I heard that if water goes too far up whilst doing Istinja, it will invalidate the fast. How far up does it need to go to invalidate the fast?



Islamic Text

One should be a little more careful than usual when fasting but it is unlikely for Istinja to invalidate the fast.

أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: «مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ فَلْيَسْتَنْثِرْ، وَمَنِ اسْتَجْمَرَ فَلْيُوتِرْ»

Abu Hurairah  narrated that the Prophet said, ‘Whoever performs Wudu should rinse his nose, and whoever cleanses himself (Istinja) should use an odd number (off stones).’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 161).

This is one of many Hadith narrations encouraging Istinja, and this ruling will not change when one is fasting. There is no warning in the Hadith narrations regarding Istinjaa when fasting because it is unlikely for Istinja to invalidate the fast.

Water would have to go quite far for Istinja to invalidate the fast. Hanafi scholars have mentioned it would have to go as far as an enema syringe which is unlikely. So, one should take reasonable caution but must avoid being excessive and falling  prey to Waswasah.

Therefore, a person should not exaggerate Istinja when fasting and should also dry oneself before getting up. This will safeguard the individual  from invalidating the fast.

وَلَوْ بَالَغَ فِي الِاسْتِنْجَاءِ حَتَّى بَلَغَ مَوْضِعَ الْحُقْنَةِ فَسَدَ وَهَذَا قَلَّمَا يَكُونُ
أَيْ قَدْرُ مَا يَصِلُ إلَيْهِ رَأْسُ الْمِحْقَنَةِ الَّتِي هِيَ آلَةُ الِاحْتِقَانِ (رد المحتار على الدر المختار)

(Imam al-Haskafi): And if he exaggerates during Istinja such that it (water) reaches the place of the enema then it (the fast) is invalid, but this rarely happens.
(Imam Ibn Abideen): meaning (he exaggerates) to the extent that it (water) reaches the place where the head of an enema syringe, which is the tool used in an enema, would reach. (Radd al-Muhtaar).

Some people may have to be more cautious than the average person if they suffer from severe haemorrhoids which cause part of the colon to exit and re-enter. Consequently, they should dry this before it re-enters. Since in such a circumstance it is more likely for Istinja to invalidate the fast.

وَفِي الْفَتْحِ خَرَجَ سُرْمُهُ فَغَسَلَهُ فَإِنْ قَامَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُنَشِّفَهُ فَسَدَ صَوْمُهُ وَإِلَّا فَلَا

And in Fath (al-Qadeer) he said, if a part of his colon exits and he washes it, then if he stands before drying it, then his fast will be nullified, otherwise it will not. (Imam Ibn Abideen, Radd al-Muhtaar).


It is good to exercise a little caution when performing Istinja whilst fasting. However, it is unlikely for Istinja to invalidate the fast when it is performed normally. Therefore, one should not be overly concerned with it.

A person with a particular medical difficulty like severe haemorrhoids may need to be a little more cautious. But this concern is unique to such an individual and must not be extended to everyone. Unfortunately, there are many Muslims who become overly concerned with Istinja whilst fasting.

And Allah (Most High) Knows Best.

– Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen (29.04.2021)

See also:

Are you in a state of purity if you do Istinja with toilet paper?

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