Question # 67: Narrated Aisha (ra): The Prophet (saws) used to kiss her and suck her tongue when he was fasting. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 2378) Is this hadith authentic?

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).

Dear questioner,

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 hadith mentioned by the questioner is not authentic – it is categorized as Da’if (weak) by Shaykh al-Albani. Secondly, it is detestable for a fasting husband to kiss his wife if he fears that he may be aroused because of that. In fact, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) allowed only an old man to kiss and embrace his wife while fasting and did not allow a young man to do that, because he considered what was better for each of them in each case.

Long Answer: The first portion of the hadith of kissing A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) in the state of fasting is authentic and its reference appears in several authentic ahadith. However, the hadith mentioned by the questioner is not authentic – it is categorized as Da’if (weak) by Shaykh al-Albani. Ibn Al-A’rabi said: “It has been conveyed to me from Abu Dawud that he said: “This chain is not Sahih” i.e, Da’if (Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ziyad, known as Ibn Al-A’rabi was among the students of Abu Dawud) (English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 3)

[Nevertheless,] it is detestable for a fasting husband to kiss his wife if he fears that he may be aroused because of that. Yet he can do so if he is safe from such arousal.

It has been narrated by Al-Bukhari that Umm Salamah, (رضي الله عنه) the Prophet’s wife, said, “The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) would kiss me while he was fasting.” It has also been narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim that ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) said, “The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to kiss and embrace (his wives) while he was fasting, and he had more power to control his desires than any one of you.”

It is very important in passing this to stress the fact that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), the best instructor for Muslims, allowed an old man to kiss and embrace his wife while fasting but he did not allow a young man to do that, because he considered what was better for each of them in each case. It has been narrated by Abu Dawud on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) that “a man asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about a fasting person’s kissing and embracing (his wife) and he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) permitted him to do so. Another man came and asked him (about the same thing) but he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) forbade him to do that. The one to whom he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) gave permission was an old man and the one whom he forbade was a young man.” (Graded Hasan)

Significant still, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made a fasting person’s kissing his wife similar to his rinsing his mouth. (Narrated by Ahmad and others on the authority Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah) This means that as rinsing one’s mouth while fasting does not affect fasting, kissing one’s wife while fasting does not affect it either.

To this effect, At-Tirmidhi has stated in his Sunan that scholars have differed about a fasting person’s kissing and embracing his wife: some of the Prophet’s Companions (رضي الله عنه) view that an old man can kiss his wife while fasting, unlike a young man, because the former – and not the latter – can be safe from sexual arousal because of kissing. At-Tirmidhi adds that some scholars maintain that kissing reduces a fasting person’s reward yet it does not break his fast, and they allow a fasting person to kiss his wife if he can control himself otherwise he should avoid kissing. This view is attributed to Ash-Shafi’i and others. (‘Al-Fiqhul-Muyassaru minal-Qur’ani was-Sunnah’ by Muhammad M. ‘Abdul-Fattah)

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.

Wassalaam