Does using earplugs (together with the personal protective equipment) whilst working may invalidate one’s fasting?
Using earplugs during working whilst fasting does not invalidate one’s fasting, as long as the earplugs do not reach the inner part of the ear (had batin).
In explaining this issue, it is best for us to go through the discussion on matters which invalidate one’s fasting. Among the matters are:
- Inserting something intentionally through the open cavity reaching to the inner cavity (batin).
- Inserting medication through the anus (al-huqnah).
- Intentionally vomiting.
- The coming of haid.
- The coming of nifas.
- Mentally challenged.
Imam al-Nawawi explained something which enters the ear cavity whilst fasting, he said:
وَلَوْ قَطَرَ فِي أُذُنِهِ شَيْئًا فَوَصَلَ إِلَى الْبَاطِنِ، أَفْطَرَ عَلَى الْأَصَحِّ عَنِ الْأَكْثَرِينَ، كَالسَّعُوطِ
“If a person drops some liquid into his ear then (the liquid) reaches the inner part of the ear (inner than the eardrum), so (the action) invalidates fasting according to the sahih opinion and it is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. The same goes to dripping some medication through the nose (al-Sa’ut).”
(Refer Raudah al-Talibin wa ʻUmdah al-Muftin, 2/357)
The same is stated by Imam al-Baijuri who mentioned that dripping something into the ear that reaches the inner part of it invalidates one’s fasting. (Refer Hasyiah al-Syeikh Ibrahim al-Baijuri, 1/559).
The ruling of using earplugs (used together with the personal protective equipment) does not invalidate one’s fasting. This is as long as the earplug does not reach the inner part of the ear (inner than the eardrum).