I want to ask a question. Last year after giving birth I missed my fast for a whole month of Ramadhan because I was on my pantang (a set of rules or restrictions on a person who has just given birth a custom practised primarily in the Asian region). Now I’m still breastfeeding my child of 11 months old. My question is, do I have to:
- Only replace my fast or
- Replace my fast and pay fidyah or
- Only pay the fidyah without replacing my fast?
Since I’m still nursing my child, I don’t know which I should do because I heard too many opinions from various madhhabs. Thank you ustaz.
Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
First and foremost, we have to clarify the meaning of pantang according to the custom and shariah. In the Malay custom, after giving birth a person is on a strict set of rules for a certain duration (the famous durations practised are 44 or 100 days). While according to shariah there is a certain set of restrictions for a person who has just given birth, which is related to the rulings of post-natal bleeding (nifas). The same rulings for menstruation is applied to a person who is experiencing post-natal bleeding where she is restricted from praying, fasting, reading, touching and holding the mushaf al-Quran, staying in a mosque, tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba) and intercourse or intimacy between a husband and wife from the areas between the navel and knees. The usual duration for post-natal bleeding is 40 days while the maximum number of days is 60 days.
According to Imam al-Syarbini al-Khatib (w. 977 H) in al-Iqna’ (pg. 143-144), a woman experiencing post-natal bleeding is prohibited from fasting in Ramadhan. If she still fasts, then her fast is invalid and it is still wajib for her to replace it. This is different from obligatory prayer which does not have to be replaced. This is in accordance with a hadith Muslim narrated by Aisya R.Anha where it is stated that women are commanded to qadha’ (replace) the fast she missed due to menstruation – and also for nifas – but not the obligatory prayers.
The original ruling for a woman who delays from replacing her missed fast until the next Ramadhan begins is haram and it is wajib for her to replace her fast as well as pay one mudd (of the staple food of where she lives such as rice in zakat fitrah) for each day that she missed and did not replace before the Ramadhan of the following year. However, exceptions are given for those who delay it due to excuses permitted by Syara’. Refer al-Iqna` (pg. 352).
Syeikh Muhammad al-Zuhaili in al-Mu’tamad (2/200): “If a woman delays her replacement fasting due to a debilitation such as continuous illness, breastfeeding, pregnant or travelling until the beginning of the next Ramadhan, then it is not wajib on her to pay fidyah because of the delay but it is wajib for her to only replace her fast.”
Thus, in the case of the person asking this question:
- You should replace the fast you missed when you were experiencing post-natal bleeding.
- If you delay your replacement of fast until the next Ramadhan starts, then you should replace you fast as well as pay fidyah for each day you missed.
- If you delay your replacement of fast because of excuses permitted by syara’ such as nursing your child until the next Ramadhan starts, then you don’t have to pay fidyah but you are still obligated to replace your fast.
May Allah SWT grant us the knowledge and strength in worshipping Him. Amin.