A pregnant woman making up fasts.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net
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Q. Can a pregnant woman give only Fidya? If you say she has to make up her fast, what is the daleel? I heard a Khateeb saying that if she cannot fast then it is enough if she gives fidya. The Khateeb quoted sayings of Ibn Abbas, who was the scholar of Ashaab. Please give me the evidence.

A. All the scholars are unanimous on the ruling that a pregnant woman who misses her fast (on account of pregnancy) is required to make up for her missed fast. Some have gone further to state that along with making up for the missed fast, she is also required to give fidya in the month of Ramadhan for her missed fast. Others however, have stated that she is only required to make up for the fast and there is no fidya upon her. In this regard, it is narrated from Imam Shafi, Imam Ahmad, Sufyan and one opinion of Imam Malik that a pregnant woman and a nursing mother, both of them are allowed to miss the fast of Ramadhan when they fear harm for their child. However, they must make up for their missed fasts and would also feed the poor (that is give fidya). (Tirmizi – Chapter of the allowance of missing the fast for a pregnant woman and a nursing woman).

The above opinion is also narrated from Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) (a Sahabi (companion) of the Prophet (S.A) and Mujahid (A.R) (Al Mughni vol.3 pg.139).

The above scholars here based their ruling upon the understanding that in this matter both types of women (mentioned above) fall into the category of those who are temporarily ill and the law of the Quran regarding such people is that they must make up for the missed fast. As for the act of feeding the poor by giving fidya, they based their ruling upon the statement of Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) who said that they should give the fidya. It is important to note here, that the above great scholars from the Salafus Saaliheen, did not infer from the statement of Ibn Abbas that these women should simply give fidya alone, but instead, they ruled that she must also make up for the missed fast, since this was the law of the Quran for people who fall into the category of being temporarily unable to keep the fast. (See Tuhfatul Ahwazi-Sharh of Tirmizi vol.3 pg.459, Bidayatul Mujtahid vol.1 pg.310).

The other famous and accepted ruling which has been given by a great amount of Imams (scholars) from the Salafus Saaliheen is that the pregnant woman and nursing mother must only make up for the missed fast and is not required to give fidya. This is the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Awzai, Imam Sufyan Thawri, Abu Ubaid, Abu Thawr, Afa, Hasan Basri, Ibraheem An Nakhi, Imam Zuhri, Rabi’a, Dhahak, Saeed bin Jubair. (Al Mughni vol.3 pg.139)

The above is also the established ruling of Imam Bukhari, who cited the following statement as his proof. He said, ‘Hasan Basri and Ibraheem An Nakhi have stated in regards to the nursing mother and the pregnant woman, ‘when both of them fear harm upon themselves or their children, they are allowed to miss the fast and then make up for it’. (Sahih Al Bukhari)

These scholars from the Salafus Saaliheen (Pious Predecessors) have cited verse 184 of Sura Baqara as their evidence. This verse states, ‘But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days’. The scholars have explained that those who are ill are allowed to miss the Ramadhan fast, based on this verse, however they must make up for it afterwards. There is no instruction to pay fidya in this verse. As such, a pregnant woman who is considered by all scholars to fall under the allowance given to the ill ones, would also do the same, and seeing that there is no requirement to pay fidya for this category of excused people, she will not be required to pay fidya.

In addition to this, there is a sound hadith which is narrated from the Prophet (S.A) regarding the pregnant woman and the nursing mother. Anas bin Malik (R.A) states that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘Certainly Allah has put aside from the traveler, the fast and half of his Salaah. And has put aside from the pregnant woman or a nursing mother, the fast’. (Recorded by Imam Tirmizi who said that it is a Hasan (good) hadith. Recorded also by Abu Dawood, Nasai and Ibn Majah).

This hadith establishes the fact that just as the traveler is exempted from observing the fasts of Ramadhan (in its month) so too the pregnant woman and nursing mother are exempted. However, the hadith says that Allah has ‘put aside the fast from them’ and He did not absolve them totally from observing the fast. It is for this reason, we see that the traveler is required to make up for his missed fast when he returns from his journey. In this same manner, the pregnant woman and nursing mother would both make up for the missed fasts, since they have all been treated on the same level with the traveler in the hadith.

There is absolutely no mention of paying the fidya and hence, it would not be upon them. Further to this, these scholars have stated that there is no hadith in which the Prophet (S.A) has made fidya essential upon the pregnant woman (when she misses the fast). This is only the opinion of Ibn Abbas (R.A) and in one narration of Ibn Umar (R.A). They do not base their opinion on a hadith, instead it is a deduction they have drawn from the verse of the Holy Quran which speaks about fidya.

Based on this explanation, it is clearly seen that there is a unanimous ruling/verdict of almost all the scholars of the Salafus Saaliheen, including the four great Imams of Fiqh, that a pregnant woman must make up for her missed fasts. The difference of opinion held by these scholars is only with respect to the issue of whether there is an additional duty placed upon the pregnant woman or not. Note well, that it is not about being absolved entirely from making up for the missed fasts.

For a detailed explanation of my answer you can refer to the following books:

Bidayatul Mujtahid vol.1 pg.310
Nailul Awtaar vol.4 pg.230
Al Hidaya vol.1 pg.222
Fathul Qadeer vol.2 pg.276
Al Mughni vol.3 pg.139
Tuhfatul Ahwazee vol.3 pg.458
Al Fiqhul Islami Wa Adilatihi vol.3 pg.1700

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.