Fasting for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

Fasting for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
Fasting for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women blackberry pic 120

Mosque in Jeddah

It had been previously mentioned in a hadith from five narrators and Tirmidhi that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are allowed to not fast (break fast). They may also break the fast if the cause is her children. For example, a pregnant woman worry of the safety of her unborn babies or women who are breast feeding and concern about the health of the breastfed child.

Some scholars say that pregnant and nursing women are allowed to break the fast and feed the poor (fidyah), without obligation to qadha her fasting, unless it is by her own will to qadha (repay by fasting later) without having to feed the poor, stated by Isaac. According to Al-Auzai, Az-Zuhri, Ash-Shafi’i, qadha is obligatory, but not the kifarat (fine).

What are the opinions of other scholars?

According to Maliki, while pregnant and / or breastfeeding, those women who fear for themselves and/or their children, can choose to perform fasting or not, but should qadha their fast later. For pregnant women, they do not oblige to pay kafarat, for breastfeeding women must pay kafarat.

Breastfeeding women may break her fast if she is the only one who can breastfeed the baby, or if the baby just want to breastfeed from her/his mother. If there are still others who can breastfeed the baby, then the mother should not break her fast.

According to Hanafi if pregnant or breastfeeding women feel danger when they performs fasting, then they may break the fast, whether it’s anxiety over her own or the baby, or both.

If able, according to Hanafi they must do qadha fasting without kifarat. To pay their fast is not necessary to do it in a row.

Hanbali said permissibility of pregnant and breastfeeding women to not fast, if they fear harm upon themselves and their baby or both. They only oblige to do qadha without fidyah (kifarat).

If it only concerns the child’s alone, then in addition to making up those fasting also shall pay fidyah.

Shafi’i argues that if pregnant and breastfeeding women worry about harming themselves or their babies, or both when fasting, they should break their fast. They must perform qadha on another day. Only when the concern is addressed to the baby, it is also required to pay kifarat/fidyah.

In conclusion break-fast for pregnant and lactating women is tolerable if they are worry of the safety of themselves or their children. However to pay fidyah or perform qadha depend on which scholar you want to follow. InshaAllah all is right.


Regards, Ramadan Kariem

Source: Fiqhul mar’ah Ibrahim Al-Muslimah by Muhammad al-Jamal

Delina Partadiredja

The author has been writing since elementary school. Prior to be the in-charge person for contents she often contributed to an Islamic website. Further, she has co-authored two books and one book of poetry. Her previous banking career followed her completing Bachelor of Economics. She obtained an MBA from Leicester University in the UK. She currently lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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