Applying “Vicks” while fasting

Applying “Vicks” while fasting
Questions & Answers

Applying “Vicks” while fasting

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  • masjidmuhammad
  • Mar 22, 2021

Question:
A person applies “Vicks” while he was fasting. Does his fast break?

Answer:

The effect of Vicks reaches the brain, and not the actual substance.
The fast will therefore not break. For example, a fasting person applies
antimony (surmah). The effect of it is felt in the throat. Similarly,
applying oil to the head has the effect of cooling the eyes. Despite this,
the fast does not break. In order for a fast to break, it is necessary for
the actual substance to enter. For example, when smoke is
intentionally inhaled down the throat, the fast will break. This is
because the actual smoke went down his throat.

We learn from the above that the fast breaks with the actual smoke
going down, not by the mere sniffing of the fragrance. Vicks is like a
fragrance; the actual substance does not enter.

Kitab al-Fatawa:
Question: Is it permissible to apply Zandu balm and other similar
medical ointments while fasting? The effects of these medications
seem to reach the brain.

Answer: A fast only breaks when a substance in itself enters through
one of the natural entry points into the stomach or brain. If a
substance enters the brain through the pores of the body, the fast does
not break.

If, instead of the actual substance, its effect enters the body, the fast
does not break. When an ointment or balm is applied, it is only the
effect of that substance which enters the body, and not the actual
substance. Furthermore, it goes through the pores of the body. The
fast will therefore not break.1

Allah ta‛ala knows best.

REFERENCE:

1 Kitab al-Fatawa, vol. 3, p. 396.

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