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Pregnancy/Nursing & Fasting in Ramadhan


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Pregnant Women Fasting?

If a woman is pregnant and does not fast, but gives the fidya to the poor, does she still have to make her missed prayers? there are so many people out there who tell me that if you give the money you don’t have to make up the fasts.

 

Answer:

Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

[1] It is established that unperformed fasts (whether with or without excuse) are obligatory to make up. Giving the expiatory payments (fidya) does not lift the duty of making up the fast. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar)

[2]  One only leaves fasting due to pregnancy or nursing if there is good reason to fear harm for the mother or baby–based on experience; or reliable Muslim medical opinion (or a non-Muslim’s medical judgment that confirms for one that there is “good reason to fear harm); or clear and unmistakable signs. (ibid)

What one should do is attempt to fast, while taking the means to be able to (in terms of fulfilling one’s nutritional and other needs in the night hours). Then, if one finds any undue difficulty therein, one should stop. If this happens a few times, one can assume one is unable to fast, unless circumstances change.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani.

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Fasting during pregnancy, and the issue of relying on ‘expert medical opinion’

Can you please clarify if I am not going to be fasting in this coming month of Ramadan because of my pregnancy, apart from making up my fasts I want to feed a poor person throughout Ramadan too. What is the ruling on this and how much will I need to pay in pounds for a sufficient feed?

 

Answer:

I pray that this finds you well, and in the best of health and spirits. May Allah grant you all good and success in this life and the next.

The default is that all adult Muslims are responsible to fast the month of Ramadan. This obligation is only lifted in particular circumstances, with the conditions that Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) have specified.

Pregnant women and those nursing their child are responsible to fast except if there is reasonable fear of undue hardship or for either their health or the health of the child. Undue hardship is hardship that is normally unbearable or difficult to bear.

Reasonable fear requires a basis. This basis is either:

(a) past experience — such as having tried to fast, while taking the means to be able to, and finding unbearable hardship in doing so;
(b) clear signs — such that anyone who sees such a situation would say that one is unable to fast;
(c) expert opinion of an upright Muslim doctor who knows the fiqh limits related to such situations.

Given that this is not the case with most Muslim doctors do not know the fiqh limits of medical cases, one treats their opinion like that of a non-Muslim doctor — one takes their opinion and then one exercises judgment as to whether one’s situation constitutes ‘undue hardship’ or not.

Thus, in most circumstances (unless one knows the Muslim doctor to have reliable understanding of the fiqh of medical issues) one can’t simply take a doctor’s word; rather, one must then judge whether one’s situation entails ‘undue hardship.’

If unsure whether one’s situation entails undue hardship, one should begin fasting — after taking care to attend to one’s nutritional needs properly — and then try to complete the fast. If one then experiences difficulty during the day, then one can break the fast without dislike.

If unable to fast, there is no expiation required in the Hanafi school. However, one must make up the missed fasts

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

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قال الإمام الكاساني في بدائع الصنائع:
وَأَمَّا حَبَلُ الْمَرْأَةِ وَإِرْضَاعُهَا : إذَا خَافَتَا الضَّرَرَ بِوَلَدِهِمَا فَمُرَخَّصٌ لقوله تعالى { : فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ } . وَقَدْ بَيَّنَّا أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ الْمُرَادُ عَيْنَ الْمَرَضِ , فَإِنَّ الْمَرِيضَ الَّذِي لَا يَضُرُّهُ الصَّوْمُ لَيْسَ لَهُ أَنْ يُفْطِرَ فَكَانَ ذِكْرُ الْمَرَضِ كِنَايَةً عَنْ أَمْرٍ يَضُرُّ الصَّوْمُ مَعَهُ . وَقَدْ وُجِدَ هَهُنَا فَيَدْخُلَانِ تَحْتَ رُخْصَةِ الْإِفْطَارِ

قال شيخ الإسلام المرغيناني في الهداية:
( وَالْحَامِلُ وَالْمُرْضِعُ إذَا خَافَتَا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمَا أَوْ وَلَدَيْهِمَا أَفْطَرَتَا وَقَضَتَا ) دَفْعًا لِلْحَرَجِ

قال الإمام الحصكفي في الدر المختار:
فَصْلٌ فِي الْعَوَارِضِ الْمُبِيحَةِ لِعَدَمِ الصَّوْمِ وَقَدْ ذَكَرَ الْمُصَنِّفُ مِنْهَا خَمْسَةً وَبَقِيَ الْإِكْرَاهُ وَخَوْفُ هَلَاكٍ أَوْ نُقْصَانُ عَقْلٍ وَلَوْ بِعَطَشٍ أَوْ جُوعٍ شَدِيدٍ وَلَسْعَةِ حَيَّةٍ ( لِمُسَافِرٍ ) سَفَرًا شَرْعِيًّا وَلَوْ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ ( أَوْ حَامِلٍ أَوْ مُرْضِعٍ ) أُمًّا كَانَتْ أَوْ ظِئْرًا عَلَى ظَاهِرِ ( خَافَتْ بِغَلَبَةِ الظَّنِّ عَلَى نَفْسِهَا أَوْ وَلَدِهَا ) … بِأَمَارَةٍ أَوْ تَجْرِبَةٍ أَوْ بِأَخْبَارِ طَبِيبٍ حَاذِقٍ مُسْلِمٍ مَسْتُورٍ ….( الْفِطْر ) يَوْمَ الْعُذْرِ إلَّا السَّفَرَ كَمَا سَيَجِيءُ ( وَقَضَوْا ) لُزُومًا ( مَا قَدَّرُوا بِلَا فِدْيَةٍ وَ ) بِلَا ( وَلَاءٍ ) لِأَنَّهُ عَلَى التَّرَاخِي وَلِذَا جَازَ التَّطَوُّعُ قَبْلَهُ بِخِلَافِ قَضَاءِ الصَّلَاةِ .

قال ابن عابدين (رحمه الله تعالى) في رد المحتار:
( قَوْلُهُ بِغَلَبَةِ الظَّنِّ ) تُنَازِعُهُ خَافَ الَّذِي فِي الْمَتْنِ وَخَافَ وَخَافَتْ اللَّتَانِ فِي الشَّرْحِ ط ( قَوْلُهُ بِأَمَارَةٍ ) أَيْ عَلَامَةٍ ( قَوْلُهُ أَوْ تَجْرِبَةٍ ) وَلَوْ كَانَتْ مِنْ غَيْرِ الْمَرِيضِ عِنْدَ اتِّحَادِ الْمَرَضِ ط عَنْ أَبِي السُّعُودِ ( قَوْلُهُ حَاذِقٍ ) أَيْ لَهُ مَعْرِفَةٌ تَامَّةٌ فِي الطِّبِّ , فَلَا يَجُوزُ تَقْلِيدُ مَنْ لَهُ أَدْنَى مَعْرِفَةٍ فِيهِ ط ( قَوْلُهُ مُسْلِمٍ ) أَمَّا الْكَافِرُ فَلَا يُعْتَمَدُ عَلَى قَوْلِهِ لِاحْتِمَالِ أَنَّ غَرَضَهُ إفْسَادُ الْعِبَادَةِ كَمُسْلِمٍ شَرَعَ فِي الصَّلَاةِ بِالتَّيَمُّمِ فَوَعَدَهُ بِإِعْطَاءِ الْمَاءِ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَقْطَعُ الصَّلَاةَ لِمَا قُلْنَا بَحْرٌ ( قَوْلُهُ مَسْتُورٍ ) وَقِيلَ عَدَالَتُهُ شَرْطٌ وَجَزَمَ بِهِ الزَّيْلَعِيُّ وَظَاهِرُ مَا فِي الْبَحْرِ وَالنَّهْرِ ضَعْفُهُ ط . قُلْت : وَإِذَا أَخَذَ بِقَوْلِ طَبِيبٍ لَيْسَ فِيهِ هَذِهِ الشُّرُوطُ وَأَفْطَرَ فَالظَّاهِرُ لُزُومُ الْكَفَّارَةِ كَمَا لَوْ أَفْطَرَ بِدُونِ أَمَارَةٍ وَلَا تَجْرِبَةٍ لِعَدَمِ غَلَبَةِ الظَّنِّ وَالنَّاسُ عَنْهُ غَافِلُونَ ( قَوْلُهُ وَأَفَادَ فِي النَّهْرِ ) أَخْذًا مِنْ تَعْلِيلِ الْمَسْأَلَةِ السَّابِقَةِ بِاحْتِمَالِ أَنْ يَكُونَ غَرَضُ الْكَافِرِ إفْسَادَ الْعِبَادَةِ . وَعِبَارَةُ الْبَحْرِ وَفِيهِ إشَارَةٌ إلَى أَنَّ الْمَرِيضَ يَجُوزُ لَهُ أَنْ يَسْتَطِبَّ بِالْكَافِرِ فِيمَا عَدَا إبْطَالَ الْعِبَادَةِ ط …
( قَوْلُهُ وَقَضَوْا ) أَيْ مَنْ تَقَدَّمَ حَتَّى الْحَامِلُ وَالْمُرْضِعُ . وَغَلَّبَ الذُّكُورَ فَأَتَى بِضَمِيرِهِمْ ط ( قَوْلُهُ بِلَا فِدْيَةٍ ) أَشَارَ إلَى خِلَافِ الْإِمَامِ الشَّافِعِيِّ رحمه الله تعالى حَيْثُ قَالَ : بِوُجُوبِ الْقَضَاءِ وَالْفِدْيَةِ لِكُلِّ يَوْمٍ مُدُّ حِنْطَةٍ كَمَا فِي الْبَدَائِعِ ( قَوْلُهُ وَبِلَا وِلَاءٍ ) بِكَسْرِ الْوَاوِ أَيْ مُوَالَاةً بِمَعْنَى الْمُتَابَعَةِ لِإِطْلَاقِ قوله تعالى : – { فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ } – وَلَا خِلَافَ فِي وُجُوبِ التَّتَابُعِ فِي أَدَاءِ رَمَضَانَ كَمَا لَا خِلَافَ فِي نَدْبِ التَّتَابُعِ فِيمَا لَمْ يُشْتَرَطْ فِيهِ وَتَمَامُهُ فِي النَّهْرِ ( قَوْلُهُ لِأَنَّهُ ) أَيْ قَضَاءُ الصَّوْمِ الْمَفْهُومُ مِنْ قَضَوْا وَهَذَا عِلَّةٌ لِمَا فُهِمَ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ وَبِلَا وِلَاءٍ مِنْ عَدَمِ وُجُوبِ الْفَوْرِ

قال الإمام أبو الإخلاص الشرنبلالي في حاشيته على الدرر:
( قَوْلُهُ خَافَتْ ) الْمُرَادُ بِالْخَوْفِ غَلَبَةُ الظَّنِّ بِتَجْرِبَةٍ أَوْ بِإِخْبَارِ طَبِيبٍ حَاذِقٍ مُسْلِمٍ غَيْرِ ظَاهِرِ الْفِسْقِ , وَقِيلَ عَدَالَتُهُ شَرْطٌ كَذَا فِي الْبَحْرِ وَجَزَمَ بِهِ فِي الْبُرْهَانِ فَقَالَ : وَطَرِيقُ مَعْرِفَتِهِ الِاجْتِهَادُ فَإِذَا غَلَبَ عَلَى ظَنِّهِ أَفْطَرَ , وَكَذَا إذَا أَخْبَرَهُ طَبِيبٌ حَاذِقٌ عَدْلٌ ا هـ . وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ مَفْعُولَ الْخَوْفِ لِيَشْمَلَ غَيْرَ الْهَلَاكِ لِمَا قَالَ فِي الْبَزَّازِيَّةِ خَافَتْ الْحَامِلُ عَلَى نَفْسِهَا أَوْ وَلَدِهَا نُقْصَانَ الْعَقْلِ أَوْ الْهَلَاكَ أَفْطَرَت
ْ

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Pregnant Women & Fasting

Advice from an observant Muslim OBGYN who has advised many pregnant and nursing women during Ramadan

 

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari & Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: I know for many women who breast feed, they need to keep hydrated so that they are able to produce milk to feed their child. What do you suggestion one should do when wanting to fast but yet still breast feeding? What suggestions can you give for a woman in this situation in order to benefit the most from Ramadan?

Answer: The normal case is that Muslim women who are pregnant and nursing must fast. They should also take the means to ensure this.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani has outlined from Ibn `Abidin’s Radd al-Muhtar the case of when a pregnant or nursing woman is exempt from fasting. She may leave fasting if she has a good reason to fear harm for herself or her child. This is through

1. advice from reliable Muslim medical opinion (or a non-Muslim medical opinion if it confirm’s one’s own good reason for fear)
2. previous experience
3. or clear and unmistakable signs

It’s very important that women observe how their bodies react to fasting and not ignore obvious warning signs. Sometimes one can see two extremes when it comes to pregnancy/lactation and fasting. Either women automatically assume they cannot fast when pregnant or lactating, and they make no effort to see how their bodies will handle the fast. Or they fast and ignore all warning signs until their health is actually compromised. This is not the way it should be. Women need to strike a balance and understand that every woman’s experience will be different.

Some sisters have shown that they have been able to fast while pregnant and lactating. Other sisters, however, simply cannot fast and maintain good health during pregnancy or sufficient milk supply during lactation. In this case, women should keep track of the days they miss and plan to make them up later.

Again, being in tune with one’s body is really important. Looking out for obvious warning signs does not mean women should wait until they’ve landed in the hospital. What it does mean is that they have to check things like the frequency and color of their urine, frequency and consistency of stools, and the presence of any type of contractions when pregnant. When nursing, they should also look at the frequency and color of their urine, and be aware of the color of their milk, its quantity, the strength of their let-down reflex, and their baby’s state: contented vs. agitated.

Clear warning signs include:

1. dark urine (when pregnant or nursing)
2. constipation (when pregnant or nursing)
3. cramps and contractions (for pregnant women)
4. nausea
5. dizziness
6. a baby who seems agitated, that is, it’s clear that no matter how often you nurse the baby, she or he is not calming down

At the first sign of trouble, it’s permitted to break your fast and make up the days later.

Please note that this advice comes from an observant Muslim OBGYN who has advised many pregnant and nursing women during Ramadan.

In the end, pregnant and nursing women who are not able fasting can still do many things to make the most of their Ramadan. Ramadan is a time when one draws closer to Allah — and this can be done in many forms. She may perform the tarawih prayer, extra prayers and recite Qur’an. She can also do acts of charity and service for others. In addition to the outward forms of worship, many scholars have stressed the importance of inner acts of worship, such as reflecting on one’s bad habits and working steadily towards eliminating them.

And Allah knows best,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq & Sulma Badrudduja

(This is an answer combined from two replies to the specific question. Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Ramadan Course Forum.)

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Pregnant women fasting

My question is regarding my wifes pregnancy and fasting. My wife is 7.5 months pregnant and we have decided that

she doesnt fast this year because its the main stage for her pregnancy and it could be a risk. So how much money or people do we feed for every fast.

 

Answer:

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

If a woman is in her early stages of her pregnancy and by fasting it would not affect the health of the mother and nor of the unborn child then it is obligatory upon her to fast. However, if the woman genuinely fears harm or sickness for herself or for the unborn child only then it is permissible for her not to fast.  There must have been a previous experience where at that time in her pregnancy it affected her or the unborn child’s health. Also if a god fearing qualified Muslim doctor advises her not to fast then she is also exempt from fasting. (Fatawa Hindiyyah p.207 v.1)

With regards to your question, after she gives birth and she has recovered and is clean from her postnatal bleeding it is obligatory for her to do qadha of the fasts of Ramadhan. She will not be allowed to give compensation for the missed fasts. Compensation for missed fasts (fidyah) is given by those who cannot fast at all such as a very old man or woman where there is no hope of him getting better. (Maraqi Falah p.453)

The conclusion to the answer is that it is obligatory for your wife to do qadha of her fast.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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Pregnancy, Fasting and Fidya

 

Question

I am 3 months pregnant. I cannot fast because I am weak due to the fact that I cannot eat a lot. Can I give Fidyah?

 

Answer

If you have been advised by a Muslim gynaecologist or doctor that fasting will endanger your life or the life of your baby, then you may leave out the fasts. You will then have to observe the aadhaa of these fasts when you are clean after the pregnancy.

Fidyah is only for those who leave out the fast because of a sickness, and do not have hope of ever recovering from that sickness. In fact, even if such a person who had no hope of recovery paid the Fidyah and thereafter recovered, he or she will have to observe qadhaa of the missed fasts. Fidyah is also for those who due to old age cannot observe the fast.

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