Passionate Kissing While Fasting

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question: Does passionate kissing invalidate the fast? What about the hadith wherein the Prophet (Allah bless him) would kiss his wife passionately while fasting?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Indeed it is reported from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) that he would kiss his wife and our mother Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) passionately (by sucking on her tongue) whilst in the state of fasting. (Sunan Abu Dawud, no: 2378)

However, when I quoted this Hadith in the answer titled “Passionate kissing is also the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace)” I stated that please refer to the Fiqh of kissing during a fast. The reason being is that, according to the Fuqaha, the exchange of saliva through kissing will invalidate one’s fast.

The Hanafi jurists (fuqaha) state that non-sexual affectionate kissing, from which there is no fear of leading to intercourse or ejaculation, is allowed and not disliked. But, if one fears that kissing will lead to ejaculation or intercourse, then it will be disliked to kiss. However, one’s fast remains valid as long as kissing does not lead to actual sexual intercourse or does not result in ejaculation. If kissing resulted in ejaculation, one’s fast would become invalid and hence will have to be made up (qadha), without having to expiate for it (kaffara). (See: al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 1/200 & 1/204)

With regards to passionate or French kissing when saliva is exchanged, it is stated in Maraqi al-Falah:

“And from the acts than invalidate one’s fast and also necessitate an expiation (kaffara) is the swallowing of the saliva of one’s spouse or friend, for one feels passion in it.” (Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah, P: 667)

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“If one swallows the saliva of another, one’s fast will be invalidated without expiation (kaffara) being necessary, unless the saliva is of one’s friend (or spouse), for that will also necessitate expiation.” (1/203)

Thus, swallowing the saliva of another in a sexual manner with desire and passion invalidates one’s fast, with a make up (qadha) and expiation (kaffara) both becoming necessary. Passionate kissing or sucking on the tongue of one’s spouse would inevitably result in an exchange of saliva, and then that saliva being swallowed. As such, it would result in the invalidation of one’s fast. This is the position of the Hanafi Fuqaha and also the Fuqaha of some other Schools.

Now, the question arises as to how would the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), wherein he is reported to have kissed passionately whilst fasting (quoted above), be explained?

Imam Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“There is a narration that has been recorded by only Imam Abu Dawud from Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) that the “Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would kiss her passionately (during a fast)” but the chain of this Hadith is weak. If it is proven to be authentic, then it refers to when there is no exchange of saliva, hence not swallowing one’s spouse’s saliva.” (Fath al-Bari, 4/195)

The great scholar of Hadith of the Indian Subcontinent, Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri (Allah have mercy on him) states in his commentary of Sunan Abi Dawud, Bazl al-Majhud, that this Hadith where it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would kiss Sayyida A’isha passionately whilst fasting to the point that he would suck on her tongue goes against what the Fuqaha have stated that swallowing the saliva of another invalidates one’s fast.

One explanation is that the chain of transmission for this Hadith is weak. The narrators Muhammad ibn Dinar and Sa’d ibn Aws are considered to be weak, and neither is there another authentic Hadith wherein “sucking on the tongue” is mentioned.

Secondly (if the Hadith is proven to be authentic), passionate kissing and sucking on the tongue is not connected to fasting. Hence, the meaning of the Hadith is that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would kiss Sayyida A’isha whilst he was fasting, and normally when he kissed her, he would kiss her passionately (but not necessarily whilst fasting).

Thirdly, Even if the passionate kissing took place in the state of fast, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would ensure not to swallow her saliva. The sucking on the tongue was very subtle and not to the point where saliva was exchanged and swallowed. (See: Bazl al-Majhud fi Hal Abi Dawud)

In Conclusion, passionate kissing is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him) as mentioned in the Hadith of Sunan Abi Dawud, although some have considered the chain of this Hadith to be weak. However, it would not be allowed to kiss passionately whilst in the state of fasting, for the exchange of saliva and the resulting swallowing will invalidate one’s fast.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Darul Iftaa

Leicester, UK