Ramadan is a few days away. While Muslims around the world brace for hours of fasting, a common question which bothers expecting moms is this – Can pregnant women fast in Ramadan? And should they?
Well, we are certain that everyone has advised you to eat healthy food and even double your food intake (“you’re eating for two people”), remember? While pregnancy commands you to remain hydrated and well fed, it is a blessing given by Allah and so is Ramadan. So the dilemma often sets in.
So can pregnant women fast in Ramadan?
Each pregnancy is different and hence the rulings also differ. Generally, in Islam, we follow a simple rule. If the woman is not affected by fasting, and fasting is not too difficult for her, and she does not fear for her child, then she is obliged to fast, and it is not permissible for her not to fast.
If the pregnant woman fears for herself or her child because of fasting, and fasting is difficult for her, then she is allowed not to fast, but she has to make up the days that she does not fast. In fact, in this situation, it is better for her not to fast. Some scholars also go to the extent of saying that it is makrooh for her to fast. And that if she fears for her child, it is obligatory for her not to fast and it is haraam for her to fast.
“It is makrooh for her to fast in this case Ibn ‘Aqeel said: If a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding mother fears for her pregnancy or her child, then it is not permissible for her to fast in this case, but if she does not fear for her child then it is not permissible for her not to fast.” – Al-Mirdaawi said in al-Insaaf (7/382)
Can a pregnant woman break her fast in Ramadan if she feels a bit tired?
Not every kind of tiredness or hardship is a reason to break the fast in Ramadan. However, pregnant women may face two situations. Based on them, they must follow a simple rule:
- When she feels a little tired but fear for herself or her unborn child, she is obliged to fast. In this case, it is not permissible for her to break the fast.
- When the hardship experienced by her is severe in nature and she fears that she or her unborn child may be harmed, it is better for her not to fast, and that may be obligatory for her.
Islam is not a harsh or unrealistic religion. It does not command that you put your or your child’s life in danger. If your body doesn’t permit you to fast, don’t lose heart. You can make up for your missed fasts after your pregnancy is over. You can perform other acts of worship in this time – Salah, Quran, Zakat, Charity and so much more.