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Law of Brushing Teeth During Fasting

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For Muslims, the month of Ramadan must be a very special and is expected. The month of Ramadan is holy, the time when the Qur’an was first sent down to earth. In this month of Ramadan Muslims are not only required to just do fasting. But also have to avoid certain things, such as husband and wife-related intimacy, indulgence in words (like gossip), doing dirty deeds (watching porn) and so forth. Then what about the law brushing teeth when fasting?


You must often wonder, actually whether to brush your teeth during the day during Ramadan? Because the mouth becomes smelly in times of fasting and the edges make us so inferior to chat with others. But even if forced to brush the teeth we are even afraid it will make fasting void. So what we need to do? Here’s an explanation of the law of brushing teeth when fasting in Ramadan.

Read also :

The Primity of Brushing Teeth (Having siwak)

As we know that Islam loves cleanliness. Even mentioned that cleanliness is part of the Faith. And brushing your teeth is one way to keep yourself clean. With regular brushing teeth, oral health will be maintained, we avoid the risk of cavities, and the freshness and smell of the mouth will also be maintained.

Once upon a time in the Prophet era, he brushed his teeth using siwak. Siwak wood is often also referred to as miswak, which is a root or branch that comes from the arak tree (Salvadora persica). The use of siwak is highly recommended in Islam. As explained in the Hadith narration of Nasa’i, Aisyah radliallahu ‘anha said that the Prophet sallallaahu’ alaihi wa sallam said:

السِّوَاكُ مَطْهَرَةٌ لِلْفَمِ ، مَرْضَاةٌ لِلرَّبِّ

Having siwak can cleanse the mouth and bring Allah’s pleasure.” (Narrated by Nasa’i and al-Albani)

It is also explained in the Hadith of Bukhori and Muslim, Aisyah once said: I saw the Messenger of Allah saw the siwak, so I know that he likes it, then I said: “I bring the siwak for you?” So the Prophet hinted with his head (nod) that is a sign of agreement. (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

In addition to cleaning the mouth, Islam also teaches its people also always be pure before running worship to avoid unclean. So we must know how to perform a proper ablution – how to take a bath.

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Toothbrush (Having siwak) During Fasting Based on Islam Scholars

Currently the existence of siwak is rare, then people replace it with brush and toothpaste. Thus the scholars say that the law of brushing when the ramadhan is no different from having siwak. Some of them say that the law of brushing when fasting is allowed, but there are others who consider it as makruh.

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  • Mubah

From Abu Hurairah radhiyallahu ‘anhu, the Prophet sallallaahu’ alaihi wa sallam said:

لَوْلاَ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَى أُمَّتِى لأَمَرْتُهُمْ بِالسِّوَاكِ عِنْدَ كُلِّ وُضُوءٍ

If it did not incriminate my people I would have them commanded to having siwak every time doing wudoo.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

From the above hadith, we are well aware that the Prophet Muhammad ‘alaihi wa sallam encouraged his people to having siwak every day, even as often as possible. This command also does not exclude certain months (such as the month of Ramadan).

Which means the order is general for every month, whether fasting or not. Other hadiths narrated by Tirmidzi also reinforce the law of brushing when fasting. This hadith reads:

رَأَيْتُ النَّبِىَّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- مَا لاَ أُحْصِى يَتَسَوَّكُ وَهُوَ صَائِمٌ

From the companions of the Prophet, he said: I have seen the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam having siwak several times so that I can not count the number, even though at that time he was fasting.” (Narrated by Tirmidzi)

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  • Makruh

Not all scholars agree on opinions that allow to brush teeth at the time of fasting. Some other scholars say that brushing your teeth when fasting is makruh or should be avoided. Sheikh Muhammad Nawawi Al-Bantani in Nihayatuz Zain said that:

There are thirteen things that makruh in fasting. One of them has a kiwak after the zhuhur,“(Nihayatuz Zein fi Irsyadil Mubtadi’in, Al-Maarif print, page 195).

Brushing when fasting is considered makruh because it is feared  that it will cause the entry of water into the oral cavity, so it can break the fast. Another opinion was expressed by Al-Habib Abdul bin Husein bin Thahir in his book Is’adur Rafiq wa Bughyatut Tashdiq:

For people who do fasting, it is makruh to having siwak after zhuhur based on the hadith, ‘Changes in the smell of the mouth of the fasting is more fragrant in the sight of Allah on the Day of Judgment than the smell of oil misik,‘” (Is’adur Rafiq, print Al-Hidayah, page 117).

Read also:

Ramadhan Fasting Tips for Patient with Ulcer

What If Using Toothpaste?

The debate of scholar is not limited to brushing teeth. But also the procedures in rubbing it, whether to use pasta or not. Because this toothpaste has a taste and can be felt by the tongue.

If we are not be careful, of course it can go with saliva into the oral cavity. Therefore, the scholars tried to study the laws of using toothpaste at the time of fasting.

  • Allowed

Described by Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Abdillah bin Baz, that using toothpaste during fasting is not a problem as long as it is not swallowed in the esophagus. As well as allowed to having siwak for people who fasted in the morning or afternoon. “(Fatwa Ramadan, Juz 2, page 495).

  • Should be avoided

Another statement spoken by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Shalih al-Utsaimin, said that brushing with toothpaste while fasting is permissible. As long as the pasta is not swallowed into the body.

Nevertheless he advocated not to use it. Because toothpaste has a taste and could have entered into the stomach unnoticed. Thus, although it is permissible we should avoid this toothpaste. That way, we mean to keep ourselves from the things that break the fasting (Fatwa Ramadan, Juz 2, page 496).

Procedures for Brushing Teeth in the Month of Ramadan

Actually we do not have to worry about bad breath at the time of fasting. Because although the smell is not delicious for humans, but in the sight of Allah on the Day of Judgment, the aroma of the mouth of the fasting people is more fragrant than kasturi oil. As explained in the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah which reads:

وَلَخُلُوفُ فِيهِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ

The smell of the mouth of the fasting people is more fragrant in the sight of Allah than the smell of the oil of the kasturi.” (Abu Hurairah)

To brush your teeth during Ramadan is definitely not forbidden, because it also aims to maintain healthy teeth. However, there are certain times that should be avoided for brushing activity. Well, here are some of the best practices:

  • It is suggested to brush your teeth after a break-fasting because at that moment, food and drink may enter the stomach so we do not have to worry about swallowing water or pasta into the esophagus. (Also read: Menu breaking fast-breaking fast)
  • Do not forget to always brush your teeth after each meal, precisely at dawn (but before adzan). By doing that way mouth will be clean from the leftovers.

When deciding to brush teeth during the day (when fasting):

  1. Then brush slowly to avoid gums scratched and bleeding. If this happens then immediately vomit the blood
  2. If using toothpaste, it should be a little to avoid the risk of swallowing.
  3. Murmuring slowly in the mouth to prevent water from entering the oral cavity

Thus the law of brushing when fasting is based on the opinion of the ‘ulama. There is no prohibition or fatwa that says that brushing teeth breaks the fasting. So if we want to do it allowed with a note should brush slowly so that water and toothpaste do not go in the mouth. As the hadith of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam:

بَالِغْ فِى الاِسْتِنْشَاقِ إِلاَّ أَنْ تَكُونَ صَائِمً

Be earnest in doing istinsyaq (putting water into your nose), unless you are fasting.

Hopefully this info can help and provide enlightenment for all of us. And let us do many practices of istighfar, to follow the pillars of faith, pillars of Islam, Faith in Islam, maintain the Relation of Morals With the Faith of Islam and Ihsan, and Relationship of Morals with Faith.

Wallahu A’lam Bishawab.

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Kategori : Islamic Law