My mother has been prescribed Morphine patches which she has to wear during Ramadhan. She must keep the patch on for seven days and then replace it with a new one. Is her fast valid with her wearing the patch?
In the Hanafi School, the basic criterion for things invalidating one’s fast is that anything that has a perceptible body invalidates the fast if it reaches the body cavity through a normal channel/opening, such as the mouth or nose.
The renowned classical Hanafi jurist, Imam al-Kasani (may Allah have mercy on him) explains in his Bada’i al-Sana’i:
“That which reaches the body cavity [i.e. stomach] (jawf) or the brain through normal channels (makhariq al-asliyya) such as the nose, ears and backside (dubur), in that one snuffed [something through the nose], entered something through the rear hole or infused drops in the ear, and it reached the stomach or the brain, then one’s fast will be invalidated.” (Bada’i al-Sana’i 2/93)
In other words, there are two conditions in order for one’s fast to be invalidated:
1) That which enters the body reaches the stomach (jawf) or brain (dimagh).
2) This “reaching” is via the normal channels/openings of the body.
If any one of the above-mentioned two conditions is not met, the fast will not be invalidated. As such, even if a substance was to reach the stomach or brain, but it did not enter through a direct normal channel, such as the mouth, nose, ear, or rear hole of the private parts, then the fast would remain as valid. This is the reason why injections and drips (even those that have nutritive value) do not invalidate the fast according to the Hanafi School. (See: Mufti Muhammad Shafi’s A’lat al-Jadida ke Shar’i Ahkam P: 156)
Therefore, morphine or other medical patches do not invalidate one’s fast, since the drug is injected into the body through the skin and not through the mouth or any other normal channel/opening of the body. The ruling is the same with regards to other patches used, such as nicotine patches and birth control patches.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK