I am still nursing my 16.5 month old and find it difficult to fast during Ramaḍān. Do I have to pay fidya (redemption donation) even though I intend on making up my missed fasts later?
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Kind
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.
Permission is granted to pregnant or nursing women to abstain from mandatory ritual Ramaḍān fasting, especially in the case when she fears her health and or the health of the child. In regards to making up the missed fasts and fidya (redemption), kindly note the following;
The Ḥanafī school’s view is the nursing or pregnant woman will only make up the missed days, once she is comfortable after the nursing and or pregnancy. She is not required to give the fidya (redemption).
There is an opinion in the Shāfʿīe and Ḥanbalī schools that such a woman only makes up the missed fasts as is the Ḥanafī stance. However, if the omission of fasting was due to fear upon her fetus or infant, she should also give fidya along with making up the missed fasts.
Ibn Qudāmah (may Allāh’s mercy be upon him) has also quoted a position that such a woman only gives the fidya and is not obliged to make up the fasts. (Al-Mughnī)
Our stance is to take the main-stream view which is to make up the missed fasts. Fidya would not be required. If someone voluntarily chooses to do so along with the makeup fasts, there will be blessings and rewards.
“And whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days.” (Qurʿān 2:185)
“Allāh has ruled for the traveler half units of the ritual prayers and make up [mandatory] fasts. Similarly, the pregnant and nursing woman will make up [missed mandatory] fasts.” (Nasaī, Aḥkām Al-Qurʿān)
And Allāh Knows Best