Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. What is the ruling of cooling oneself while fasting?
Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions. Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. As to what follows: In response to your question, we say: There is no problem in cooling oneself while fasting. Thus it permissible for a fasting person to immerse himself in water and swim, bath, or put on his body something which reduces heat, like putting a wet cloth and so on. There is no harm in all these things. This- in reality- may help the fasting person in carrying out what Allah the Exalted Has commanded, if the fasting person has experienced difficulty, is exhausted or tired. I remind my brothers and sisters that we must ask ourselves concerning any issue which breaks fast, “What is the proof that such and such a thing breaks fast?” For example if a person says, “cooling oneself breaks fast”, we should immediately say, “What is the proof?”because the things which break fast are not issues which are suggested by people, or mentioned by them according to their views, choices and independent judgment, rather, they are issues which should be supported by a principle and proof. The principle is that fasting is valid, thus there is nothing wrong if the fasting person needs to bath for cooling or cleansing himself, or any other reason. Also the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to wake up in a state of ritual impurity as has been narrated in the Sahihayn from the hadith of Um Salamah and ‘Aishah, then he would bath after the onset of dawn. [al-Bukhari (1925) and Muslim (1109)] If bathing broke fasting there would have been no distinction between a person who is in the state of ritual impurity and one who is not, because it would have been of the nullifiers of fasting, like if a person eats out of the desire to eat, or ate when he was hungry. Thus if something breaks fast there is no distinction between a person who needs it and the one who does not.