Imaam rebuked me for using perfume whilst fasting

Reference: Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 2, Page 500, Fatwa No. 454
al-Fatawaa libni-Fowzaan – Volume 1, Fatwa No. 151

Question: I applied perfume on myself before the Zhuhr (noon) prayer in Ramadhaan and when I entered the mosque, the imaam rebuked me and said that my fast has been nullified and so has the fast of all those who smelt [the scent] because it is very strong. How far is this statement correct?

Response: There is no harm in applying perfume whilst fasting and this does not affect the prayer except if the perfume is incense-based and one intentionally smells it. This is because the smoke from the incense enters the nose and activates the brain and thereby affects the fast. As for perfumes, then there is no problem for one who is fasting to use them. It is not permissible for this imaam to give a fatwa (legal ruling) without [sound] knowledge.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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