Islam and the Quran

Does using inhalers break the fast?

Question: Does using inhalers as medication to cure asthma and many more diseases break one’s fast?

Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (T.P.R.A.) High Council of Religion has a ruling about the inhalers that are widely used by people who suffer from shortness of breath:

“Inhalers that are used to treat lung diseases spray very small amount, such as 1/20 ml into mouth, in one dose. Majority of this dose is absorbed and disappears in the mouth and bronchus walls. It is not clear whether the rest of it reaches the stomach with saliva. Comparing to the water remaining in mouth during ablution, it is clear that remainder of the inhaler is very little. However, the remainder of the water in mouth during ablution does not break the fast, even if it reaches the stomach. There is a hadith (Darimi, Fast, 21) and consensus of Islamic scholars about this.

Furthermore, it is inevitable that fiber and chemical remainders from miswak will reach the stomach, still it was stated in a sound Hadith (Bukhari, Fast, 27; Tirmidhi, Fast, 29) that Prophet Muhammad used miswak while fasting. In fact, according to Certainty is not overruled by doubt principle, if it is not clear that it reaches the stomach we cannot claim that it will break one’s fast.

Therefore, asthma patients with no other disease, and still being able to fast, can use the inhalers including oxygen in order to breathe easily. Those sprays won’t break their fast.”

 (‘22.09.2005’ dated decree under the heading ‘Inspection and Treatment Methods Which Break and Do Not Break the Fast’)

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