If I don’t fast in Ramadan because of pregnancy or breastfeeding, should I make up the fast only or feed a poor person only or both?

 This text is one of the many fatwa (answers to questions based on authentic Islamic provisions) that are made available by Malam Khamis Yusuf. You can follow him on Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp.

Question and Answers in Islam


If I don’t fast in Ramadan because of pregnancy or breastfeeding, should I make up the fast only or feed a poor person only or both?


There’s a vast difference of opinion among the ulama about this issue.

1- Some said you only need to fast to make up the days.

2- Some said you should pay the fidyah only (feed one poor person per day of fasting you missed)


3- And some said you should do both.


Ulama like Ibn Baaz and others said: “The pregnant woman is obliged to fast during her pregnancy, unless she fears that fasting may affect her or her foetus, in which case she is allowed not to fast, and she should make up the fasts after she gives birth and becomes pure from nifaas.”

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/226)


However other ulama like Shaikh Bazmool, Shaikh al-Albaani etc said she does not have to make up the fasts.


Shaikh al-Albaani said regarding this issue: “It isn’t compulsory for them to make up the days; on the contrary, the feeding of a poor person is.

This is the correct answer ....

That’s because the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- said, “Indeed Allah has lifted (the obligation) of fasting from the pregnant woman and the one nursing and or suckling.


Thus the conclusion is that it is permissible for every pregnant woman and every woman nursing and/or suckling to break her fast and feed a poor person (for each missed day), and there is no making up of the days, just this (the feeding).” (Fataawa Shaikh al-Albaani)


So here comes the confusion


One group of very trustworthy ulama are telling us to make up the days.

And another group of equally trustworthy ulama telling us we don’t have to make up the days; rather we just have to feed one poor person per day.


 So what to do?


Perhaps what Shuyookh such as Kareem Abu Zayd and Salah as-Sawy said shows us the middle ground.


Shaikh Salah as-Sawy said after discussing the different opinions on the subject:


“Some scholars are of the opinion that if many missed days accumulate on a woman due to unbroken excuses, e.g. unbroken (continuous) pregnancy, and breast-feeding for many years, then she is exempted from making up for the missed days, and she should only feed poor person(s).


However, it would be prudent to make up for the missed days when the excuse ceases to exist, and she is able to fast.

Nonetheless, if the missed days accumulate to the extent you become unable to make up for them, then the obligation to make up for missed days turn into feeding.” (amja Fatwa# 79980)


So in other words:


1. IF you’re able to fast easily during your pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, you should fast.


2. If you can’t fast while pregnant or nursing, but you are able to easily make these days up later, then it’s better to make them up just to be on the safe side.


3. If it’s difficult for you to make up the fasts later and/or a lot of fasts have accumulated for you, then you do not have to make up the days.


Rather just pay the fidyah and feed one person for each day that you missed.


And Allaah knows best









ﺳُﺒﺤَﺎﻧَﻚَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻬُﻢَّ ﻭَﺑِﺤَﻤْﺪِﻙَ ﺃﺷْﻬَﺪُ ﺃﻥ ﻟَﺎ ﺇِﻟَﻪَ ﺇِﻻَّ ﺃﻧْﺖَ ﺃﺳْﺘَﻐْﻔِﺮُﻙَ ﻭﺃَﺗُﻮﺏُ ﺇِﻟَﻴْﻚ

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