Thursday, 16 March 2017

Pregnant and breast feeding women are exempted from Fasting - Sh Ghulam Mustafa Zaheer Ameenpuri

As usual, the women rights in Islam is echoed in almost every other aspect dealing with them. One has to have an open heart and mind to comprehend it. Allah in his mercy has waived or exempted the pregnant and breast feeding women from the obligation of fasting that was imposed even on jews and christians before in their respective era of prophets. This shows how much Islam cares for the woman's health and even her unborn or her infant. So In this article i will summarize and translate Shaykh Ghulam Mustafa Zaheer's short risalah on the aforementioned subject. 

It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that:

he came to Prophet in Al-Madinah when he was eating breakfast. The Prophet said to him: "Come and eat the breakfast." He said: "I am fasting." The Prophet said to him: "Allah, the mighty and sublime, has waived fasting and half of the prayer for the traveler and for pregnant and breastfeeding women."

[Ref: Sunan an-Nasa'i 2315; Imam an-Nasa'e has put this hadeeth under the chapter titling it as "Chapter: Fasting is waived for pregnant and breastfeeding women" and Imam Abu `Esa Tirmidhi graded this narration as good and Imam ibn Khuzayma has classed this as authentic in his book Saheeh (2044)] 

One of the senior companions of Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) , Ibn `Umar (may allah be pleased with him) was asked regarding a pregnant woman who fears for her unborn child (due to her fasting/staying hungry for a long while). Ibn `Umar said

" تُفْطِرُ وَتُطْعِمُ مَكَانَ كُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِسْكِينًا مُدًّا مِنْ حِنْطَةٍ"

"Ask her to abandon fasting and instead feed a poor person one mudd` [1] of wheat (for per fast which she misses) 

[Ref: Sunan al-Kubra of Imam Bayhaqi 4/389 H:8079 shamela, with an authentic chain. Also note how Islamic law stipulates that the compensation be in terms of aiding and benefiting the poor and needy instead of some other religions that either enforced its followers to offer a sacrifice or some meat to their Lords or to give that money to the head of the temple and etc.] 

Imam bayhaqi after reporting the above narration goes on to explain how imam malik and others have a similar view. 

[1] The Permanent Committee for Iftaa said in its fatwas, “The amount of the Prophetic Saa’ is three kilograms approximately...” Similarly, Shaykh ‘Abdullah Al-Bassaam  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “The Prophetic Saa’ of pure grains equals 3000 grams approximately...” [Tawdheeh Al-Ahkaam] Hence, the Mudd equals 750 grams approximately.
Some scholars estimated that the Saa’ equals 2,040 grams (2.04 kg); accordingly, the Mudd would be 510 grams. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “In modern weights, the Saa’ of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is equivalent to two kilograms and forty grams. Accordingly, the Mudd is half a kilogram and ten grams."

Another woman asked Ibn `Umar regarding her fasting to which he replied 

أفطری، أطعمی عن کل یوم مسکیناً ولا تقضی.” 

"Leave fasting and feed one poor person per day instead (as the messenger of allah commanded) and you do not have to make up your missed fasts later on" 

[Ref: Sunan Daraqutni (1/207; H: 2363) with an authentic chain] 

Nafi reports that one of Ibn `Umar's daughter was wedded to a Quraishi male and was pregnant. (During ramadan while fasting) she experienced thirst so Ibn `Umar commanded her to break her fast (for her and her child's need and safety) and instead feed a poor person "

[Ref: Sunan Ad-Daraqutni (1/207; H: 2364) with an authentic chain]

Ibn `Abbas explaining the verse 

وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ 

And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. [2:184] 

said : 

اثبتت للحبلی والمرضع

(The ruling of this verse) is established for pregnant and breast feeding women

[Ref: Sunan abi Dawood , 3217]

The successor (i.e. those who studied from the companions of the prophet) Sa`eed ibn Jubayr says regarding a pregnant or breastfeeding woman who fears for her child or her health (that will also affect her child) due to fasting ; that such a woman is to avoid fasting and instead feed a poor per fast and they don't even have to make up for their fasts later on 

[Ref: Musannaf `Abdur-razzaq 4/216 H: 7555; with an authentic chain] 

Conclusion (As per shaykh Ghulam Mustafa and those scholars who agree with him) : A pregnant woman or a breast feeding woman who fears for her health and her child's health or needs is exempted from fasting and she has to feed a poor person (approx half a kilo minimum of staple food like wheat etc) for every fast she skips and doesn't have to make it up later on either. 

For a detailed article that discusses this view in particular, you can visit:

For a detailed article on the general rulings on fasting and who all are exempted from it, visit:

Please note: This is one opinion and there is another opinion too that stipulates she has to make up for the fasts. Please see this link: and

Reminder for those who criticize others following different opinions

قال ابن تيمية مَسَائِلُ الِاجْتِهَادِ مَنْ عَمِلَ فِيهَا بِقَوْلِ بَعْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ لَمْ يُنْكَرْ عَلَيْهِ وَلَمْ يُهْجَرْ وَمَنْ عَمِلَ بِأَحَدِ الْقَوْلَيْنِ لَمْ يُنْكَرْ عَلَيْهِ
20/207 مَجْمُوعُ فتاوى ابْنِ تيمية أُصُولُ الْفِقْهِ التَّمَذْهُبُ

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Whoever acts according to the opinions of scholars in matters of juristic discretion (ijtihad) should not be condemned or boycotted. Whoever acts according to one of two different opinions should not be condemned for it.”

It is mentioned in the Most Renowned Book of Fiqh 

القاعدة الخامسة والثلاثون :
لا ينكر المختلف فيه، انما ينكر المجمع عليه.

Rule no Thirty Five :

There is no (criticism in the form of ) rejection on disputed (Ijtihadi) Matters, (rather) the Rejection should be on the Matters which are agreed Upon.

[Ref: "الفوائد الجنية حاشية المواهب السنية شرح الفرائد البهية في نظم القواعد الفقهية"]

Ibn taymiyyah r.h says: 

" مسائل الاجتهاد من عمل فيها بقول بعض العلماء لم ينكر عليه ولم يهجر، ومن عمل بأحد القولين لم ينكر عليه " انتهى من "مجموع الفتاوى" (20/207)

(Among) The matter of Ijtihad, whoever practices upon it based on (one of) the saying of some scholars, then there is no denouncing over it and there shouldn't any boycotting of that person (for merely following a difference of opinion), and whoever practices one of the opinion from two different ones, there is no reprimanding/criticising at him.

[Ref: Majmoo` al-fatawa 20/207]

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