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
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
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
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
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.