We are all eaxcited by the fact that Ramadhan is around the corner. For one thing, we get to setup time and devote ourselves to worshipping more than any time of the year. For those living in Oman, they get to enjoy the benefits of working half day and having more time to do other things. It is also the time where extended families get together more often. We get to prepare invitation lists for friends we havent seen since last year. We also get to prepare menu for the whole month, guaranteeing a variety of meals each day.
Now, all this is fine. But do we also look at other issues which we must be concerned during Ramadhan? Issues we may be too embarassed to discuss. Have you ever been so close to a person with bad breath, will you have the nerve to tell them their breath stinks, I know I won't.
When we are asleep, there is no circulation of saliva in the mouth, because of accumulation of bacteria, our breath smells bad. When there is no oral consumption of food or water, in some cases we do get bad smell. This happens a lot during Ramadhan. If you live in Islamic country, people may understand it and say, ok its only for 30 days. But what if you live in non-Islamic country, and you have to work close to your colleagues, what image are you going to project?
There are some people who believe that you should not use your toothbrush after noon time, because that will break the fast, in fact I know a LOT of people who believe that. I myself am not convinced with that belief. Our religion takes care of ALL aspects of our lives, there are a lot of hadiths concerning cleanliness, so I am sure oral hygiene is part of that.
Last year somebody asked a the very question to Mufti. The Mufti's answer was, there was no time limit for brushing your teeth, one of the reasons was we are allowed to make wudhuu for salat al Asr, and that involves gushing water. So if water is allowed, then brushing is also allowed.
A lot of people use the verse, which I cant remember now, which involved prophet Musa (AS) in this subject. Anyway, the Mufti gave a number of hadiths to support his view. frankly I can't remember much of the answer, I would appreciate if you dont take this article as a fatwa.
Having said all that, I must say first of all that I am not a scholar, so I may be entirely wrong on this whole issue. The reason I wrote it is to raise people's awareness, but please do your own homework and research on this issue.
I would be very happy if someone can come with a strong evidence to prove me wrong, or right.