Salam Ramadhan to all muslims and non-muslims alike! In this month of barakah and guidance, we believe it is to be shared with all! So let's not waste any of it yea? Especially us muslims! InsyaAllah.
So back to my original point of doing this post. It is to share and explain (as best as i can iA) on the most questionable and frequently mistaken question when it comes to fasting for us women...
Are pregnant or breastfeeding moms allowed to be exempted from fasting?
And do they have to pay fidya (feed the needy as compensation) only or ganti puasa as well?
So i'll break it down into 2 parts. Please take note, that i will include the links to my sources of where this ruling is taken from.
1. Alhamdulillah. Islam is indeed fair, understanding and easy. It understands the different situations of the complex human beings and is not rigid (coz we followers are not robots). So for preggy and nursing moms, we are allowed to be excused from fasting in view of worried for our health/unborn baby and because of possible reduced milk supply for our nursing child.
But remember, it must be with "worry" of the above if you are to carry on fasting, only then will u be exempted and be able to choose this option. Coz being pregnant or breastfeeding alone is not a requirement for one to simply not fast! If you are not worried, then this does not apply to you and you must fast. As seen by other moms who did it without any difficulty or problems. Plus, this option helps those moms that even doctors advise against fasting because of possible detrimental effects to her or baby. So see! Islam has thought about this long time ago and is verrrryyy accommodating as to not menyusahkan anybody yang tak mampu. this also helps to clear the misconceptions from non-muslims (or even muslim) doctors that tries to say macam2 about fasting also lar kan. bagus now they know. But of course ladies, it's A CHOICE. No paksaan to do or not to do it ok?
2. So let's say you couldn't fast due to tak larat-ness when preggy and you've missed 20 days. Now comes the question if you have to replace the 20 days missed and pay fidyah before the next ramadhan? Well here is where it depends on your original situation and intentions (niat). If approaching the next ramadhan you haven't ganti (replace) the days missed because you tak sempat (tak kisah whatever the reason), the original law upon you for this, is to ganti the days missed AND pay the fidyah.
BUT if so happens that upon approaching the next ramadhan you plan to nurse (breastfeeding) and is still nursing your baby and couldn't ganti in time because you worry of possible decrease in milk supply throughout your whole time nursing him if you fast, and also decide not to fast that coming Ramadhan for the same reason, THEN you are eligible to take the option of ONLY paying the fidyah without making up the days missed by fasting ( tak payah ganti puasa).
Buuutttt, if you can actually fast without worrying of your milk supply and doing ok, then you CANNOT choose this option coz breastfeeding alone is not a requirement to not fast (note the repitition of fact). Coz that means, you didn't ganti the missed days before, simply because you didn't want to/malas/too busy sampai tak sempat, all except worry susu sikit. Cannot lar like that k. So have to ganti lar ok? Ada paham ka? I hope you get it.
Another situation is if u happen to be pregnant again the following ramadhan and could not fast again like you did the ramadhan before because you worry of your pregnancy, then yes, you can choose the option to ONLY pay the fidyah for the days you missed in the previous Ramadhan.
Please take note, if you are NOT NURSING your child anymore and giving them formula milk by the next fasting month, and you're NOT PREGNANT that time as well, you have to make up the days missed and pay the fidyah of the ramadhan before (ie in this example, ganti the 20 days missed puasa from tak laratness of pregnancy and bayar fidyah).
My sources that i put here are from institut al-qayyim which belongs to Dato Dr Asri, an ustaz that i've been following and a personal favourite. The international sources can be found on Onislam.net as the fatwa of the 2nd part is made by Syeikh Qaradawi himself (i'm gonna assume all of us muslims know who this guy is coz *too*cough*darnembarassingnotto*cough*).
But if you have your own personal ustaz that says differently based on his facts and dalil, and most importantly, YOU are CONFIDENT with him, by all means, choose the ones that suits your situation. As mentioned, this is just another OPTION if you care to know and might be more appealing and comfy for you. Note that i used the word "choose" instead of "must" do this rule in the earlier paragraphs. :) So if you choose nak ganti puasa jugak, make sure u jot the number down in a diary or somewhere ok. Coz any days missed and tak ganti till you die, no one else alive can ganti for you tau! This is not like haji boleh tolong2 buatkan for the deceased. Coz pahala and the act of puasa is between the person and Allah alone. As He had stated in this hadith by Bukhari:
"Fasting is for Me, and I reward it."
See betapa special? So if ada yg miss masa mula2 baligh (first period/menarche) and tak ingat how many days you missed sampai sekarang tak ganti (bertahun-tahun), have to agak2 jugak berapa ok! Seriously ladies. Don't take this lightly.
I try my best not to quote knowledge or ask people from a different background (don't do islamic studies) that present answers with his/her own thoughts or ideas, or knowledge like "seingat i masa skolah dulu.. Bla bla bla" kinda thing. But if he/she presents legitimate dalil and sources as solutions when asked, and i know them to have great interests and does comprehensive reading and follows renown ustaz/ustazah (international or locals) about Islam, and is an engineer/lawyer let's say, i will certainly make full use of their efforts. Saves me the time to double check things kan.
Coz take heed, not all ustaz teach sahih (accurate) facts. Macam doctor lar, not all can pakai one. U can tell by how they explain stuff to you right? Masuk akal or not. Some, if not most of us, tengok dia grad mana lagi pastu terus assume can pakai or not! So don't be bias. Similar approach (or fussiness!) must be taken when acquiring knowledge from an ustaz/ustazah. Coz not all of them grow up actually wanting to be an ustaz or even become specialists in that area (like a lot of us!). They're humans too. So they can make mistakes.
Although, as much as we'd like to lepas tangan and blame them in front of God for teaching the "lazy and ignorant us", inaccurate stuff related to Islam, it's not how it works i'm afraid. As sure as your IC confirms you a muslim, IT IS y(our) obligatory responsibility to learn and master the faith better than any job/stuff that you are currently doing. Im surely not mistaken when i didn't come across any line in the Quran saying Allah will test my knowledge on doctoring when i meet Him for judgement. Why? Coz doctoring simply, ain't my way of life. Islam is.
Not too late to stop being a "muslim on IC only" peeps. Never too late insyaAllah.
Hopefully it won't be for me too.