Swab tests do not invalidate fast: Indonesian Ulema Council

A health worker conducting a swab test. Photo: Istimewa via Kumparan
A health worker conducting a swab test. Photo: Istimewa via Kumparan

With Ramadan just a few days away, we have established by now that getting a COVID-19 shot does not break one’s fast, but what about getting cotton swabs shoved up your nose and down your throat?

That’s all halal and does not invalidate the fast, according to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the highest clerical body in the nation.

“The consideration was that there are no elements [in swab tests] that break the fast. They don’t shove the cotton swab into the nose and the mouth far enough to cause people to vomit. At most, it causes people to gag,” Hasanuddin Abdul Fatah, who chairs the fatwa (religious edict) commission at the MUI, said today.

Intentional vomiting breaks one’s fast according to Islamic law, which explains why the MUI had to clarify whether or not swab tests invalidate the fast.

The clerical body says it will immediately issue a fatwa permitting swab tests during the fasting period in Ramadan.

Previously, MUI issued a fatwa saying COVID-19 vaccine jabs do not invalidate a Muslim’s fast, arguing that the intramuscular injections offer no nutritional value whatsoever to recipients. 

This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on April 12 and end on May 12.

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