Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in ramadan

There are certain provisions of the Shari'ah that are restricted to women for obvious peculiar reasons. An instance is the ruling concerning women in Ramadan. Pregnant or breastfeeding. The following is a summary of the rulings of the shariah in these two situations.

 

Breaking the fast

There is no doubt that pregnant and breast feeding women are usually relatively weak during fasting. Part of Allaah's Mercy towards the weak is His concession for them not to fast the month of Ramadan. Anas bn Maaalik (RA) said, "The horses of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) came towards us. So I came up to the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and I found him eating. He said,

come closer and let me tell you about fasting. Indeed Allaah has reduced the Salaah for the traveler to be half and has removed the burden of fasting from the pregnant and the breast feeding woman, .. '" (Tirmidhi). 

Hence, "it is permissible for the breastfeeding woman to eat' during Ramadan when she fears for her baby and the pregnant woman when she fears for her foetus ...."  (Nayl al-Awtaar)

 

Fidya, Qadaa or both?

If the pregnant or breastfeeding woman need not fast, what would she do instead? Would she feed the poor (Fidya) in lieu of the fast or make up the missed days of fasting after Ramadan (Qadaa) or is she obligated to do both? This issue is discussed extensively by the scholars of Islaam. Al-Imaam Sufyaan Ath-Thaoree, Maalik, ash-' Shaafi'ee, and Ahmad are of the opinion that the pregnant woman and the breastfeeding are to make both Fidya and Qadaa. (Nayl al-Awtaar).

 

They draw their proof from the verse

"… And as for those who can fast with difficulty. (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed., Miskin (poor person) (for every day) " (Q 2[Baqarah]:I84).

They explain that the pregnant and breastfeeding can also only fast with difficulty like the old man and woman and so the ruling of Fidya also applies to them. Then they are to make Qadaa after Ramadan.

Al-Imaam Abu Haneefah (RA) however holds the opinion that they are to make Qadaa just like the sick since "Pregnancy is clearly an illness" and Allaah had ruled sick people to make Qadaa

 "… and whoever is ill or on a journey, the some number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days." (Q2[Baqarah]:185)

However, though the verse Q2 vs 184 quoted above actually proves the ruling that those who can fast with difficulty like the old man and woman and the pregnant and breastfeeding are to make Fidya it does not in any way prove that they should make Qadaa after Fidya. This is more so since both Qadaa and Fidya are forms of making up fasts which would imply that they would be doubly making, up fasts without clear and authentic evidence from the Qur'aan and Sunnah.

Also, although pregnancy generally brings about weakness in the woman there is no doubt that the pregnant and breastfeeding can also be conveniently categorized amongst those who can only fast with some difficulty. This will be most clearly established when there are clear and authentic texts pointing to the fact that the Pregnant and breastfeeding are to be classified amongst those who fast with difficulty who are to make Fidya and not amongst the sick that are to make Qadaa.

Ibn 'Abbass (RA) narrated that, "When the verse '.

So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month he must observe 5aum (fasts) ... " (Q2[8aqarah]:185)

was revealed, then the old men and women who did not have the ability to fast, the pregnant or breastfeeding women if they were fearful for themselves or the child could eat in Ramadan and feed one poor person for every day missed (Fidya)" (Abu Dawood and Bayhaqee). This narration is amongst the issues of Sabab an-Nuzool (reasons for the revelation of a verse) and thus has the ruling of a statement from the Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam).

Abdullah bn Umar (RA) was asked by a pregnant woman and he said,

"Break your fast and feed a poor for everyday and do not Qadaa." (Daaruqutnee). 

Hence, the preponderance of evidence show that the Pregnant and Breastfeeding women who fear for their fetus and child respectively should make Fidya and no other. Allaah Knows Best.

 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

 

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