Is It Permissible for a Pregnant Woman to Break Her Fast in Ramadan? And What Is Required of Her If She Breaks Her Fast?

Answered By Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Abu Bakr Badhib


Is It Permissible for a Pregnant Woman to Break Her Fast in Ramadan? And What Is Required of Her If She Breaks Her Fast?


In the name of Allah, and all praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon our Master Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, and upon his family, his companions, and those who follow him.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is an individual obligation upon every accountable person. They must complete it and be diligent in performing it without neglecting any of its Sunna acts and voluntary practices. Allah Almighty says, “So whoever is present this month, let them fast.” [Quran, 2:185]

However, there may be circumstances of weakness for which a person is excused from completing the fast due to reasons for which the wise Lawgiver has made concessions.

Among these is the issue of a pregnant woman breaking her fast due to fear for herself, her fetus, or both. It is permissible for her to break her fast in these three cases, as established in the Shafi’i School. Abu Dawud narrated about the aya, “For those who can only fast with extreme difficulty, compensation can be made by feeding a needy person ˹for every day not fasted˺,” [Quran, 2:184] that Ibn Abbas said: “It was a concession for the old man and the old woman who are able to fast to then break their fast and feed a poor person for each day, and for the pregnant and nursing women if they have fear.”

Anas bin Malik al-Ka‘bi, a man from the sons of Abdullah bin Ka’b, narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) gave a concession for the pregnant woman who fears herself to break her fast and for the nursing woman who fears for her child. [Ibn Maja]

Tirmidhi said: “The hadith of Anas bin Malik al-Ka’bi is a sound hadith, and we do not know of this man, Anas bin Malik, narrating from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) except this single hadith. This is what is acted upon by the people of knowledge. Some scholars have said that pregnant and nursing women who break their fast must make up the days and feed [a poor person for each missed day], and this is the view of Sufyan, Malik, Shafi’i, and Ahmad.”

The criterion for fear, as determined by the scholars of the school, is that the harm caused by fasting must be clear and significant, similar to the harm that arises for an ill person due to their illness. [Husni, Kifayat Al-Akhyar Fi Hall Ghayah Al-Ikhtisar]

Breaking the fast entails rulings summarized by Shafi’i jurists as follows:

If a Mother Fears for Herself and Her Child

The first case: If she breaks her fast out of fear for herself or combined fear for herself and her child, fearing that her milk will decrease or she will be too weak to nurse, thereby harming the child, she is only obligated to make up for the day she broke her fast. [Nawawi, Rawda]

If a Mother Fears for Her Child Only

The second case: If she fears for her child that her milk will decrease due to her fasting, she is obligated to make up the fast.

As for the obligation of expiation, there are different opinions mentioned by Imam Nawawi in al-Rawda, the most preponderant of which is that it is obligatory, and this is the relied-upon opinion of the school.

It has also been said that it is recommended. Another opinion is that it is obligatory for the nursing woman and not for the pregnant woman. Imam Nawawi said: “According to the most correct opinion, the expiation does not multiply with the number of children, and this is conclusively stated in al-Tahdhib.” [al-Rawda]


It is obligatory for a pregnant woman to learn the rulings of her fast. She must not rush into her worship without knowing and understanding the Sharia ruling. This demonstrates the leniency and compassion of Islamic Sacred Law for those with valid excuses.

We ask Allah Almighty to accept the fasting and worship of the fasting people, and success comes from Him.

[Shaykh] Dr. Muhammad Abu Bakr Badhib

Shaykh Dr Muhammad Abu Bakr Badhib is a prominent Islamic scholar from Yemen. He was born in Shibam, Hadhramaut, in 1976. He received his degree in Shari‘a from Al-Ahqaf University, a master’s degree from the Islamic University of Beirut, and a PhD in Usul al-Din from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

He studied under great scholars such as Shaykh al-Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad, Shaykh Fadl Ba‘ fadl, Habib Salim al-Shatiri, Habib Ali Mashhur bin Hafeez, and others. He has served as the Director of Publications at Dar al-Fiqh, the former Deputy Director of Cultural Relations at Al-Ahqaf University, a former Assistant for Employee Affairs at Atiyah Iron Company, a researcher at the Sunna Center affiliated with the Dallah al-Baraka Foundation, and a researcher at Al-Furqan Foundation’s Makka al-Mukarrama and Madina al-Munawwara Encyclopedia branch.

Currently, he is a researcher at Al-Furqan Foundation’s Makka al-Mukarrama and Madina al-Munawwara Encyclopedia branch, teaches traditionally through the Ijaza system at Dar al-Fuqaha in Turkey, supervises the Arabic department at Nur al-Huda International Institute (SeekersGuidance), and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Manuscript House in Istanbul.

His works include “The Efforts of Hadhramaut Jurists in Serving the Shafi‘i School,” “Contributions of Hadhramaut Scholars in Spreading Islam and its Sciences in India,” and “Hada’iq al-Na‘im in Shafi‘i Fiqh.” He has also verified several books in Fiqh, history, the art of biographies, and Asanid (chains of narration).