeth in the morning with toothpaste while fasting so long as one takes care not to swallow the paste.
It is reported in the traditions that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was seen brushing his teeth quite a number of times during the day while he was fasting.
Toothpaste is not intended for consumption. Fast is only broken when it goes directly into our system. To say that one cannot use toothpaste is nothing but rigidity.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against rigidity: “Woe to those who practice rigidity; woe to those who practice rigidity; woe to those who practice rigidity.” (Muslim)
By avoiding brushing with toothpaste, we end up offending the public by the foul odors of the mouth. Remember, it is far more important for us to avoid such objectionable things than being rigid on such frivolous interpretations which have no valid ground in Islam.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.