In the first place, we would like to stress that kissing one’s wife while fasting is permissible. However, it is better to avoid kissing during the daytime of Ramadan, as it may lead to further actions which nullify the fast, such as sexual intercourse. Being aroused doesn’t render your fast invalid. The same with the issue of exchanging emotional and love words. However, as stated above, one should avoid such things during the daytime of Ramadan in order to avoid greater action that may lead to sexual intercourse which is forbidden during the daytime of Ramadan.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: “In optional fasts, kissing, light touching, etc. are permitted so long as one does not engage in sexual intercourse. In obligatory fasts, one is allowed to do these only if one can control himself or herself. Breaking an obligatory fast through sexual intercourse is a serious offence, and it entails strict form of kaffaarah (expiation), which includes fasting two months consecutively; if one cannot do this, one must feed sixty poor persons for a single day of fast thus invalidated.

Therefore, no one who is fasting should do such things if there is a genuine risk of overstepping the boundaries. If there is no such fear then light touching, or kissing, etc, when not accompanied by sexual desire, is permissible. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked by a young man whether he can kiss his wife while fasting, he replied no, but when an elderly person came and asked him the same question, he replied yes.

Reasons for this are clear: While it may be easier for an elderly person to control himself, that may not be the case with regard to a young person.

As far as the Prophet’s own example is concerned, his beloved wife ‘A’ishah reported that he used to kiss his wife while he was fasting. But then she added the following comment: ‘Who among you can control his sexual desire as the Prophet himself was able to control?’

In conclusion, since each person knows his own weaknesses better than anyone else, he should be his own judge in this matter, and he is better advised to take necessary precautions when dealing with obligatory fasts. In case of optional fasts, however, because it does not entail any serious consequences if one were to break it because of uncontrollable sexual desire, the issue is far more flexible.”