Question # 401: Assalamu alaikum, I have a question about fasting. my gums tend to bleed sometimes and is especially problematic during Ramadan as swallowing blood can break the fast. To stop the bleeding of the gums, usually I would spit until my mouth is very dry and that still wouldn’t stop the bleeding, but sometimes I put cold water in my mouth and spit it out and that does make a difference, as in the bleeding stops for a while. But last year, nothing would work, so I created a buffer, meaning I got tissue paper folded it a few times and put it in my mouth and pressed it tightly between my teeth and that would cease the bleeding (I did a similar thing when I had a tooth extraction at dentist and to stop the bleeding I was given a small cotton pad wrapped around a bandage to bite on to cease bleeding) . Having put the tissue in my mouth in Ramzan whilst fasting, would that have invalidated the fasts?
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: The use of tissue in the mouth to stop bleeding by a fasting person does not invalidate the fast unless he/she swallows the blood or any part of the tissue intentionally. Also please refer to Question # 206: Blood coming from mouth while fasting.
Long Answer: If a fasting person is bleeding in his mouth, he is obliged to spit it out and it is not permissible for him to swallow it …Undoubtedly, swallowing blood that comes from the gums invalidates the fast and it is not overlooked like saliva; rather, it is just like a drink… [However,] if one swallows blood unintentionally without negligence in spitting it, then his fast would be valid.
Imam Ibn Qudamah [from the Hanbali school] said: ‘If a fasting person is bleeding in his mouth or has vomit, and he swallows it, his fast is broken even if it is a small amount, because the ruling that applies to other apparent things apply to the mouth as well. In principle, anything that goes through the mouth breaks the fast, with the exception of saliva as it is difficult to avoid it.’ The Shafi’i and Maliki schools are of the same view as the Hanbali school. … [The Hanafis] are of the opinion that if the quantity of saliva is more than blood the fast does not become null; otherwise, the fast becomes null. The first opinion is the correct one, i.e. if he swallows the blood, he breaks the fast, if he spits it out his fast is correct.
Besides, [using the tissue in the mouth to stop bleeding] …does not invalidate fasting as this is not eating nor drinking and it is not like eating or drinking. In addition, it does not invalidate the fast … as long as you do not swallow it. Since fasting is not invalidated by putting water in the mouth when rinsing, [use of tissue in the mouth to stop bleeding] does not invalidate fasting.
(The above reply is based on various answers provided by Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar on similar topics)
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.