Ruling On The Fast Of A Pregnant Woman Who Is Affected By Fasting
Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
Is it mandatory for a pregnant woman to observe
fasting in Ramadhan and Ashoo'ra. I advised my wife
not to fast during last Ramadhaan and she was not
fasting because she was pregnant.She was weak and
anaemic last time when she was pregnant. She had
miscarried by end of Ramadhan when she was 12 weeks
pregnant. What is the ruling about her missed fasting
during ramadhan. Does she have to complete them before
next ramadhaan. Can she fast normally when she finds
that she is pregnant?. She always insist on fasting
during pregnancy. Any medical evidences will also help
that the baby won't be harmed by fasting during
Praise be to Allaah.
This question covers three topics:
1- The ruling on a pregnant woman breaking her fast in
2- How a miscarriage in Ramadaan affects a woman's
3- The ruling on making up fasts after Ramadaan
With regard to the pregnant woman: it is permissible
for her not to fast if she fears some harm which she
thinks will most likely affect her and/or her baby.
Breaking the fast becomes obligatory if she fears that
she may die or be severely harmed if she fasts. In
that case she has to make up the fast later on but she
does not have to pay the fidyah. This is according to
the consensus of the fuqaha', because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meanings):
"And do not kill yourselves"
"and do not throw yourselves into destruction"
The scholars are similarly agreed that it is not
obligatory to pay the fidyah in this case, because a
woman in this case is like one who is sick and one who
fears for his life.
If the woman fears for her baby only (and not for
herself), then some of the scholars are of the view
that it is permissible for her to break her fast, but
they say that she must make up the fast later on and
pay the fidyah (which means feeding one poor person
for each day not fasted), because of the report
narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas concerning the verse
(interpretation of the meaning):
"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 Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)"
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: This is a concession allowed to old
men and women, who can only fast with difficulty; they
are allowed to break the fast and to feed one poor
person for each day of fasting missed. This also
applies to pregnant and nursing women, if they are
afraid." Abu Dawood said: "i.e., if they are afraid
for their children, they may break the fast."
(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1947; classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in al-Irwa', 4/18, 25).
(See al-Mawsoo'ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 16/272)
Hence it is clear that if fasting will cause great
harm to a woman or to her baby, she is obliged to
break the fast, on condition that the doctor who
states that fasting will cause harm is a doctor who
can be trusted.
This has to do with breaking the fast during Ramadaan.
With regard to ‘Aashoora, fasting on this day is not
obligatory, according to scholarly consensus; rather
it is mustahabb, and it is not permissible for a woman
to observe a naafil fast when her husband is present,
except with his permission. If he tells her not to
fast then she has to obey him, especially if that is
in the interests of the foetus.
With regard to miscarriage: "If the matter is as
mentioned, that the miscarriage occurred in the third
month of pregnancy, then the blood that comes out is
not considered to be the blood of nifaas (bleeding
following childbirth), rather it is the blood of
istihaadah (non-menstrual vaginal bleeding), because
what the woman passed was a clot (‘alaqah) in which
there were no human features. On this basis, she
should pray and fast even if she sees some blood, but
she should do wudoo' for each prayer, and she has to
make up the days when she did not fast and the prayers
that she missed."
(See Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 10.218)
With regard to the fasts that she has missed:
"Everyone who owes fasts from Ramadaan has to make
them up before the next Ramadaan. He may delay that
until Sha'baan. But if the next Ramadaan comes and he
has not made them up and had no excuse for that, then
he is guilty of sin and he has to make them up as well
as feeding one poor person for each day, as was stated
by a number of the Companions of the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The amount to be
given is half a saa' of the local staple food for each
day, which may be given to a number of poor persons or
to one. But if a person had an excuse for delaying
making up the fasts, because he was sick or was
travelling, then all he has to do is to make up the
missed fasts, and he does not have to feed the poor,
because of the general meaning of the verse
(interpretation of the meaning):
‘but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same
number (should be made up) from other days'
And Allaah is the Source of strength."
(Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 15/340)
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid