Breast-feeding and fasting

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  • Publish date:01/08/2010
  • Section:Health Q/A
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I have a 7 month old baby who I breastfeed. Since I started fasting the milk started to go and every time that I breastfeed I feel dizzy so I just stay in bed all day long I would like to know if it is a good enough reason to stop fasting and to return those missed days after I stop breastfeeding.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, may Allah exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

A breast-feeding woman, who fears for herself or for her baby and herself, can break the fast and she has to make up the missed days later. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Allah has relieved the travelers of fasting and half of the prayer, and the pregnant and breast-feeding women of the fast". [Ahmad, and others]. Allah Says (which means): {…So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them]-then an equal number of days [are to be made up]} [Quran 2:184].

If such a woman fears only for the baby, then she has to pay an expiation (i.e. feeding a poor person) in addition to making up the missed days at later date. This rule is based on the narration of Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said concerning the verse (which means): {… And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship]-a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]…} [Quran 2:184] This is a concession for the elderly as they can not fast. They are to break the fast and feed one poor person a day. Pregnant or breast-feeding women, if they fear for their children can do likewise'. [Abu Daawood]

Imaam Khattaabi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: 'Pregnant and breast-feeding women have to feed a poor along with making up the missed days because they break fast due to others, i.e. fear for their children'.

Therefore, if you fear for yourself then you may break your fast and should make it up later and you are not obliged to pay an expiation for it. The ruling is the same if you fear for yourself and for your child too as understood from your question. But if you only fear for your child and you break fast for that reason then you should make up the missed days afterwards and pay the expiation.

Allah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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