Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.): Perfumes, Incense, Kohl & Enemas Do Not Break the Fast

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) said, “Smelling perfumes does not harm the fast.”  Expanding upon the subject, he says, “As for kohl injections, drops dropped into the urethra, enemas for medicinal purposes, and treatment for brain and stomach injuries, there is some dispute among the scholars.  Some say that none of these break the fast, some say that all except kohl would break the fast, while others say all except the drops break the fast, or that the kohl or drops do not break the fast but that the rest do.”

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) continued, “The first opinion on this question is preferred.  The most apparent conclusion is that none of them break the fast.  The fast is part of the religion of Islam.  Both the layman and specialist must be knowledgeable about it.  If the preceding actions were forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.) to the fasting person because they would ruin the fast, then it would have been obligatory upon the Messenger to clarify that fact.  If he had done so, his companions would have known about it and would have passed it on to the rest of the Muslims.  Since no one has related that from the Prophet, neither with an authentic or a weak hadits, nor in mursal or musnad form then it must be the case that such acts do not void,” referring to the fast.

He also said, “If the ruling is one that would affect everyone or everyday matters, then the Prophet (s.a.w.) would have clarified it to a general audience.  It is well-known that kohl was in common use as were oils, washing, incense, and perfume.  If they broke the fast, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would have mentioned them, as he mentioned other things.  Since he did not do so, they belong to the class of perfumes, incense, and dyes.  Incense goes through the nose and enters the head and lands on the body.  Dyes or oils are absorbed by the skin and the body is refreshed by it.  The case of perfumes is similar.  Since these have not been prohibited to the fasting person, it points to the fact that using them is permissible for the fasting person and so is kohl.”


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