Can a breast-feeding woman break her fast in Ramadan? What is her expiation? -Shaykh ibn al-’Uthaymeen

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Can a breast-feeding woman break her fast in Ramadan? What is her expiation? 

By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him

Question: Is it permissible for a breast-feeding woman to break her fast [in Ramadan]? When does she make it up? Can she feed the poor [as expiation]?

Answer: If the breast-feeding woman fears for her child that her milk will deplete and this will harm the baby then she can break her fast. However she has to make up the fasts because [her situation] is similar to the sick individual that Allah describes in His statement,

وَمَن ڪَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ۬ فَعِدَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ

“…and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you…” (Baqarah: 185)

So once the fear [of losing her milk supply] is gone she should fast either in the winter due to the short days and cold weather, or if there is no winter where she lives then anytime during the coming year.

As for feeding the poor [instead of fasting] then it is not permissible except in a case where a person is constantly being prevented from fasting or has a continuous excuse [like a chronic illness and the likes]. In these cases then feeding the poor for each day missed is the substitution.

Source: Arkaan al-Islaam: Question #406

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

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