Question

Reference number: 541482 | Fasting | May 20, 2020

I am pregnant, and I cannot fast in the month of Ramadan. I would like to know what are the consequences if I don not fast. Thank you.

Answer

Praise Be to Allah and Peace Be Upon His Messenger.

Referring to your question whether a pregnant should fast or not, I would like to say that basically she should fast unless she may have complications that harm herself or her fetus; in such a case, she can break the fast, but she must make up every missing day.

Shaikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussain, the General Mufti (Muslim Legal Scholar), in the Palestinian Legal Verdict Council, was once asked about the atonement if a pregnant, a nursing mother, (a mother who breastfeeds her baby) or a woman in a state of puerperium does not fast. How much should they pay in the Israeli Shekels?

He answered: "If one of the aforementioned examples of women does not fast in the month of Ramadan, she must fast later the same number of days which she misses once she becomes better. She must not pay ransom unless she will not be any better later. It is worth mentioning that any Muslim who does not fast as being excused must compensate by the coming Ramadan in the next Hijri year."

Aishah RRA, one of the prophet Muhammad’s wives, said that when she had some part of Ramadan to make up, she would be able to do so only in Sha’ban, the eighth month of the Hijri calendar. What is concluded from this narration is that she was careful not to delay fast compensation later than the following Ramadan.  

What happens if a Muslim had to make up some days, but they did not do so before the following Ramadan?

First, if they did not compensate as they are excused for being sick for example, what they must do is compensating the same number of the missing days only, and they are not considered sinful.

Second, if they delay the required compensation without being excused, Muslim scholars have two opinions:

The Maliki, Shafi’i, and the Hanbali schools decide that the one who does so is considered to be sinful; they must pay ransom and fast as well.

The Hanafi school and other scholars consider the one who does so sinful, but they should only fast without the must of paying ransom. This opinion depends on the interpretation of the verse in Al-Baqarah Chapter. Allah says: “but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. Al-Baqarah: 184.

To conclude, if a pregnant, a nursing mother, and a woman in a state of puerperium misses days in Ramadan as they are excused, they must make up the missing days without paying ransom or feeding the poor depending on the Hanafi school and other scholars who see that paying ransom is only required from any one who can neither fast nor compensate fasting because of being senior or because of a chronic disease.

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