Concerning the permission to observe the fasting for a suckling woman and the obligation, for her, to give Fidya (feed a poor person) | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Tuesday 17 Al-Muharram 1446 H - July 23, 2024 G

Fatwa: 317

Category: fatwas about fasting

The permission of not fasting for a nursing mother but with the obligation of Fidya(1)

The question:

Is it permissible for a nursing mother to not fast during the month of Ramadan, and is it obligatory for her to feed a poor for each day not fasted or make up for the missed days? Benefit us (with your answer) and May Allah reward you with good.

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

If the nursing mother and the pregnant woman fear for themselves or for their children, they should give Fidya if they do not fast, and they should not make up for the days they did not fast, according to the soundest opinion of scholars, because they are in the position of someone who cannot bear fasting. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbâs and Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهم, in accordance with Allah’s saying:

﴿وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ﴾ [البقرة: 184].

The meaning of the verse:

And as for those who can fast (but with difficulty), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a poor person﴿ [Al-Baqara (The Cow): 184].

This verse is not abrogated, but it should be interpreted as meaning the person who bears fasting with difficulty, like the old man or woman, the pregnant woman, the nursing mother and the sick person with a chronic illness. Fidya will be then, to feed, for each day not fasted, a poor. This opinion is supported by the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying: “Allah relieved the traveler from half of the prayer and fasting, and relieved the pregnant woman and the suckling woman from fasting”(2).

This is if the woman breast-feeds, but if her child is breast-fed by another woman, or he is bottle-fed with industrial milk, in this case, she has not the permission of not fasting.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Shawwâl 19th, 1426H.

Corresponding to: November 21st, 2005.

(1) Al-Fidyah: the fact of feeding a poor for each day not fasted by way of compensation. Translator’s note.

(2) Reported by Abu Dâwûd (2/796), by At-Tirmidhi (3/94), by An-Nassâ'i (4/180), Ibn Mâjah (1/533), by Al-Baghawi in “Sharh As-Sunna” (6/315), and by Al-Bayhaqi in “As-Sunan Al-Kubra” (4/231) on the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik Al-Ka`bi رضي الله عنه. This hadith has been judged authentic by Al-Albâni in “Sahîh Abu Dâwûd” (2408).