For fasting, women have some additional rules that apply to them due to issues such as pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and breast feeding. The following provides some insight into those matters that may be helpful when women are considering fasting in Ramadan and other months.
Rules during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- A pregnant woman does not know whether fasting will harm the baby or not. Does she have to fast?
A: If she has reasonable grounds to fear that fasting would harm her baby, then, it is not obligatory for her to fast, otherwise she must fast.
- A woman was pregnant during two consecutive Ramadans and could not fast during those two years. Now that she is able to fast, what is her duty? Does she only have to perform the qaḍā’ for the two months, or does she have to carry out the twofold kaffārah as well? What is the rule concerning her delaying the fasting?
A: If she did not fast during the month of Ramadan due to a shar‘ī excuse, she is only liable for their qaḍā’. However, if she did not fast because she feared it might harm the fetus or the baby, she has to give fidyah, i.e. one mudd (750 grams) of food for each day, in addition to making their qaḍā’. And if she delayed the qaḍā’ beyond the following Ramadan without a shar‘ī excuse, another fidyah is obligatory for her as well, i.e. she should give one mudd [750 grams] of food to a poor person for each day.
If her excuse was fearing of harm for herself, rules of other cases of fearing of harm are applied, i.e. if the fear continues to the next Ramadan, she is not to perform qaḍā’ and she is only required to pay one mudd (750 gm.) of food as fidyah.
- If fasting during the month of Ramadan is harmful for a breastfeeding/pregnant woman and it continues like that until the next Ramadan, does it suffice to pay fidyah without performing the missed fast like a patient?
A: The rules of a patient are applied here.
To Experience Menses While Fasting
- If a woman’s periods begin two hours or more before the maghrib prayers in the month of Ramadan, will her fast be null and void for that day?
A: Her fast is void.
- If a woman’s menstrual cycle starts while she is fasting on the specific day that she had made a nadhr to perform, what should she do?
A: Her fast is void because of the menstrual cycle, and she has to perform its qaḍā’ after she is clean again.
- If during her keeping 60 fasts as kaffārah, the menstrual period of the woman or something like that starts, what should she do?
A: After she becomes clean, she may continue with the kaffārah fasts. She is not required to start it from the beginning.
- If a woman becomes clean of her menses before morning adhān, what is her duty?
A: If there is enough time to take ghusl, she should take it; otherwise, she should do tayammum and her fast will be valid. However, if she does not take ghusl or tayammum on purpose, her fast becomes void and she has to observe kaffārah for it.
- A woman does not take ghusl before morning adhān during the month of Ramadan, because she is not confident about her being clean. However, she discovers during the day that she had become clean, should she abstain from fast invalidators till maghrib?
A: In the given situation, if she did not commit anything which may break fast, she should intend fasting. Anyhow, it is an obligatory caution that she make up for this fast in qaḍā’ later. However, if she did a fast invalidator, she will not be required to observe kaffārah for this missed fast.