Smoking whilst fasting in Ramadan

Aug 3, 2021 | Fasting, Ramadan

Q: I invalidated my fast in Ramadan by smoking a cigarette, do I need to make kaffarah (expiation) or just make up the fast?

Summary: There is some debate as to whether kaffarah is required in the Hanafi and Maliki schools but not in the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools, however, the fast will be invalid and needs to be repeated by agreement.



Imam Al-Shurunbulali (d. 1069 AH) says:

“Or he causes smoke to enter into his throat from his own doing intentionally to his stomach or brain due to the presence of that which breaks the fast. This in relation to smoke other than amber and agarwood (oud) and in relation to these two the obligation of expiation (kaffarah) also is not far-fetched due to the benefit and medication. Similarly, the smoke that is newly being consumed and was invented in this age.”[1]

He also mentions:

“They differed about the meaning of ‘nutrition’ some of them said, ‘That human nature inclines towards consumption of it and by it, the desire of the stomach is fulfilled’ and some said that it is what the benefit of it goes back to the improvement of the body.’ The advantage of this is when a person chews a morsel then removes it and then swallows it; according to the second stance expiation is obligatory and according to the first one it is not obligatory and this is the sounder position because with his removal of it (the morsel) the human appetite feels disgusted by it as is mentioned in [Al-Muhit]. Based on this if someone eats qat, cannabis, or psilocybin mushrooms then according to the second stance expiation is not obligatory because there is no benefit in it for the body and it might harm him and reduce his intellect. But according to the first stance, it is obligatory because human nature is inclined towards it and by it, the desire of the stomach is fulfilled. I say that the innovation that has appeared recently, which is smoking if he imbibes it, is based on this in relation to the obligation of expiation, I ask Allah for pardon and well-being!”[2]


Qadi Abdul Wahhab (d. 422 AH) says:

“[644] Query: Expiation is obligatory for every breaking of the fast that is done in a manner of violation from eating, drinking, and otherwise except for apostasy.”[3]

Imam Shams al-Din Muhammad al-Dasuqi (d. 1230 AH) says:

“His statement (And leaving of causing incense to reach) i.e. the throat. His statement (And similar to it is the steam of a cooking pot) i.e. As if he inhaled a pot of food to the point that the steam reached his throat. His statement (Thus, whenever it reaches) i.e. The smoke of incense or the steam of a cooking pot to the throat, fulfilment (qada) is necessary. That is because the smoke of incense and the steam of a cooking pot both have a body that the brain is altered from and strengthened with i.e. strength is gained for it just like that which is gained for it from eating. Know that the area of the obligation of fulfilment is the reaching of the incense or the steam of the pot to the throat if it reaches due to inhaling whether the person inhaling made it or someone else.”[4]


“Expiation is obligatory for whoever invalidates a fast of Ramadan via sexual intercourse even if it is the anus or an animal. It is not obligatory for a woman, a person who has sex forgetfully or under duress, someone who invalidates a non-Ramadan fast, someone who breaks it with other than sexual intercourse…”[5]

Shaykh Muhammad Nawawi (d. 1316 AH) says:

“(And the entering of a substance) from the substances of the world even if it is little like a sesame seed or it is non-edible like a pebble (into the inner cavity ‘jawf’) meaning the fasting person breaks his fast with the reaching of any substance to the unrestricted inner cavity ‘jawf’ from an open cavity on purpose, with free-will, and knowledge of prohibition. Medicine inserted into the anus is a substance and also the smoke that is well-known as opposed to the smoke of incense because its affair is that it is a small amount.”[6]

Shaykh Sulayman al-Bujayrimi (d. 1221 AH) quotes:

“From it is smoke that does not have any substance to it like incense as opposed to the smoke that is now famous. Q.L. The statement of Abd al-Barr is, ‘It can be taken from it that the reaching of smoke that has the smell of incense or something else to his inner cavity does not harm even if he intentionally opens his mouth for it because it had no substance i.e. customarily. As for the smoke that has newly appeared named tobacco, may Allah curse whoever invented it because it is from the foul innovations, my shaykh al-Ziyadi initially issued an edict that it does not break the fast because at that time he didn’t know the reality of it and when he saw the trace of it in the pipe that it is smoked in, he recanted and issued an edict that it does break the fast. M.D.”[7]


Imam Mansur al-Buhuti (d. 1051 AH) says:

“If a fly, the dust of the street, the dust of flour, or smoke enters his throat unintentionally it doesn’t break the fast due to the absence of intent like a sleeping person. It is known from it that whoever swallows smoke intentionally then his fast will be invalid.”[8]

He also says:

“Expiation is not obligatory for other than sexual intercourse like eating, drinking, and likewise for the fasting of Ramadan when performed because no scripture mentions it and something other than sexual intercourse is not equivalent to it.”[9]

Answered by Shaykh Bilal Brown


[1] (Maraqi al-Falah, Chapter of What Invalidates the Fast and Necessitates Fulfilment (qada) Without Expiation [382]).

[2] (Maraqi al-Falah, Chapter of What Invalidates the Fast and Necessitates Expiation with Make-up [375-376]).

[3] (Al-Ishraf ala Nukat Masa’il al-Khilaf, Chapter of Fasting).

[4] (Hashiyah al-Dasuqi, Chapter of Fasting [5/124]).

[5] (Al-Mukhtasar al-Latif, Section on Sexual Intercourse in Ramadan and What is Obligatory for it).

[6] (Nihayah al-Zayn, Chapter of Fasting [187]).

[7] (Tuhfah al-Habib, Chapter of Fasting [2/378]).

[8] (Kashshaf al-Qina’, Chapter of What Invalidates the Fast [6/46]).

[9] (Kashshaf al-Qina’, Chapter of What Necessitates Expiation for Fasting [6/87]).


Principles of Islamic jurisprudenceAn introduction to Islamic Legal philosophyOverview Loosely translated as principles of Islamic jurisprudence, usul al-fiqh is the legal theory that underpins Islamic positive law and practical ethics. The book Usul ash-Shashi is a...

Is being lazy sinful?

Q: Is being lazy at work / not doing job properly or procrastinating sinful? Is the money earned from being lazy at work still halal? A: The money is halal as the employee is employed for their time whether they work or not. The believer should try to be their best in...

Missing Isha Salah

Q: I am always missing Isha because it’s so late. I wake up at 5am everyday (plus multiple times in the night as my daughter is young) and I really can’t stay up for Isha. Is it permissible to combine Maghrib & Isha in this instance? A: You have a few options. 1....

Start of Isha Salah

Q: Technically, when does Isha Salah Start?  Can you read Isha straight after Maghrib? A: It begins when the twilight (red or white) disappears.  The red disappears at -12.5 degrees according to my observations, and the white is about -16 degrees. Answered by Shaykh...

Moon Sighting

Q: Can astronomical data be used to corroborate or reject testimonies of a positive moon sighting in the Hanafi School? A: Most of the texts were against using astronomy in relation to moonsighting.  A minority permitted it. It's worth noting that the birth of the new...

Travelling and Fasting

Q: If I am travelling to Pakistan and my first leg of the flight its domestic to Gatwick and at the time of Sehri I am still at home.  Do I have to keep the fast or can I miss it knowing that I will be on a long journey and may have difficulty In fasting that day? A:...

Illicit language towards the living and the dead

Q: What is the hukum for speaking negatively or using vulgur words against a dead person, muslim or non muslim? A: It should be avoided. The Messenger of Allah said, "Mention what is good about your dead, and refrain from speaking about their evil." Al-Tirmidhi, 1019...

Combining prayers due to Illness

Q: If someone is battling with covid and due to extreme tiredness and pain while struggling to keep up with salah is it ok for them to combine all their prayers as its easier that way? A: No, it is not an excuse to combine. They can sit if they find difficulty...

Photos on display

Q: Is it acceptable to hang family photos in the house?If so can you pray in the room with photos displayed?Is it true that angels don’t visit a place where photos are displayed? A: The ruling pertains to images that can "possess a soul" if half of the body, head, or...

Gifts at Christmas

Q: I have a non Muslim friend who always buys me gifts on both Eids, as we are approaching Christmas is it ok to give presents back, as a goodwill gesture? A: Yes, you can. Not with the intention to venerate Christmas but you should avoid giving it on Christmas day....