Posted by: alqamardesigns | September 2, 2009

Pregnant / Breastfeeding Women during Ramadan

Pregnant / Breastfeeding Women during Ramadan

The below has been taken from www.islamqa.com. The scholars differed concerning the ruling on pregnant woman and breastfeeding mothers if they do not fast. In brief there are several opinions:

a – That they have to make up the fasts only

This is the view of Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him). Among the Sahaabah, it was the view of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him).

Those who said that they only have to make up the fasts quoted the following as evidence:

1 – The report narrated by al-Nasaa’i (2274) from Anas, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has waived half of the prayer for the traveler, and fasting, and for those who are pregnant and breastfeeding.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that the ruling on pregnant and breastfeeding women is like the ruling on the traveler. The traveler may not fast and has to make it up later, and this also applies to pregnant and breastfeeding women. See Ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Jassaas.

2 – Analogy to the sick. Just as the sick are allowed not to fast and have to make it up later, the same applies to those who are pregnant and breastfeeding. See al-Mughni, 3/37; al-Majmoo’, 6/273.

This view was favoured by a number of scholars.

b – That if they fear for themselves, they have to make up the fast only, and if they fear for their children then they have to make up the fasts and feed one poor person for each day

This is the view of Imam al-Shaafa’i and Imam Ahmad. Al-Jassaas also narrated this from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).

c – That they have to feed the poor only, and do not have to make up the fasts

Among the Sahabah, this was the view of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him). Ibn Qudaamah also narrated this in al-Mughni (3/37) from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).

Abu Dawood (2318) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas and ‘Ali that this phrase – “those who can fast with difficulty” [al-Baqarah 2:184] was a concession granted to old men and old women who find it difficult to fast, allowing them not to fast and to feed one poor person for each day instead, and the same for pregnant and breastfeeding women if they are afraid. Abu Dawood said: i.e., for their children – they may not fast and may feed (the poor) instead. Al-Nawawi said: its isnaad is hasan.

This was also narrated by al-Bazzaar who added at the end: Ibn ‘Abbaas used to say to a concubine of his who was pregnant: “You are like one who cannot fast, so you have to pay the fidyah but you do not have to make up the fasts.” Al-Daaraqutni classed its isnaad as saheeh, as stated by al-Haafiz in al-Talkhees.


The most correct opinion – according to the below Shayookh

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/220, after mentioning the difference of scholarly opinions about the ruling on this matter, expressed his preference for the first view that she only has to make up the missed fasts – because at most they are like one who is sick or travelling, who only have to make up missed fasts.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 15/227: The correct view concerning this matter is that pregnant and breastfeeding women have to make up the fasts, and what was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn ‘Umar, that pregnant and breastfeeding women have to feed the poor instead, is a weak view that goes against the shar’i evidence. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days” [al-Baqarah 2:184]. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are likened to those who are sick, and do not come under the ruling on old men who are unable to fast. Rather they come under the ruling on those who are sick, so they should make up the fasts when they become able to do so, even if that is delayed.


Women who did not make up the fasts missed from Ramadan until next Ramadan – due to a valid excuse

Q: A woman did not fast during Ramadaan because of nifaas (postpartum bleeding), and she was not able to make up the fasts before the next Ramadaan came because of breastfeeding. What should she do?

This woman should fast and make up the days that she missed, even if that comes after the second Ramadaan, because she was unable to make up the fasts between the first and second Ramadaans for legitimate reasons. But if it is not difficult for her to make up the fasts during the winter, even if she does it day after day, then she has to do that, even if she is breastfeeding. She should strive to do whatever she can to make up the missed Ramadaan fasts before the next Ramadaan comes. If she cannot manage to do that then there is no sin on her if she delays it until the next Ramadaan. (Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 19/ question no. 360.)

Pregnant and breastfeeding women come under the same ruling as those who are sick. If it is too difficult for them to fast then it is prescribed for them not to fast, but they have to make up the fasts when they are able to do so, like those who are sick. (Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 15/225)


Women who did not make up the fasts missed from Ramadan until next Ramadan – due to a no legitimate excuse

Allaah has given the one who missed some fasts because of a legitimate excuse until the following Ramadaan to make up those fasts, but the Muslim should not use this as an excuse to delay making them up, because he may be faced with some need or changes that make it too hard for him to make them up or prevent him from doing so, especially women who may become pregnant, or be faced with menstruation and nifaas (postpartum bleeding).

Whoever delays making up the fast with no legitimate excuse until there is very little time left, then Sha’ban ends and he has not made up the fasts he owes, is sinning and has to make up those fasts after the second Ramadaan. Some scholars stated that he also has to feed one poor person for each day. If he is able to do that then that is on the safe side, otherwise making up the missed fasts is sufficient.

In Summary –

As she has delayed making up the fasts with no excuse, she has sinned and needs to:

  • Repent to Allaah and resolve not to repeat this mistake in the future
  • Make up these fasts as soon as possible
  • Feed a poor person 1 meal for each day missed – if she is able to do this, then that is on the safe side

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