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1. Eating and drinking

Ruling 1552. If a fasting person who is aware of the fact that he is fasting intentionally eats or drinks something, his fast becomes invalid, irrespective of whether the thing he ate or drank was something normal – such as bread and water – or not – such as earth and the sap of a tree – and irrespective of whether it was a little or a lot. In fact, even if one takes a toothbrush out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth and swallows the moisture, his fast becomes invalid unless the moisture on the toothbrush was so little that it could be said to have disappeared in his saliva.

Ruling 1553. If someone realises while eating that it is the time of ṣubḥ, he must take the food out of his mouth; and in the event that he intentionally swallows it, his fast is invalid. Furthermore, according to the rules that will be mentioned later, kaffārah also becomes obligatory for him.

Ruling 1554. If a fasting person eats or drinks something inadvertently (sahwan), his fast does not become invalid.

Ruling 1555. Injections and intravenous drips do not invalidate a fast even if the former is an energy injection and the latter a glucose-saline drip. Similarly, a spray used for asthma does not invalidate a fast provided that the medicine only enters the lungs. Applying medicine [such as drops] to the eyes and ears does not invalidate a fast either, even if its taste reaches the throat. Likewise, if medicine is applied in the nose, it does not invalidate a fast as long as it does not reach the throat.

Ruling 1556. If a fasting person intentionally swallows something that has remained in between his teeth, his fast becomes invalid.

Ruling 1557. If someone wishes to keep a fast, it is not necessary for him to use a toothpick before the time of ṣubḥ prayers. However, if one knows that some food that has remained in between his teeth will be swallowed during the day, he must use a toothpick to remove it.

Ruling 1558. Swallowing saliva does not invalidate a fast even though it may have collected in one’s mouth due to thinking about food and suchlike.

Ruling 1559. There is no problem in swallowing the mucus of the head and chest as long as it has not entered the cavity of the mouth. If it enters the mouth cavity and is swallowed, the fast does not become invalid, although the recommended precaution is that one should not swallow it.

Ruling 1560. If a fasting person becomes so thirsty that he fears he may die of thirst, sustain some harm, or fall into hardship that he cannot bear, he can drink water to the extent that his fear of these things is averted; but in this case, his fast becomes invalid. In fact, in the case of fear of death and suchlike, it is obligatory for one to drink. If it is the month of Ramadan, then based on obligatory precaution, the person must not drink an amount that is more than necessary, and for the rest of the day he must refrain from doing anything else that invalidates a fast.

Ruling 1561. Chewing food for feeding a child or a bird, and tasting food [for example, to check that the right amount of salt has been used] and suchlike – which usually does not cause the food to reach the throat – does not invalidate a fast even if the food happens to reach the throat accidentally. However, if one knows from the outset that such food will reach the throat yet intentionally does it, his fast becomes invalid and he must keep a qaḍāʾ fast for it and kaffārah is also obligatory for him.

Ruling 1562.* One cannot break his fast in the month of Ramadan on account of feeling weak, even if the weakness caused is severe. However, if one’s weakness is to such an extent that normally it could not be endured, then based on obligatory precaution, one is permitted to eat or drink to the extent that is necessary. In such a case, the person must abstain for the rest of the day from the things that invalidate a fast, and he must keep a qaḍāʾ fast for it after the month of Ramadan; however, kaffārah will not be obligatory for him.[1]

[1] The underlined words are new to this edition of Islamic Laws. In summary, a person may break their fast because of weakness only if its severity is to a level that cannot normally be endured. Even then, the person can only eat or drink to the necessary extent. Furthermore, the person must fast for the rest of the day and keep a qaḍāʾ fast after the month of Ramadan.
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