Does Bleeding Gums Break One’s Prayer or Fasting?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick



Sometimes I develop mouth ulcers when I accidentally injure my gums by biting my cheek or brushing my teeth too vigorously. Initially, there’s bleeding from the wound, and even after 1-2 days, I find that applying a tissue still results in slight bleeding. Over the next few days, I noticed the discharge of pus in small quantities. I can identify this because it tastes metallic when I tongue over the wound. This condition typically lasts over a week, and my saliva remains colourless. I’m unsure about how to approach prayer and fasting with such a mouth wound, as I’m apprehensive about swallowing my saliva, especially when it has a taste. I’m also uncertain if my saliva could be considered impure due to the presence of blood and pus.



In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
Bleeding does not break one’s wudu in the Shafi‘i School; blood from spots and the like is excused in prayer. [Nawawi, Mihaj al-Talibin]
Hasan al-Basri said Muslims have always prayed while wounded [Sahih al-Bukhari]. This tells us that neither bleeding nor blood is an issue in prayer. There are some exceptions, though.
Swallowing any foreign substance would break the fast. A taste of blood is not a substance but a trace; traces do not break the fast. Someone whose gums bleed must obligatorily wash his mouth thoroughly with water.  Spitting is not sufficient. [Nawawi, Mihaj al-Talibin]
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.