Washing the mouth in fasting


Asalam aleikum and may you all recieve endless rewards. I wish to know if it is permisible to swill the mouth out with water (like in the wudu) during a fasting day. I live in a hot country and my mouth becomes very dry during fasting and quite smelly too, I wish to avoid this smell offending others. I have heard it is fine to use a miswak to clean the teeth and sweeten the breath and that swilling the mouth was also ok but I wanted to check and be certain. Thank you for your help and may you all be blessed inshallah. Shukran


wa `alaykum salam,

Bismillahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Raheem,

It is permissible to swill the mouth with water as long it is not done excessively. It is permissible to brush one’s teeth although makruh in the Shafi`i school if done after Dhuhr time. The Shafi`i ruling is based on the hadith in which Allah’s Apostle (s) said, “fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relations with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.” The Prophet added, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”

(Sahih Bukhari Chapter No: 31, Fasting Hadith No 118)

Allah knows best.

Muhammad Razib

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