Fatwa ID: 05412
Answered by: Mufti Muhammad Imad Ali
My question is regarding the treatment of an Anal fissure (a tear in the anal passage) which has developed due to my ongoing long-term stomach issues.
With the fissure, it is an extremely painful and difficult symptom to manage especially as it has reoccurred a few times. My worry is that for the first time it has occurred so close to Ramadhan.
The key to treating it is through ensuring bowel movements are soft, which means ensuring the body is well hydrated and adhering to a very strict diet. This will obviously pose a slight issue during Ramadhan but I do feel I can adjust sufficiently to be able to fast.
My main concern is that the area around the anus and approximately 1 inch inside needs medication and lubrication with oils to ensure the skin heals and to prevent bowel motions irritating and re-opening the wound.
The question is what sort of medication I would be permitted to place there if any without breaking my fast.
Natural oils such as coconut oils and aloe vera gels have worked best for promoting healing and relief but another option is to utilize Vaseline.
Would any of these be permitted?
Also, aggravation of the wound over a short period of time can reopen the wound. So would it only be permitted for me to apply the medication when it is guaranteed to cause damage or can I utilize it as a preventative measure also?
In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Things that break one fast but require only makeup:
- Anything put by force into the mouth of a fasting person.
- Water going down the throat whilst gargling, (whilst being conscious of one’s fast).
- To vomit mouthful intentionally or to return vomit down the throat.
- Intentionally swallowing a pebble, piece of paper, or any item that is not used as food or medicine.
- Swallowing something edible, equal to or bigger than a grain of gram which was stuck between the teeth. However, if it is first taken out of the mouth and swallowed, it will break the fast whether it is smaller or bigger than the size of a gram.
- Dripping oil into the ear canal (F: such that it goes beyond the eardrum).
- Inhaling snuff into the nostrils.
- Swallowing the blood from the gums if the color of the blood is more than the saliva with which it is mixed.
To eat and drink forgetting that one is fasting and thereafter thinking that the fast is broken, to eat and drink again. [F: There are three ways something can enter your body cavity while fasting:
- This breaks the fast;
- This does not, because of the Prophetic (Allah bless him & give him peace) guidance that it does not. (Otherwise, legal reasoning (qiyas) alone would have indicated that it does.)
- Mistakenly/Accidentally. This breaks the fast. An example: what you mentioned; or if one ate thinking that fajr time had not come in or maghrib time come in, when the contrary was true.]
To eat and drink after subha sadiq or to break the fast before sunset due to a cloudy sky or a faulty watch, etc., and then realizing one’s fault.
N.B. Any fast other than a Ramadan one, whether broken intentionally or with a good and valid reason, makes only a makeup necessary [F: this is true even for non-obligatory fasts, because of the legal principle in the Hanafi school that there is no kaffara for breaking any fast besides that of Ramadan.
Things that make both makeup and expiation necessary
(Note that this applies only to a current Ramadan fast only)
- Intentionally eating, drinking, or breaking the fast in any other manner, such as smoking, without a valid reason (f: that is, deliberately, while aware) will make both qada and kaffara necessary (F: unless there is a legal excuse that wards off the necessity of expiation, such as it not being a complete offense, such as in the case of ejaculation through any means other than actual intercourse).
- Applying kohl (antimony or surma) into the eye or rubbing oil on the head and then, thinking that the fast is broken, to eat and drink intentionally.
- To drink any kind of medicine intentionally (when one is not seriously sick). (Ta’leemul Haq Chapter of Sawm p: 158 to 160)
Regarding your question treatment for anal fissure does not break one’s fast as long as the medicine does not reach the stomach and the medicine prescribed will also be permissible to use. Also, the Jurists such as Mufti Rafi Uthmani (D.B) have advised that the views of the E.N.T experts of our time should be taken in such matters.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Mufti Muhammad Imad Ali
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham