People who are Granted Permission to Break their Fast
One is also allowed to break his fast in all those situations, which allow a person to refrain from fasting, like sickness, traveling, old age, menstruation, post-natal bleeding, etc.
Question: If one sets out during the day, then he is allowed to break his fast, but is that subject to the condition that he leaves his village first, or if he has decided to travel, can he break his fast (before departure)?
Answer by Allamah Salih Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah): The answer is that two views have been narrated from the salaf. The correct view is that he should not break his fast until he has left his city or village, because he is not yet traveling, rather he has the intention of traveling. Hence, it is not permissible for him to shorten his prayers until he has left his town, so by the same token, it is not permissible for him to break his fast until he has left his town. [Al-Sharh al-Mumti (6/218)]
The Verdict of the Pregnant Woman and the Nursing Mother
It is permissible for the Muslim woman if she is pregnant or nursing her baby to break her fast in Ramadan, if she is afraid that fasting may affect her health or affect her baby or affect both. However, if she is healthy and strong and does not find fasting difficult and it does not affect her fetus then the woman is obliged to fast, because she has no excuse not to do so.
Question: Is it permissible for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers not to fast, and that they can feed the poor and do not have to make up the missed days?
Shaikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid (hafidahullah) replied: ‘Praise be to Allah. The scholars differed concerning the ruling on pregnant woman and breastfeeding mothers if they do not fast. There are several opinions.
1. That they have to make up the fasts only. This is the view of Imam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah). Among the Sahabah, it was the view of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (radhi allahu anhu).
2. That if they fear for themselves, they have to make up the fast only, and if they fear for their children then they have to make up the fasts and feed one poor person for each day. This is the view of Imam al-Shaafa’ee and Imam Ahmad. Al-Jassaas also narrated this from Ibn ‘Umar (radhi allahu anhu).
3. That they have to feed the poor only, and do not have to make up the fasts. Among the Sahabah, this was the view of Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu). Ibn Qudamah also narrated this in al-Mughni (3/37) from Ibn ‘Umar (radhi allahu anhu).
Abu Dawood (2318) narrated from Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) and Ali (radhi allahu anhu) that this phrase; ‘those who can fast with difficulty’ [Soorah al-Baqarah (2):184] was a concession granted to old men and old women who find it difficult to fast, allowing them not to fast and to feed one poor person for each day instead, and the same for pregnant and breastfeeding women if they are afraid. Abu Dawood said, ‘i.e., for their children they may not fast and may feed (the poor) instead.’ Al-Nawawi said, ‘its isnad is hasan.’ This was also narrated by al-Bazzar who added at the end, ‘Ibn Abbas used to say to a concubine of his who was pregnant: ‘You are like one who cannot fast, so you have to pay the Fidya but you do not have to make up the fasts.’ Al-Daraqutni classed its isnad as saheeh, as stated by al-Hafiz in al-Talkhees.
Al-Jassaas narrated in Ahkaam al-Qur’aan that the scholars differed concerning this issue. He said, ‘The Salaf differed concerning this matter, and there were three opinions. Ali said, ‘they have to make up the fast if they do not fast, but they do not have to pay the Fidya.’ Ibn Abbas said, ‘They have to pay the Fidya but do not have to make up the fasts.’ Ibn Umar said, ‘They have to pay the Fidya and make up the fasts.’
Those who said that they only have to make up the fasts quoted the following as evidence:
1. The report narrated by al-Nisaee (2274) from Anas that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Allah has waived half of the prayer for the traveler, and fasting, and for those who are pregnant and breastfeeding.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albanee in Saheeh al-Nisaee. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) stated that the ruling on pregnant and breastfeeding women is like the ruling on the traveler. The traveler may not fast and has to make it up later, and this also applies to pregnant and breastfeeding women. See Ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Jassaas.
2. Analogy to the sick. Just as the sick are allowed not to fast and have to make it up later, the same applies to those who are pregnant and breastfeeding. See al-Mughni, 3/37; al-Majmoo’, 6/273. This view was favored by a number of scholars.
Shaikh Ibn Baz said in Majmoo’ al-Fatawa (15/225), ‘Pregnant and breastfeeding women come under the same ruling as those who are sick. If it is too difficult for them to fast, then it is prescribed for them not to fast, but they have to make up the fasts when they are able to do so, like those who are sick. Some of the scholars are of the view that it is sufficient for them to feed one poor person for every day they missed, but this is a weak view. The correct view is that they have to make up missed fasts, just like travelers and those who are sick, because Allah says: “but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 184]
He also said in Majmoo’ al-Fatawa, 15/227, ‘The correct view concerning this matter is that pregnant and breastfeeding women have to make up the fasts, and what was narrated from Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar that pregnant and breastfeeding women have to feed the poor instead, is a weak view that goes against the Shareeah evidence. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 184]
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are likened to those who are sick, and do not come under the ruling on old men who are unable to fast. Rather, they come under the ruling on those who are sick, so they should make up the fasts when they become able to do so, even if that is delayed.
It says in Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/220), ‘If a pregnant woman fears for herself or her fetus because of fasting in Ramadaan, she may break the fast and she only has to make up the missed fasts. In this regard, she is like one who is sick and is unable to fast or fears that fasting will harm him. Allah says: “but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 184]
Similarly, if a breastfeeding woman fears for herself, or she fears for her child, then she may not fast, and she only has to make up the missed fasts.
It also says in Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/226), ‘A pregnant woman has to fast when she is pregnant, unless she fears for herself or her fetus if she fasts, in which case she is allowed not to fast, but she has to make up the missed fasts after she gives birth and becomes pure from nifas; it is not sufficient for her to feed a poor person instead, rather she has to fast and does not have to feed a poor person if she does that.’
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti (6/220), after mentioning the difference of scholarly opinion about the ruling on this matter, and expressing his preference for the view that she only has to make up the missed fasts:
This view is the most likely to be correct in my (Shaikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid) opinion, because at most they are like one who is sick or traveling, who only have to make up missed fasts. And Allah knows best.
Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter