Rashadi Foundation

Should a Pregnant and Breastfeeding Woman Make up Her Missed Fast?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The overwhelming majority of the Ummah, including the four illustrious Imams, agree that the pregnant and breastfeeding woman must make up for any fast that they may have missed during Ramadhan. This opinion is rooted in the Quran, Sunnah and statements of the Salaf Saliheen.

From the Quran Majid, the following verse is used as evidence. Allah Ta’ala says, “[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So, whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up].” {Al-Baqarah:184}

The scholars say that the pregnant and breastfeeding woman fall under this verse and they are considered one of those who left out fasting due to sickness. The same way a sick person fears on his life or health, they also fear on their life or health. The ruling for such a person is to make up the fast when they have regained their health.[1]

The second proof is from the Sunnah, where the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah has relieved the traveler of half of the prayer, and He has relieved the traveler, the pregnant, and the nursing mothers of the duty to fast.” Collected by Ahmed, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Baihaqi and others (رحمهم الله).[2] Tirmidhi (رحمه الله) and others graded it ‘sound’.[3]

In this hadith, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ equated the breastfeeding and pregnant woman with the traveler with regards to fasting. In the above verse Allah Ta’ala commanded the traveler to make up his missed fast afterwards. So, the same will apply to the breastfeeding and pregnant woman.[4]

In support of this view, Imam Bukhari (رحمه الله) quotes two of the Tabiun from the Salaf Saliheen, Hasan Basri (رحمه الله) and Ibrahim Nakha’i (رحمه الله) that they said, “When the breastfeeding and pregnant woman fear upon themselves or children, they will not fast but they will make qadha.”[5]

Some scholars were of the opinion that along with the qadha (make up fast), the breastfeeding and pregnant woman will pay a fidyah if they had left the fast due to fear on their child.[6]

As evidence, they used the statement of Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما), collected by Baihaqi (رحمه الله) in ‘Sunan Kubra’, that she will leave the fast and pay a fidyah and when she regains her health, she will make up a fast.[7]

Those who are of the opinion that fidyah is not necessary say that the verse and hadith has no mention of it. Nonetheless, the vast majority of the Ummah agree that the pregnant and suckling woman must make up any fast she may have missed in Ramadhan, whether it was due to fear on herself or the child.

Were Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) and Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) of the Opinion that

they Should only pay a Fidyah?

One of the fitnahs of this era of ignorance is that do-it-yourself pseudo-mujtahids are resurrecting narrations which the Salaf and Khalaf of the Ummah had, for centuries, considered incorrect. They quote narrations of Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) and Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) where they said that the pregnant and suckling woman will pay the fidyah for missed fasts of Ramadhan and that they will not make up the fasts. The reality is that there are three kinds of narrations ascribed to these two Companions.

  1. Some mention that she will pay the fidyah without speaking about qadha at all.
  2. Others mention that she will pay the fidyah and does not have to make up the missed fast.
  3. While there are even authentic narrations which state that both Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) and Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) said that the pregnant and suckling woman must make up the fast she missed in Ramadhan.

Below we will mention these narrations from both Companions:

Narrations which only speak about fidyah:

  • Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما):

Concerning the verse, “And upon those who are able [to fast] – a ransom of feeding a poor person [each day],” Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) said, “The old man and woman were given the concession of that while they were able to fast to leave the fast and feed a poor person in its place for every fast. Then this was abrogated in this verse, “The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So, whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it.” So, it was established for the old man and old woman, who are unable to fast and the pregnant and suckling woman, who fear, to leave the fast and feed one person in place of each fast.”[8]

  • Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما):

Nafi’ (رحمه الله) said that Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) was asked concerning a pregnant woman who feared on her child, he said, “She will leave the fast and feed one poor person a mudd of wheat in place of every day.”[9]

It can be said that their silence here was due to the wujoob of qadha being a given.

Narrations which say pay a fidyah but don’t make up a fast:

  • Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما):

Saeed ibn Jubair (رحمه الله) narrates that Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) saw that one of his female slaves was pregnant or suckling. So he said, “You are in the status of the one who does not have the ability to fast. It is necessary upon you to feed a poor person in place of every fast and there is no qadha on you.”[10]

  • Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما):

“When a pregnant woman fears on herself in Ramadhan, she will break her fast and feed and there is no qadha on her.”[11]

Narrations which say make up the fast:

  • Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما):

Atta narrates that Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) said, “The pregnant and suckling woman will leave fast in Ramadhan and make them up and will not feed.”[12]

  • Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما):

Abdullah ibn Amr (رحمه الله) said that a pregnant woman fasted and then became thirsty in Ramadhan, so Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) was asked concerning her. He commanded her to break her fast and pay a mudd to the poor for every day. However, this will not be sufficient for her, so when she becomes healthy, she must make them up.”[13]

Analysis:

The famous recitation of the verse وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيْقُونَهُ translates ‘those who are able to fast’. However, Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) used to recite it يُطِوَّقُونَهُ which translates ‘those who find it difficult to fast’.[14] Therefore, based on this recitation he had placed the pregnant and suckling woman under the category of those who pay the fidyah.[15] From this, it is clear that, Ibn Abbas did ijtihad concerning this matter and he did not actually hear any hadith concerning its ruling from the Prophet ﷺ.

However, using this verse as evidence to say the pregnant and suckling woman will pay the fidyah is not correct, because the end of the verse states “And that you fast, is best for you.” Everyone agrees that if the pregnant and suckling woman fears on themselves, then it is not best for them to fast, rather they are prohibited from fasting. The scholars also agree that they are not allowed to leave fasting if they have no fears on themselves or children. Therefore, they are clearly not meant by the verse.[16]

Some scholars say that both Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) and Ibn Umar (رضي الله عنهما) retracted their stance and adopted the view that was held by the majority of the Ummah based on the last set of narrations mentioned above. This is further supported by authentic narrations where Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) said that “No one will be given a leeway in this (issue of fidyah) except the old who is unable to fast and the sick who will not be cured.”[17] He only exempted two people here who would be allowed to pay the fidyah, the very old and the terminally ill, when they are unable to fast.

Below is a list of the scholars who say that pregnant and suckling woman must make the qadha of the fast they missed in Ramadhan:

  1. Ali,
  2. Ibn Abbas (in one narration),
  3. Ibn Umar (in one narration),
  4. Hasan Basri,
  5. Ikramah,
  6. Mujahid (a prominent student of Ibn Abbas),
  7. Ata ibn Abi Rabah (a prominent student of Ibn Abbas),
  8. Ibn Juraij,
  9. Zuhri,
  10. Saeed ibn Jubair (in one narration),[18]
  11. Dhahak,
  12. Ibrahim Nakha’ee,
  13. Rabe’ah,
  14. Thawri,
  15. Abu Hanifah,
  16. Malik,
  17. Awza’ee,
  18. Abu Yusuf,
  19. Muhammad,
  20. Zufar,
  21. Al-Laith,
  22. Ash-Shafi’ee,
  23. Ahmed,
  24. Hasan ibnul Haiy,
  25. Abu Thawr,
  26. Abu Ubaid,
  27. Ibnul Munzir
  28. Tabari
  29. Bukhari,
  30. Ibn Khuzaimah,[19] (رحمهم الله)

This is also the opinion of contemporary scholars like:

  1. Mubarakpuri (He said, they are in the ruling of the sick so qadha is necessary on them.)
  2. Shinqiti,
  3. Mufti Bin Baz, (He said, the other opinion is weak and contrary to the Shari evidences.)
  4. Ibn Uthaimeen, (He said, This is the most preferred opinion according to me.)
  5. Standing Committee of Saudi (Fidyah will not be sufficient, rather she must fast.) (رحمهم الله)
  6. Salman Awdah (He said that the other opinion is weak because it contradicts the four Imams and the vast majority of the Tabieen and Fuqahaa.)
  7. and others .[20]

And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

May Allah guide us to the Haqq and may He protect us from deviations and leaving the path of the Muslims. Aameen.

 


[1] ‘An-Nasikh’ by Abu Ubaid Pg.67, Al-Mughni Vol.4 Pg.394, Al-Istidhkaar Vol.10 Pg.222

[2] Ahmed in Musnad #19047, Ibn Majah #1667, Baihaqi Vol.4 Pg.231, Abu Dawud #2408, Tirmidhi #715, Ibn Khuzaimah #2042

[3] Shaikh Shuaib Arnawut graded it sound in his footnotes on Musnad Ahmed Vol.31 Pg.392 as did Shaikh Bashshar in his footnotes on Sunan Ibn Majah Vol.3 Pg.164

[4] Ibn Jarir Tabari in his ‘Tafsir’ Vol.3 Pg.179-180, Ahkamul Quran by Jassas Vol.1 Pg.224, Ibn Khuzaimah in his ‘Sahih’ Vol.2 Pg.982, Baihaqi in ‘Sunan Kubra’ Vol.4 Pg.231, Mubarakpuri in ‘Tahfatul Ahwadhi’ Vol.3 Pg.331

[5] Saheeh Bukhari, Kitabus Sawm, Baab 29

[6] Al-Mughni Vol.4 Pg.394, Al-Majmoo Vol.6 Pg.267

[7] Sunan Kabir Vol.4 Pg.230

[8] Baihaqi in ‘Sunan Kubra’ Vol.4 Pg.230, Tafsir Tabri Vol.3 Pg.167

[9] Baihaqi in ‘Sunan Kubra’ Vol.4 Pg.230, Also see, Musannaf Abdur Razzaq #7558, Sunan Daarqutni #2389

[10] Ibn Jarir Tabri in his ‘Tafsir’ Vol.3 Pg.170

[11] Musannaf Abdur Razzaq #7561

[12] Musannaf Abdur Razzaq Vol.4 Pg.218 #7564

[13] Abu Ubaid in ‘An-Naasikh’ 3106 Pg.62 and Baihaqi in ‘Sunan Kubra’ Vol.4 Pg.230

[14] Tafsir Ibn Jarir Vol.3 Pg.174

[15] ‘An-Nasikh’ by Abu Ubaid Pg.67

[16] See Ahkamul Quran by Jassas Vol.1 Pg.225-226

[17] Collected and authenticated by Daarqutni in his ‘Sunan’ #2378-2381, See Badhlul Majhood Vol.8 Pg.434

[18] Musannaf Abdur Razzaq #7579, An-Nasikh by Abu Ubaid #89

[19] See ‘An-Nasikh’ by Abu Ubaid #111-113 ‘Al-Ishraaf’ by Ibn Munzir Vol.3 Pg.151-152, Al-Istidhkaar by Ibn Abdil Barr Vol.10 Pg.222, Al-Muhalla by Ibn Hazm Vol.6 Pg.263, Ahkamul Quran by Jassas Vol.1 Pg.223, Al-Mughni Vol.4 Pg.394

[20] Tuhfatul Ahwazi by Mubarakpuri Vol.3 Pg.331 , Dars Shinqiti, Majmoo’ah Fatawa by Bin Baz Vol.15 Pg.225-227, Sharh Mutaa’ by Ibn Uthaimeen Vol.6 Pg.349-350, Fatawa Lujnah Daaimah Vol.10 Pg.226, http://www.islamtoday.net/fatawa/quesshow-60-13334.htm Shaikh Salman

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