Yesterday, we spotted an alarming article going around the internet. It warned that your bidets may be secretly invalidating your fast. As people who know and care for bidets deeply, we were concerned. We were concerned because, in the long time that we have known bidets, they have been nothing but helpful. They are gentle machines that are careful to avoid causing any harm to anyone, even accidentally. We were also concerned because we knew you would be worried. So, we had to write this article to tell you that whether you're a Muslim fasting for Ramadan or a non-Muslim engaging in the healthy intermittent fasting lifestyle, there is nothing to worry about. Bidets do not invalidate fasts.
Why Bidets Don't Remove You From Ramadan Fasts
As you know, Muslims all over the world are currently observing the month of Ramadan. In this time, they engage in self-reflection and refrain from food and water between sunrise and sunset. Since this fast is very important, those who observe it are very careful to not undermine it. So, a significant question to ask is whether or not water that entered the body indirectly, like through a jet of a comforting stream used to clean the anus, invalidates the fast.
The blog post that scared us said it did. Anas al-Sultan, a cleric from the Al-Azhar University in Cario, said that because some bidets are too powerful, water would enter the body, invalidating the Ramadan fast.
But Anas al-Sultan's isn't the only view on the matter. Plenty of others exist in the Muslim community and most of them seem to disagree with his. Like this Q&A from 2002 on Islam web, which says that even during the time of the Prophet, Muslims used medicaments when they were sick. And that this precedent can be understood to say that even if water enters the body indirectly in the process of cleaning yourself, the fast remains pure as ever.
Three things to take away from this:
The first is that to start with, there is no reason a bidet should shoot water up your butthole. Good bidets are controlled for temperature and pressure to ensure the user's comfort. We're certain that Ana al-Sultan would approve of our good bidets. The second is that even if, for some reason, water does go up there, there is no need to worry because plenty of people believe that doesn't invalidate your fast. The third conclusion is that there is no reason for you to throw your bidets out. They are still the helpful tools they have always been. Or as the professionals say, "bidon't do that."
Bidets Don't Affect Intermittent Fasting (IF)
First, good job! As this article from Harvard Health Publishing notes, newer studies on intermittent fasting find this diet is very effective at reducing insulin levels and lowering appetite. Second, there is even less reason to worry about bidets if you're an intermittent faster. As the article above shows, you are allowed to drink water in an IF. So, there's no need to be on the lookout for bidets secretly giving you water from the other end.
Also, as must be obvious, the difference between IF and Ramadan fasting is mainly in the "why they do it." Muslims approach this as part of their religion, while for intermittent fasters, the appeal is mainly health. The surprising similarity is that both groups report feeling healthier, fresher, and more spiritually aware. And the unsurprising similarity is that bidets still don't harm either one.