RULINGS ON PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING WOMEN.
1.There is a consensus among the scholars that if a pregnant or breastfeeding woman is not affected by fasting, fasting is not too difficult for her and she does not fear for her foetus or child, then she is obliged to fast and it is not permissible for her not to fast.
2.If the woman fears for herself or her child because of fasting, and fasting is difficult for her, then she is allowed not to fast.
Because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has relieved the traveller of half of the prayer and He has relieved the traveller, pregnant and nursing mothers of the duty to fast.” (Abu Dawood, 2408; At-Tirmidhi, 715; al-Nasaa’i, 2315; and Ibn Maajah, 1667, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood).
But the scholars differ on how pregnant or breastfeeding women should pay back their fast.
The popular views are listed below:
View #1 – 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 (i.e the expiation). This is the view of Imam Malik, Ash-Shaaf’i and Ahmad.[ At-Tuhfah vol.3 page402]
View #2– That they have to make up the fasts only and no need to pay any expiation. This is the view of Imam Abu Haneefah and his companions, Al-Awzaai, Abu Thawr, Abu ‘Ubaid, Ath-Thawr and the modern Saudi scholars. [Check Bidaayatul-Mujtahid (1/446), Jaami’ Ah’kaamun- Nisaai (2/394) and Fataawa Al-lajnah Ad-Daaimah (10/226)]. They based their view on the fact that the traveller is mention alongside a pregnant woman and a breastfeeding mother in the hadith quoted above and their situation is also similar to that of sick person. As such, they should repay their fast like those mentioned.
View #3 – It is the opposite of view #2. That they have to feed the poor ( expiation only), and do not have to make up the fasts. This is the view of Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar, Saeed bn Jubayr, Is’haq and Sheik Albaani. This is the easiest and most correct opinion.
-Imagine a woman who has been between delivery and breastfeeding for 3years. Making up missed fasts of 90days will be an arduous and taxing task for her. But feeding 90 people at once or per day will relieve her of the burden.
Of course, this is what the Shariah preaches because the essence of Fiqh is to make things easy for the people. Allah says, ” Allah intends for you ease and he does not want to make things difficult for you” [Baqorah:184].
*Abu Dawood (2318) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said “those who can fast with difficulty” [Surah 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 for their children – they may not fast and may feed (the poor) instead. [ Ibn Jaarud(381), Bayhaaqi (4/230), Ir’waaul-ghaleel (4/18)]. An-Nawawi also said: its isnaad is hasan.
This statement of Ibn Abbas will take a marfoo’ status (as if it is from the Prophet) because he is explaining a verse of the Qur’an as it is well known among scholars of hadith and Usool Fiqh. [Please check Tadreebur-Raawi (1/192-193), Muqaddimah of Ibn As-salaah (page24)].
* Ibn ‘Abbaas(may Allaah be pleased with him) used to say to a freed slave mother 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.” Ad-Daaraqutni classed its isnaad as saheeh, as stated by Al-Haafiz in At-Talkhees.
*Ibn Umar was asked regarding a pregnant woman who fears for her unborn child (due to her fasting/staying hungry for a long while). Ibn
Umar said "Ask her to abandon fasting and instead feed a poor person one mudd (approx. half kilogram) of wheat (for per fast which she misses) [Sunan Al-Kubra of Imam Bayhaqi (4/230) with an authentic chain]
*It was reported that Ibn Umar’s wife asked him regarding her fasting while she was pregnant to which he replied,
ﺃﻓﻄﺮﯼ، ﺃﻃﻌﻤﯽ ﻋﻦ ﮐﻞ ﯾﻮﻡ ﻣﺴﮑﯿﻨﺎً ﻭﻻ ﺗﻘﻀﯽ .”
“Leave fasting and feed one poor person per day instead and you do not have to make up your missed fasts later on” [ Sunan Daraqutni (1/207; No 2363) with an authentic chain].
Nafi’ reports that one of Ibn
Umar's daughter was married to a Quraishi and was pregnant. (During Ramadan while fasting) she experienced thirst so IbnUmar commanded her to break her fast and instead feed a poor person ” [Sunan Ad-Daraqutni (1/207; No: 2364) with an authentic chain].
* A Taabi’, Sa
eed ibn Jubayr says regarding a pregnant or breastfeeding woman who fears for her child or her health due to fasting ; that such a woman is to avoid fasting and instead feed a poor person per fast and they don't even have to make up for their fasts later on. [MusannafAbdur-Razzaq 4/216 No: 7555; with an authentic chain].
These pieces of evidence show that view#3 is the most correct. Allah knows best.
-Meanwhile, the woman can gather the number of poor people equalling the missed Ramadan fasts and feed them at once like the practice of Anas and it is not necessary the poor to be fed should be fasting as people do say *_”o ye ko bo alaawe (she should feed a fasting person)”._ But, what we should say is, “o ye ko bo alaini( she should feed a poor person)” because if it is a wealthy “alaawe (fasting person)” that is fed then it contradicts what the shariah said which is a miskeen (alaini).
It was related that Anas was weak from fasting (Ramadan) a particular year (due to senility). He prepared a basin of porridge and called on thirty poor people. He fed them until they are filled. [Narrated by Ad-Daraqutni with a saheeh Isnaad].
~Da’wah Board MSSN UNILAG