Accidentally Inhaling Perfume While Fasting

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question: If one is fasting and sprays perfume on oneself and accidentally inhales some of the perfume, will it break the fast? Will Qadha have to be made?

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

One’s fast does not break by wearing, feeling or smelling fragrance. As such, it is permitted to apply perfume (itr), deodorant, or spays whilst in the state of fasting. However, if one was to intentionally inhale something that has a perceptible body, such as smoke, then one’s fast would become invalid.

It is stated in Maraqi al-Falah:

“…If one inhaled fragrance by intentionally drawing it towards one’s self and smelling it’s smoke, whilst remembering that one is fasting, then one’s fast would become invalid…..This is something regarding which many people are neglectful, hence people should become alert and not consider it (inhaling something that has a perceptible body) similar to smelling rose, its water and musk. There is clear difference between smelling the fragrance of musk and other perfumes and between something that has a perceptible body like smoke entering one’s inside intentionally.” (Maraqi al-Falah with Hashiya al-Tahtawi, P: 660)

Therefore, if one was to deliberately inhale through one’s nose a perfume that has a perceptible body such as the smoke of Loban or the smoke of that which is known in the Indian Subcontinent as “Aghar Batti”, then one’s fast would become invalid. Similarly, if one intentionally sprays perfume in the nose and inhales it, one’s fast would break.

However, there are two things that need to be remembered here:

Firstly, in order for one’s fast to become invalid, one has to inhale the smoke intentionally and deliberately. If the smoke of a perfume entered through one’s nose or throat unintentionally, then one’s fast will not break. (Maraqi al-Falah, P: 660)

Secondly, in the situation where one’s fast does become invalid (i.e. when one deliberately inhales something that has a perceptible body), one will only have to make up for the fast later (qadha) and a expiation (kaffara) will not be necessary. (ibid)

In light of the above explanation, if one accidentally inhaled perfume, then one’s fast will not become invalid. However, if one intentionally and deliberately sprayed the perfume (that has a perceptible body) in the nose and inhaled it, then the fast would become invalid, hence one will have to make up for the fast later.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK