Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: My friend has a chronic problem with constipation and hernias. One of the ways he has found to help treat his condition is to use a bidet to thoroughly clean the area after every bowel movement. He uses the stream of water on a really high setting for a couple minutes and it enters his anus, and then afterwards he pushes the water back out. It acts almost as a homemade enema.
However, during the last few days of Ramadan this year he read that enemas are one of the things that invalidate the fast.
1) does this apply to how my friend has been treating himself for his constipation and hernias?
2) if so, is he required to make up all his fasts? It would be 23 days unfortunately, and he is already making up fasts from previous years before he learned how to do ghusl properly.
3) in general, what are the rulings for constipation, hernias and wudu? My friend has a hard time knowing if his anal bleeding is from the inside or the outside. Sometimes it’s not possible for him to keep checking and wait until the bleeding stops completely to pray because of work schedule, etc. What can he do?
My friend is feeling frustrated and discouraged because as he learns more about the fiqh rulings, he realizes what he had been doing in the past may not be valid. Any advice about this issue would be much appreciated.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
(1) The fast would be invalidated only if the water went up into the backside a distance of a suppository, which classically was about 3cm or so. So inshaAllah his fasts are fine.
Having said that, he should be wary of this ruling and try to make sure water or a wet finger does not go that far up into his backside when he is fasting. [Shurunbulali, Ascent to Felicity]
(2) It seems that he would not have to make up any fasts. Moreover, I don’t see why he would have other old makeup fasts due to performing ghusl incorrectly — incorrect ghusl does not invalidate the fast.
(3) After using the bathroom, he should clean the area and place toilet paper on the anus to stop the bleeding. He can then go about his work for some time to make sure it has stopped, after which he can go ahead and make wudu and pray.
If the bleeding does not stop for an entire prayer time, then he would qualify as being chronically excused.
Please see related answers on its conditions, such as:
And Allah knows best.