Is it permitted to brush the teeth whilst fasting?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

It is permitted to brush the teeth whilst fasting using a Miswaak (tooth-stick). However, using toothpaste or the like will be Makruh (disliked) and may render the fast invalid. If any of the toothpaste is swallowed, then the fast will be nullified.

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَامِرِ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ: «رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا لَا أُحْصِي يَتَسَوَّكُ وَهُوَ صَائِمٌ» وَفِي البَابِ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ. حَدِيثُ عَامِرِ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ

Abdullah bin Amir bin Rabi’ah narrated from his father who said, ‘I saw the Prophet ﷺ using the Siwak while he was fasting so often that I am not able to count (how many times it happened).’ There is also a Hadith from (Sayidah) Ayeshah (May Allah Most High be pleased with her) on the same subject. The Hadith of Amir bin Rabi’ah is Hasan. (Sunan Tirmidhi, 725).

We see in the Hadith above that it is permitted to brush the teeth whilst fasting using a Miswaak (tooth-stick). However, this permission does not extend to using toothpaste or the like. Rather that will be Makruh (disliked) and render the fast invalid if the toothpaste is swallowed.

The dispensation found in the Hadith above is unique to the Siwak. Therefore, the standard rules apply to everything else. In the Hanafi Madhab tasting something without swallowing it is Makruh. So toothpaste being tasted in the mouth without swallowing it is Makruh.

وَكُرِهَ ذَوْقُ شَيْءٍ، وَمَضْغُهُ بِلَا عُذْرٍ كَذَا فِي الْكَنْزِ. (الفتاوى الهندية)

And it is disliked to taste something (without swallowing it), or to chew something without an excuse. As has been mentioned in al-Kanz. (al-Fatawaa al-Hindiyah).

As an alternative to brushing the teeth with toothpaste one should consider using the tooth-stick (Miswaak). This is not only permitted but recommended.

والسواك آخر النهار بل هو سنة كأوله ولو كان رطبا أو مبلولا بالماء. (نور الإيضاح ونجاة الأرواح)

And using the Siwaak at the end of the day (is not Makruh). Rather it is Sunnah, just like it is at the beginning of the daytime. Irrespective of it being fresh or moistened with water. (Imam al-Shurunbulali, Noor al-Idaah).

If the toothpaste is swallowed then the fast will be nullified. However, this should not be based on conjecture. Rather it should be based upon certainty. So unless a person is certain that a portion of the toothpaste was swallowed, he should assume the fast to be valid. One should not fall prey to Waswasah. Even if the toothpaste is not swallowed but simply tasted in the mouth, it is still Makruh. Therefore, one should avoid jeopardising the validity of the fast and avoid falling into something disliked by avoiding toothpaste whilst fasting.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (05.04.2022)

See also:
How strong is the Hadith about using Miswak whilst fasting?
Is it permitted to use Miswaak (a tooth-stick) whilst fasting?

See also video: