RAMADAN AND WOMEN
EPISODE 4⃣ – AFFAIRS THAT PREVENTS FASTING (finale)
4️⃣ BREASTFEEDING AND PREGNANCY
Regarding fasting of a breastfeeding or pregnant woman, scholars differed and there are three opinions.
‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) said: they have to make up the fast if they do not fast, but they do not have to pay the fidyah.
Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) said: They have to pay the fidyah but do not have to make up the fasts.
Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) said: They have to pay the fidyah and make up the fasts.
Abu Dawood (رحمه الله) narrated from Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) 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”
[Hadith no 2318].
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-Bazzar who added at the end:
Ibn Abbās (رضي الله عنه) 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].
Those that said that they only have to make up the fasts quoted the following as evidence:
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.
[Al-Mughni, 3/37; al-Majmoo’, 6/273]
This view was favoured by a number of scholars.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (رحمه الله) said:
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.
[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 15/225].
He (رحمه الله) also said:
The correct view concerning this matter is that pregnant and breastfeeding women have to make up the fasts, and what was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbās 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. Allāh says (and he quoted the same Ayah as above).
Also, it says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/220):
If a pregnant woman fears for herself or her foetus because of fasting in Ramadan, she may break the fast and she only has to make up the missed fasts. In this regard she is like one who is sick and is unable to fast or fears that fasting will harm him. Allaah says (and they quoted the same ayah).
Similarly if a breastfeeding woman fears for herself if she nurses her child during Ramadān, or she fears for her child if she fasts and does not breastfeed him, then she may not fast, and she only has to make up the missed fasts.
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (رحمه الله) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/220, after mentioning the difference of scholarly opinion about the ruling on this matter, and expressing his preference for the view that she only has to make up the missed fasts:
This view is the most likely to be correct in my opinion, because at most they are like one who is sick or traveling, who only have to make up missed fasts.
And Allāh (ﷻ) knows best.
Whatever that we have said wrong may Allāh forgive us and may He (ﷻ) guide us to that which is right.
آمين يا رب العالمين
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