Fasting: Tasting food while fasting

Q214 :I have read that a fasting woman is allowed to taste the food that she cooks for her husband if he is of the type who gets very angry if the taste is not right. If this is true, is it permissible for a fasting mother to taste the food she prepares for her infant?

A214 : Let us first be clear about what we are talking about. Eating is different from tasting. You do not need to eat a mouthful or a spoonful of something and swallow it in order to determine its taste. If a woman takes a spoonful of her cooking, chews it and swallows it, she spoils her fast. Whether she does it in order to avoid a row with her husband who may be very difficult to please when it comes to food, or for any other reason, the verdict remains the same. What she does in this case is eating, which is forbidden during fasting. However, it is not necessary for any person to swallow something in order to find out its taste. It is with the front part of one's tongue that one finds out how something tastes. If a woman puts a small piece of her cooking in her mouth in order to feel its taste with her tongue, without allowing it to reach her throat, before bringing it out, her fast remains valid. However, scholars agree that this should be done only when there is real need for it, as in the case when a woman's husband can be very troublesome over his food. A woman should try to make her husband more understanding when it comes to cooking while fasting. The need to taste an infant's food is less pressing, since it is possible to feel the temperature of the food with the back of one's hand. It is also possible to determine how sweet or salty the food is, by following the right recipe. But if the tasting is done as I have explained, it does not invalidate fasting. The thing to watch out for is whether the woman feels the taste in her throat. If she does, she has invalidated her fast.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )