Fasting

Kaffarah: Pregnant and Nursing Women

Kaffarah

Question. What is the amount of the kaffarah of not fasting and the form and time frame in which it has to be given out? My wife still plans to make up the fast in shaa Allah but she also would like to give out the kaffarah because if it was not for her fear on the babies she would have tried to fast at least the first day and see how it would affect her.

Bismillah wal-Hamdulillah was-Salatu was-Salam ‘Ala Rasulillah

A nursing or pregnant woman is generally required to fast in Ramadan.

It is permissible for her not to fast if fasting is too difficult for her, but won’t cause harm.

It is obligatory for her not to fast if it will cause harm to her or her baby.

It is haram for her to not fast if no hardship results from fasting.

For example, she may fear loss of senses, death, or illness. It should be based on strong grounds either from previous experience or the recommendation of an upright Muslim physician.

Nursing Woman:

(1) A nursing woman who is scared for herself can break the fast and she has to make up the missed days later only. This is the position of vast majority of scholars. Some scholars even say that there is no difference on this issue.

(2) A nursing woman who fears for her baby and herself can break the fast and she has to make up the missed days later.

(3) If such a woman fears only for the baby, (she is afraid not eating will hurt her baby or her milk will dry up, etc) then there is some scholarly difference of opinion. According to the majority of scholars she has to pay an expiation, i.e. feeding a poor person and make up the missed days at later date. The guardian of the baby is responsible for feeding a poor person for each day she missed. At the very least, it is safer to feed a poor person, especially if one can afford it.

Pregnant Woman:

(4) A pregnant woman can break the fast and she has to make up the missed days later only if she is scared for herself. This is the position of vast majority of scholars. Some scholars even say that there is no difference on this issue.

(5) A pregnant woman who fears for her baby and herself can break the fast and she has to make up the missed days later.

(6) If the pregnant woman fears only for the life of her foetus when she fasts (she is afraid if she won’t eat it will hurt her baby, or she has to take medicine for the baby, etc), according to the majority of scholars she has to pay expiation, i.e. feeding a poor person and make up the missed days at later date. The guardian of the baby is responsible for feeding a poor person for each day she missed. At the very least, it is safer to feed a poor person just to be safe, especially if one can afford it.

Fidya can not be given before Ramadan or before the missed days. conversely, fidya can be given after the missed day or collectively at the end of Ramadan for all the missed days.

According to the majority of scholars, money does not replace food for fidya. What this means is that you can not give the equivalent amount of fidya in form of money to the poor. You can delegate someone to buy food and give it to poor.

The poor person should be given at least one and a half kilograms of the local staple food, whether it is rice, dates or anything else. If meat is also given, that is better.

Bukhari reports from Anas that when he grew old and was unable to fast, he did not fast and would give bread and meat to a poor person for each day.

Food can be given to one person for all the days or it can be cooked and fed to 30 poor people, for instance.

And Allah knows best.


Kaffarah: Pregnant and Nursing Women Feature Image Credit: Tambako The Jaguar