Fatwa n°: 470
Category: Fatwas of fasting
The ruling of abstaining from the fast
by the pregnant woman and suckling mother
If a pregnant woman and a suckling mother do not observe the fast, should they make up for the days missed or give Fidya (feed a poor person for each day not fasted)?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
If a pregnant woman or a suckling mother can observe the fast but with difficulty, or they fear for themselves or their babies, they do not have to make up for the missed days. They should, instead, feed a poor person for every day that they didn’t fast, according to the hadith of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم: “Allah relieved the traveler from half of the prayer and fasting, and relieved the pregnant woman and the suckling woman from fasting”(1).
Making up missed days is an obligation on the traveler, according to Allah’s Word: ﴾And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fast) must be made up] from other days﴿ [Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 185].
Feeding poor persons is an obligation on old men and old women, on the pregnant and suckling women, according to Allah’s Word: ﴾And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskîn (poor person) (for every day)﴿ [Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 184].
The ruling which states that it is possible for a pregnant or a suckling woman to not observe the fast and they have to feed poor persons and there is no making up for the missed days, is the correct opinion. It is the opinion of Ibn `Abbâs and Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهم and others. It is reported that Ibn `Abbâs رضي الله عنهما said: “If the pregnant woman fears for herself and the suckling woman fears for her baby in Ramadan let them not observe the fasting. They should, instead, feed a poor person for every day. They do not have to make up for the missed days”(2). It is also reported that: “He saw a slave girl (with whom he had a child) who was pregnant or suckling and told her: you are someone who can not observe the fasting. You should, instead, feed a poor person for every day and you does not have to make up for the missed days”(3).
In addition, Ad-Dâraqutni reported that Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما: “Was asked by his wife, when she was pregnant, [if it is possible to not fast]. He answered: do not fast and feed a poor person for every day and do not make up for the missed days”(4).
As the saying of Ibn `Abbâs and Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهم was known among the Companions and there were no Companion who opposed them. So, it is a reliable proof and Ijmâ` (a consensus for the majority of the scholars). This is known, among the men of Ussûl Al-Fiqh (the fundamentals of jurisprudence), by “the silent consensus”(5) and that the interpretation [of the verse] by Ibn `Abbâs رضي الله عنهما is related to the reason why the verse is revealed. And it is stated in the science of hadith that the interpretation [of a verse] which is related to the reason why a verse is revealed has the ruling of Raf`(6) (as if it is said by the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم). So, a saying like this is more correct than the other sayings which are based on the opinion and analogy.
1. The suckling woman in the post partum period should make up for the missed days and she does not have to give a Fidya , because the post partum period prevents from observing the fast, contrarily to the period in which the woman is pure.
2. If the woman feeds her baby with the feeding-bottle, she should, also, observe the fasting because she does not really feed her baby [using the feeding -bottle].
3. There is also, in the website, another fatwa (Concerning the permission to observe the fast for a suckling woman and the obligation, for her, to give Fidya). You can take profit of it.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers, Ramadhân 10th, 1427
October 3rd, 2006
(1) Reported by: Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “the fasting” (hadith 2408), and At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “the fasting” (hadith 715), and An-Nassâ'I, chapter of “the fasting” (2275), and Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “the fasting” (hadith 1667), and Ibn Khuzayma (hadith 2042), and Ahmad (hadith 19841), and Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 8172), according to the hadith reported by Anas Ibn Mâlik Al-Ka`bi Al-Qushayri رضي الله عنه, who is not Anas Ibn Mâlik رضي الله عنه. This hadith has been considered Hassan (good) by At-Tirmidhi. It is authenticqtedied by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Abi Dâwûd” (2/71) and Al-Wâdi`I in “As-Sahîh Al-Musnad” (hadith 74) and Al-Arnâ'ût in “Jâmi` Al- Ussûl” (6/410).
(2) Reported by: At-Tabari in His Tafsîr (Exegesis) (hadith 2318). Al-Albâni said in “Al- Irwâ'“ (4/19): “Its Isnâd (chain of narration) is authentic, according to the Shart (condition) of Muslim”.
(3) Reported by: Abu Dâwûd (hadith 2318), and At-Tabari in His Tafsîr (Exegesis) (2/136), and Ad-Dâraqutni in his “Sunan” (2/206) and he said that: “Its chain of narration is authentic”. Al-Albâni said: its chain of narration is authentic according to the condition of Mouslim. See “Al-Irwâ'“ (4/19).
(4) Reported by Ad-Dâraqutni in his “Sunan” (2/207). Al-Albâni said in “Al-Irwâ'“ (4/20): “Its chain of narration is Jayid “very good”.
(5) See “I`lâm Al-Muwaqqi`în” of Ibn Al-Qayyim (4/120) and Al-Mussawwada of the family of Taymiya (hadith 335).
(6) See Muqaddimat Ibn As-Salâh (24), and “Tadrîb Ar-Râwi” of As-Suyûti (1/157), and “Tawdîh Al- Afkâr” of As-Sanâ`ni (1/280) and “Adwâ` Al-Bayân” of Ash-Shanqîti (1/144).