What do the scholars and muftis of the mighty Shari’ah say regarding the following matter, what is the ruling on brushing the teeth whilst fasting; in one fatwā it is stated that this is makrūh (disliked), if it is makrūh then what type of makrūh is it; makrūh tanzeehī (slightly disliked) or makrūh tahreemī (prohibitively disliked)?

Questioner: A brother from England


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

To brush the teeth without using toothpaste or tooth powder, whilst fasting, is permissible without any dislike. The use of toothpaste whilst brushing is not impermissible so long as there is certainty that no portion of the toothpaste or powder that is applied to the toothbrush will travel below the throat. However, the unnecessary use of toothpaste or powder whilst brushing is makrūh because toothpaste and tooth powder have a distinctive taste, and to taste something without reason is makrūh whilst fasting; and this means makrūh tanzeehī, just as it is stated in al-Durr al-Mukhtār:

“وَكُرِهَ لَهُ ذَوْقُ شَيْءٍ وَكَذَا مَضْغُهُ بِلَا عُذْرٍ”

[al-Durr al-Mukhtār wa Radd al-Muhtār, Kitāb al-Sawm, Bāb mā Yufsid al-Sawm wa mā lā Yufsiduh, Volume 3, pg 253]

Also, Sayyidī Imām Ahmad Razā Khān (may Allāh’s Mercy be upon him) states in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah:

“The use of tooth powder is not harām nor impermissible if he is convinced that any portion of it will not reach the throat, however, if there is no valid reason then there is definite dislike (karaahat)”  [Fatāwā Razawiyyah, Volume 10, pg 551]

Furthermore, in Radd al-Muhtār,‘Allāmah Shāmī explains the word “disliked (kuriha)” from al-Durr al-Mukhtār as follows:

“And it is apparent that the dislike in these matters is tanzeehī (minor/slight)”

[al-Durr al-Mukhtār wa Radd al-Muhtār, Kitāb al-Sawm, Bāb mā Yufsid al-Sawm wa mā lā Yufsiduh, Volume 3, pg 253]

However, it is better that toothpaste not be used when brushing, as there is a risk that a portion of it may go below the throat. If any portion of the toothpaste or it’s foam descends below the throat, the fast will become void.

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 answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0458] Will brushing my teeth break my Fast?

Also see:

[Q-ID0191] What is the ruling on the use of toothpaste whilst fasting?

[Q-ID0493] Does using mouthwash nullify the Fast?

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