[Q-ID0496] Do injections and IV drips nullify the Fast?

QUESTION:

What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: that does the fast become invalid from having an injection or a IV drip? Please answer providing proofs because many people are confused including myself.

Questioner: Hussain from UK

ANSWER:

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

The fast does not become invalid from having an injection or using a drip, whether it is through the veins or the muscles because it is well known rule of Fiqh that whatever reaches the stomach through a route invalidates the fast. Whereas, if something reaches the stomach or enters the body through pores instead of a route, then the fast does not become invalid, and the medicine in injections or a drip do in fact enter the body through pores, and the fast will not become invalid from this. Three proofs will be presented regarding this.

1. The fast does not become invalid from a snake bite, even though the poison from a snake bite enters the body, but despite this even then, the respected scholars of Fiqh have not regarded this as something which invalidates the fast. Rather, they have included this amongst those legally valid excuses due to which it is permissible to break the fast.

It has been mentioned in al-Durr al-Mukhtār, stating that,

فَصْلٌ فِي الْعَوَارِضِ الْمُبِيحَةِ لِعَدَمِ الصَّوْمِ وَقَدْ ذَكَرَ الْمُصَنِّفُ مِنْهَا خَمْسَةً وَبَقِيَ الْإِكْرَاهُ وَخَوْفُ هَلَاكٍ أَوْ نُقْصَانُ عَقْلٍ وَلَوْ بِعَطَشٍ أَوْ جُوعٍ شَدِيدٍ وَلَسْعَةِ حَيَّةٍ

 And the author has mentioned 5 from the legally valid reasons to break a fast, and the remaining are being forced, fear of death or the fear of one becoming insane, even if it’s due to extreme hunger or thirst, and also due to a snake bite.

[al-Durr al-Mukhtār ma’ Hāshiyah al-Tahtāwī, Vol. 1, Pg. 438]

‘Allāmah Sayyid Ahmad Tahtāwī, may Allāh have mercy on him, states in the explanation of ‘snake bite’ that,

اِنْ الرجل اِذَا لَدَغَتْہٗ حَیَّۃُ فَاَفْطَرَ لِیَشْرَبَ الدَوَاءَ

If someone is bit by a snake, it is permissible for such a person to break the fast in order to drink medicine.

[Hāshiyah Tahtāwī ‘alā al-Durr al-Mukhtār, Vol. 1, Pg. 438]

It is clear from the aforementioned statement that the fast does not become invalid from a snake bite, rather the fast breaks from the medicine which is drank after because snake poison enters the body through pores, nor through a route therefore the fast will not become invalid.

2. The medicine via an injection does not reach the stomach, rather it’s effect and the fast does not become invalid from the effect of medicine reaching the stomach. If we agree that the medicine is what reaches the stomach, even then this medicine reaches the veins and muscles through pores and it has been mentioned before that it an accepted principle of Hanafī Fiqh that whatever enters the stomach via pores does not invalidate the fast. Just like applying oil, even if its taste is felt in the throat, because it does not reach the throat through any route, rather it reaches the throat via pores, just as it is written in Durr Mukhtār,

(أَوْ أَدْهَنَ أَوْ اكْتَحَلَ أَوْ احْتَجَمَ) وَإِنْ وَجَدَ طَعْمَهُ ای طَعْمَ الدُّهْنِ فِي حَلْقِهِ لِأَنَّ الْمَوْجُودَ فِي حَلْقِهِ أَثَرٌ دَاخِلٌ مِنْ الْمَسَامِّ الَّذِي هُوَ خَلَلُ الْبَدَنِ وَالْمُفْطِرُ إنَّمَا هُوَ الدَّاخِلُ مِنْ الْمَنَافِذِ

If someone applied oil, surma [kohl] or had cupping done, such a persons fast will not become invalid, even if the taste of the oil can be felt in the throat, even then the fast will not become invalid because it’s effect reaches the throat through pores. Whereas the fast becomes invalid when something enters via the routes.

[Radd al-Muhtār, Bāb Mā Yufsidu al-Sawm wa Mā Lā Yufsiduh, Vol. 2, Pg. 396]

3. It’s mentioned in our books of Fiqh that the fast does not become invalid from doing ghusl [taking a bath/shower], even if any coolness is felt from it. Although, by doing ghusl, water does enter the skin via very minute holes, meaning, it goes inside the body via pores and the fast does not become invalid from this.

Just as it is mentioned in Fatawā Shāmī,

لِاتِّفَاقِ عَلَى أَنَّ مَنْ اغْتَسَلَ فِي مَاءٍ فَوَجَدَ بَرْدَهُ فِي بَاطِنِهِ أَنَّهُ لَا يُفْطِرُ

It is agreed upon that if someone does ghusl in water and such a person feels coolness in the stomach from it, even then his fast will not become invalid.

[Radd al-Muhtār, Bāb Mā Yufsidu al-Sawm wa Mā Lā Yufsiduh, Vol. 2, Pg. 396]

It is clear from these proofs that the fast does not become invalid via pores and there are several respected scholars and great muftis who are of this opinion, just like it is mentioned in Fatawā Faqeeh e Millat that the fast does not become invalid from having an injection, regardless of whether it is injected in the flesh or the veins. And a little further on, it states that because it’s medicine does not enter via any route, rather inside the whole body via pores.

[Fatawā Faqeeh e Millat, Vol. 1, Pg. 344]

Likewise, medicine which is injected into the veins goes on further to enter more thinner veins which then, via pores, reach the stomach. Therefore, the fast does not become invalid from having an injection or drip through the veins. Yes, it is better to avoid having an injection whilst fasting and one should not have an injection or drip put on unless it is an absolute need.

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 Haider Ali

Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0496] Do injections and IV Drips nullify the Fast?

Also see:

[Q-ID0349] I have Diabetes & receive insulin injections – do I have to fast?

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