Fasting of pregnant and nursing women

Should pregnant women and nursing mothers be fasting in Ramadan?

Pregnant women and nursing mothers are not obliged to fast in Ramadan because of the potential harm to the baby and themselves. Some verses regarding the special condition of pregnant women and nursing mothers are as follows:

“He is the one who has created you from one soul and from it (that same soul) created his mate that he might find peace with her. When he covers her, she carries a light burden and walks around with it. When she becomes heavy, they both pray to their Master, God: if you give us a good child, we will surely be among the grateful.” (7:189)

We have enjoined upon man a duty for his parents. His mother carried him with so much difficulty. His weaning is in two years (…)” (31:14)

“Mothers suckle their children for two whole years if the father wants the suckling to be completed. The father is responsible for their food and clothing in the fair known way. None should be burdened with more than one can bear. Neither a mother should be harmed for the child, nor a father (…)” (2:233)

The first two verses explain the difficulties that pregnant and nursing women are going through. The third verse states “none should be burdened with more than one can bear” and “no mother should be harmed for her child”. The “harm” that pregnant and nursing women face is about the “health” of their children and themselves. God requires us to pray like this:

“Our Lord! Don’t burden us with what we are unable to bear (…)” (2:286)

Considering these 4 verses, we can say that the pregnant and nursing women should not be obliged to fast in Ramadan.

There is a narration from the Messenger of God which confirms our opinion:

“Allah the Almighty removed half of the prayer from the traveler, and fasting from the pregnant and nursing women”[1]



[1] Tirmidhi, Sawm, 21; Ibn Majah, Siyam, 12; Nasâî,  Siyam, 51

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Date: Apr 1, 2015