Ruling on fasting for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 161):

If a pregnant woman or breastfeeding mother does not fast with no excuse, and she is strong and in good health, and is not affected by fasting, what is the ruling on that?

He replied: 

It is not permissible for a pregnant woman or breastfeeding woman not to fast during the day in Ramadaan unless they have an excuse. If they do not fast because they have an excuse, then they have to make up the missed fasts, because Allaah says concerning one who is sick (interpretation of the meaning):

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers come under the same heading as those who are sick. If their excuse is that they fear for the child, then as well as making up the missed fasts, according to some scholars they also have to feed one poor person for each day missed, giving wheat, rice, dates or any other staple food. Some of the scholars said that all they have to do is make up the missed fasts, no matter what the situation, because there is no evidence in the Qur’aan or Sunnah for giving food in this case, and the basic principle is that there is no obligation unless proof of that is established. This is the view of Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) and it is a strong view.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was also asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 162) about a pregnant women who fears for herself or her child, and does not fast – what is the ruling?

He replied by saying:

Our answer to this is that one of two scenarios must apply in the case of a pregnant woman.

The first is if she is healthy and strong, and does not find fasting difficult, and it does not affect her foetus. In this case the woman is obliged to fast, because she has no excuse not to do so.

The second is where the pregnant woman is not able to fast, either because the pregnancy is advanced or because she is physically weak, or for some other reason. In this case she should not fast, especially if her foetus is likely to be harmed, in which case it may be obligatory for her not to fast. If she does not fast, then like others who do not fast for a valid reason, she has to make up the days when that excuse no longer applies. When she gives birth, she has to make up those fasts after she becomes pure from nifaas. But sometimes the excuse of pregnancy may be lifted but then immediately followed by another excuse, namely breastfeeding. The breastfeeding mother may need food and drink, especially during the long summer days when it is very hot. So she may need not to fast so that she can nourish her child with her milk. In this case we also say to her: Do not fast, and when this excuse no longer applies, then you should make up the fasts that you have missed.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/224):

With regard to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, it is proven in the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik al-Ka’bi, narrated by Ahmad and the authors of al-Sunan with a saheeh isnaad, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) granted them a dispensation allowing them not to fast, and he regarded them as being like travelers. From this it is known that they may not fast but they have to make up the fasts later, just like travelers. The scholars stated that they are only allowed not to fast if fasting is too difficult for them, as in the case of one who is sick, or if they fear for their children. And Allaah knows best.

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/226):

The pregnant woman is obliged to fast during her pregnancy, unless she fears that fasting may affect her or her foetus, in which case she is allowed not to fast, and she should make up the fasts after she gives birth and becomes pure from nifaas.

Pregnant and Breast-Feeding Women Breaking Their Fast

About Umm Abdulazeez

"I am a Muslim who is upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (Pious Predecessors). And that can be said in short by saying, 'I am a Salafee' " [Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله] ________ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed knowledge should only be learned for the purpose of fearing Allaah. Indeed, knowledge has been given virtue over other than it because with it Allaah is feared.” [Jaam'i Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi by Imaam Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah)]
This entry was posted in Adab|Manners, Breastfeeding, Fasting, Fasting|Saum, Sisters Section. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ruling on fasting for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers

  1. Abu 'Abdillah 'Umar ibnu Rafiuddin says:

    As-salaamu ‘alaiykum. It would be worthy if you could quote Shaiykh Al-Albaani as well as Shaiykh Muqbil’s views on this issue. From whatever bit i could stumble upon, it looks like they have two different views, making it a total of three views known to me on this issue. So it would be beneficial if their views could also be presented here, so one can choose the view closest to evidence.

  2. Busari Ismail Adewale says:

    May Allah reward u aboundantly.

  3. Busari Ismail Adewale says:

    May Allah reward u aboundantly. Amen

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