Question # 539: Assalamu Alaikum I have a very complex case of Deviated Septum. I need surgery to correct it. I use Nasal drops and sprays in a small amount to be able to Breath. I don’t use it to swallow. Without it, I can’t breathe well. I saw a post elsewhere saying it invalidates fasting again another post saying it does not spoil the fast once one does not swallow. Does nasal spray or drop In a very minute amount spoil ones fast?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: If the nose drops are small in quantity such that they will not reach the throat, then there is nothing wrong with that, but if they do reach the throat and can be tasted, then the fast is invalidated and has to be made up. Nevertheless, if the sickness is so bad that one cannot do without nasal spray/drops during Ramadan, it is permissible not to fast if fasting will cause him harm or unbearable hardship. In that case, he comes under the same ruling as an older man (who cannot fast) and has to give fidyah (feed one poor person for each day).
Long Answer: It is proven that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Snuff water up into the nose deeply unless you are fasting.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Irwa’al-Ghaleel).
This hadith indicates that it is not permissible for the fasting person to let the water reach his throat via the nose. Based on that, if the nose drops are small in amount such that they will not reach the throat, then there is nothing wrong with that, but if they do reach the throat and can be tasted, then the fast is invalidated and has to be made up.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: “The same applies to eye drops and ear drops. They do not break the fast according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, but if he finds the taste of the drops in his throat, he should make up the fast in order to be on the safe side, but it is not obligatory, because these are not openings through which food and drink enter the body. But nose drops are not permissible because the nose is an opening through which food and drink may enter the body. Hence the Prophet (saws) said: “Snuff water up into the nose deeply unless you are fasting.” The one who does that has to make up the fast because of this hadith and similar reports if he finds the taste of that in his throat.”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Fatawa Ramadan: If nose drops reach the stomach or the throat, then they break the fast, because the Prophet (saws) said, according to the hadith of Laqeet ibn Sabrah: “Snuff water up into the nose deeply, unless you are fasting.” So, it is not permissible for the fasting person to put drops in his nose that can reach his stomach or his throat, but as for nose drops that will not reach them, they do not break the fast…”
Based on this, the fasting person should not use nose drops unless it is too difficult for him to go without them, in which case he should use them, but he should be careful not to let any of that reach his throat. If he swallows any of that, he should make up for that day.
If these drops reach the throat, in the sense that the sick person can detect their taste in his throat, and he is not able to do without them during the day in Ramadan, and he does not have any suitable alternative, and his sickness is one from which there is no hope of recovery, then, in that case, he comes under the same ruling as an old man (who is unable to fast), and he has to feed the poor only, because Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g., an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)” (Soorah al-Baqarah, 2:184).
Ibn Qudamah said: In the case of the sick person who has no hope of recovery, he may not fast and should feed one poor person for each day because he comes under the same ruling as an old man. (al-Mughni)
(The above reply is based on various answers on similar topics provided by Islamqa.info)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.