[Q-ID0327] Whilst fasting does inhaling the fragrance of air freshener invalidate the fast?

QUESTION:

What do the scholars and muftīs of the mighty Sharī’ah say regarding the following matters:

[1]: Whilst in the state of fasting, is inhaling the fragrance of air freshener in the same ruling as inhaling the smoke of incense sticks i.e. if one intentionally inhales the smoke, will his fast be void?

[2]: In the books of Fiqh this condition is mentioned that if somebody was to do this [inhale smoke] through his own action, then the fast will break. Does this mean that if Zaid was to light an incense stick himself and later on, the smoke was to enter his throat unintentionally, that his fast would break because he intentionally lit the incense stick?

Questioner: Adam from England

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

Inhaling such fragrance which is spread prior to the prayer in the Masājid of England nowadays i,e. air freshener, will not break the fast because it is similar to perfumed air.

Likewise, when the fragrance of incense sticks mixes with the air and is reaching you, inhaling its fragrance whether intentionally or unintentionally will not break the fast. However, if one remembers that he is in a state of fasting and intentionally inhales its smoke, then the fast will definitely break.

Just as it is mentioned in Bahār-e-Sharī’at that if an incense stick, etc. was burning and someone brought one’s mouth close and intentionally inhaled its smoke into one’s nose, the fast will break.

[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 1, part 4, pg 982]

Upon release, the fragrance of the air freshener mixes with the air, thus inhaling its fragrance will not break the fast, because this fragrance is similar to perfumed air, whereas the smoke of an incense stick is composed of perceptible bodies, and inhaling it intentionally causes the fast to break.

‘Allāmah Shāmī (may Allāh shower him with mercy) mentions in Radd al-Muhtār that,

“وَلَا يُتَوَهَّمُ أَنَّهُ كَشَمِّ الْوَرْدِ وَمَائِهِ وَالْمِسْكِ لِوُضُوحِ الْفَرْقِ بَيْنَ هَوَاءٍ تَطَيَّبَ بِرِيحِ الْمِسْكِ وَشِبْهِهِ وَبَيْنَ جَوْهَرِ دُخَانٍ وَصَلَ إلَى جَوْفِهِ بِفِعْلِهِ”

“It should not be conjectured that it [smoke] is like inhaling the fragrance of rose or rose-water due to the clear difference between air which is perfumed by musk or its like, and the perceptible body [of smoke] that reaches his stomach due to his own action.”

[al-Durr al-Mukhtār wa Radd al-Muhtār, vol 3, pg 620]

Thus, it is understood that even intentionally inhaling perfumed air will not break the fast, due to it resembling air, and like this, if the fragrance of an air freshener mixed with the air and reached the nose or was intentionally inhaled, in both cases, the fast will not break, in fact, doing such is not even disliked (makrūh), just as it is mentioned in Bahār-e-Sharī’at that smelling a rose or musk, etc. applying oil to the beard or moustache, or applying kuhl (antimony) is not makrūh.

[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 1, part 4, pg 997]

Yes, if someone places the air freshener can close to his nose and inhales the white vapour that it releases, then his fast will definitely become void, because this vapour is composed of perceptible bodies, and in this situation the vapour will enter due to his own action.

It is stated in al-Durr al-Mukhtār with Radd al-Muhtār that,

“لَوْ أَدْخَلَ حَلْقَهُ الدُّخَانَ أَفْطَرَ أَيَّ دُخَانٍ كَانَ بِأَيِّ صُورَةٍ كَانَ الْإِدْخَالُ ، حَتَّى لَوْ تَبَخَّرَ بِبَخُورٍ وَآوَاهُ إلَى نَفَسِهِ وَاشْتَمَّهُ ذَاكِرًا لِصَوْمِهِ أَفْطَرَ”

“If smoke was entered into the throat intentionally, the fast will become void if he remembered he was fasting, regardless of the source of the smoke and the method of it being entered, for example, if it was coming from bakhūr (a type of incense) and he bought it close to himself and sniffed its smoke, then the fast will break.”

[al-Durr al-Mukhtār wa Raddal-Muhtār, vol 3, pg 420]

[2]: You have misunderstood the condition “ بِفِِعْلِهِِ ” [by his own action] which is present in the books of fiqh (jurisprudence) whereas, its meaning is that if one places an incense stick close to his nose and intentionally inhales itss fragrance, then the fast will be void.

It is for this reason that ‘Allāmah Shāmī (may Allāh shower him with mercy) has stipulated the condition of “وَاشْتَمَّهِ ” [and he smelt it] which means ‘to inhale intentionally’. He states that,

“لَوْ تَبَخَّرَ بِبَخُورٍ وَآوَاهُ إلَى نَفَسِهِ وَاشْتَمَّهُ ذَاكِرًا لِصَوْمِهِ أَفْطَرَ”

“If someone burnt some bakhūr, then bought it close to himself and intentionally inhaled its smoke whilst remembering his fast, then he has broken his fast.”

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri

Translated by Zameer Ahmed

Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0327] Does inhaling the fragrance of air freshener invalidate the fast?

Also see:

[Q-ID0184] Does smoking and using an inhaler invalidate the fast?

[Q-ID0457] Does using an Asthma inhaler nullify the Fast?

[Q-ID0478] Does inhaling steam when having a shower break the Fast?

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