Ramadan and Cooking: Does Tasting Break My Fast?

08 May, 2019
Q As-salamu `alaykum. I was told that while fasting, a person who is preparing food for iftar is allowed to taste the food in order to see if it is seasoned properly. This is under the condition that nothing is swallowed and just a little bit is placed on the tongue. Is this correct?

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.


In this fatwa:

It is permissible for a fasting person to taste the food, if necessary, and his fast is still valid so long as he does not deliberately swallow anything of it.


Elaborating on the issue of tasting food while fasting, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:

There is nothing wrong with a fasting person tasting the food if he/she needs to, as long as he/she tastes it with the tip of the tongue and then spits it out without swallowing anything.

If the fasting person forgets and swallows it by mistake, there is no sin on him, and he should complete the fast. This is because the general rule of Shari`ah is that the person who forgets is excused.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever forgets that he is fasting and eats or drinks something, let him complete his fast, for it is Allah Who has fed him and given him to drink.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah Almighty knows best.

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