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Using eyedrops and contact lenses solution whilst fasting

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding the usage of antibiotic eyedrops during fasting? Isn’t this a form of nourishment? Also, what is the ruling of contact lens solution, which is like antibiotic drops, used for cleaning purposes? At the time of placing the contact lenses in the eye small droplets of the solution enter the eye and eventually reach the nose and throat.

Answer:

Regarding the ruling of eye drops, the respectful scholars have differed in their opinion. According to the strongest opinion amongst the Hanafi and Shafi’i school, any droplets inserted into the eyes during fasting will not invalidate the fast. The reasoning behind this opinion is that eye droplets will not negate the principle purposes of fasting i.e. abstaining from eating and drinking. This is regardless if the taste reaches the throat and according to them the eye is not an inlet to the throat.

However, the Maliki and Hanabli school are of the view that drops reaching the throat will invalidate the fast as the eye is an inlet to the throat even if it is not a usual one.

To conclude, we have taken the permissibility of using eye drops even if the taste reaches the throat. The eye is not an inlet into the throat. By saying the droplets reach the throat, it is not meant that there is an inlet from the eye, rather the taste reaches the throat by means of the skin.

And Allah knows best.

Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari
Director of British Fatwa Council