Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
A group of sisters have asked me to forward the question: What are the rules, expiations, etc. surrounding the fasting of pregnant and / or nursing women in the month of Ramadan?
It remains obligatory, unless the woman genuinely fears harm, with near surety, or sickness for herself or for the child. "Genuine fear" is that which is based on: previous experience, clear unmistakable signs, or being informed by a qualified Muslim doctor who is not outwardly corrupt.
2. Also, with reference to question (1) could you additionally elucidate the issues of kafara and qadha [making up an omitted obligatory act (just in case my transliteration is incorrect)] – if she abstains from fasting – if applicable.
Makeups (qada) are obligatory, but not immediately, though it is superior to make up missed fasts immediately.
3. Does the hukm (of abstaining from fasting) still apply if the woman feels *capable* (i.e. fit) to fast? In other words, is a pregnant woman *obliged* not to fast, or does she have a choice, and are both options predicated upon the determination of her health and the health of the unborn child, or are there other considerations?
Note that the only medical opinion that is considered, in of itself, is that of a Muslim doctor, unless the opinion of a non-Muslim merely confirms one's own past experience or clear manifest signs.
The default is that Muslim women who are pregnant or nursing must fast, and, in the long-term, take the health and nutritional means to be able to fast.
4. Is there a time-limit for any qadha that are due upon her with respect to missed fasts?
5. If a pregnant woman isn't fasting, does she still obtain the reward for praying the tarawih prayers? And would this reward be the same as if she *were* fasting?
The tarawih is unrelated to the fasting. However: it is not just something one does for "reward". It is a confirmed sunna for both men and women, which means that the one who leaves it without an excuse accepted by the Shariah is sinful if they do so habitually, and worthy of blame (from Allah) if they leave it even once.
The congregation is recommended for men, but not a confirmed sunna, though some held it to be a confirmed sunna as well.
The sunna of tarawih is all 20 rakats. Merely praying 8 does not fulfill the sunna.
6. What is the adab of a non-fasting pregnant woman consuming food/beverages in front of those who are fasting, if they are from her family?
They should not, if reasonably possible.
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