Rulings for Fasting that are Specific for Women

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Rulings for Fasting that are Specific for Women

Post by Noor'e Sahar on Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:10 am


Fasting the month of Ramadaan is an obligation on every male and
female Muslim, and it is one of the pillars and great foundations of
Islaam. Allaah says: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed
for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you may
attain Taqwaa."
[Surah Al-Baqarah: 183] The word"kutiba" (prescribed) here means "furida"
obligated. So when the young girl reaches the age in which she will be
held accountable for her actions, by having one of the signs of puberty
become apparent in her, among which is menstruation, then the obligation
of fasting begins for her. She could begin menstruating as early as
when she is nine years old. However, some young girls are not aware that
they are required to begin fasting at that point, so she doesn’t fast
thinking that she is too young, nor do her parents order her to fast.
This is a great negligence, for one of the pillars of Islaam is being
abandoned. If this occurs to any woman, she is obligated to make up for
the days of fasting that she abandoned since the point when she began
menstruating, even if a long time has passed since that time, for it
remains in her obligations.
Who is obligated to fast Ramadaan?
When the month of Ramadaan comes, every male and female Muslim that
(1) has reached the age of puberty, is (2) healthy and (3) a resident
(i.e. not traveling) is obligated to fast. And whoever is sick or
traveling during the month, may break the fast and make up the number of
days missed on other days. Allaah says: "So whoever sights the
(moon indicating the beginning of the) month, then he must fast. And
whoever is sick or on a journey, then (he may break the fast and instead
fast) the number of days missed on other days."
[Surah
Al-Baqarah: 185] Likewise, whoever enters into Ramadaan and he is very
old and not able to fast or has a chronic illness, which does not expect
to be cured any specific time - whether male or female - may break the
fast and instead feed a needy person half a saa’ (four handfuls) of the food from that people’s land for every day missed. Allaah says: "And as for those who can fast (but) with difficulty, they (may break their fast and) feed a needy person."
[Surah Al-Baqarah: 184] Ibn ‘Abbaas (raa) said: "This ayah is for the
old man of whom it is not anticipated that he will be cured." [Saheeh
Al-Bukhaaree] And the sick person of whom it is not hoped that he will
be cured from his sickness falls under the ruling of the old person. And
he does not have to make up the missed days because of his inability to
fast.
A woman is specified with certain excuses that permit her to break
the fast in Ramadaan, on the condition that she makes up the days she
missed fasting due to these excuses on other days. These excuses are:
1. Menstrual and Postpartum Bleeding: A woman is
forbidden from fasting while she is in these two conditions. And she is
obligated to make up these missed days of fasting on other days. This is
based on what is reported in the two Saheeh collections from ‘Aa’isha
(raa) who said: "We were ordered to make up the (missed) days of fasting but we were not ordered to make up the (missed) prayers."
She gave this answer when a woman asked her: "Why does a menstruating
woman have to make up the (missed days of) fasting and not have to make
up the (missed) prayers?" So she (raa) clarified that this is from the
matters dependent on revelation, which must comply with the reported
texts.
As for the wisdom behind that, then Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said in "Majmoo’-ul-Fataawaa"
(15/251): "The blood that comes out of the woman because of
menstruation has a discharge of blood in it. A menstruating woman can
fast in times other than when the blood that comes out of her due to
menstruation contains her blood. So her fasting in this situation is a
moderate and balanced fast - no blood, which strengthens the body and
which is its main substance - comes out of her during these times. But
her fasting when she is menstruating necessitates that her blood come
out during this time - the blood, which is the main component of her
body and which will lead to a weakness and deficiency in her body. And
this will necessitate that her fast not be that of a moderate and
balanced nature. So that is why she is commanded to fast in times when
she is not menstruating."
2. Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding: If because of
fasting there is harm caused to the woman or the baby or to both of
them, then she may break the fast while she is pregnant or
breastfeeding. But if the harm for which reason she is breaking her fast
only applies to her baby and not her, then she must make up for the
days she missed of fasting and feed a needy person for each day missed.
And if the harm only applies to herself, then it is sufficient for her
to only make up the missed days. This is based on the pregnant woman and
breastfeeding woman falling under the generality of Allaah’s saying: "And for those who can fast (but) with difficulty, they (may break their fast) and instead feed a needy person." [Surah Al-Baqarah: 184]
Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said in his Tafseer
(1/379): "Amongst those who fall into the meaning of this ayah are the
pregnant and breastfeeding women if they fear for themselves or for
their children." And Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said: "If a pregnant
woman fears for her fetus, then she may not fast and instead make up
each day of fasting that was missed on other days and feed a needy
person around 2 kilograms of bread." [Majmoo’-ul-Fatawaa: 25/318]
Important Notes:
1. Istihaadah (Irregular Bleeding): This is
the condition in which a woman has blood come out of her, which is not
her menstrual blood. She must observe the fast and it is not permissible
for her to break her fast because of this type of bleeding. When
mentioning the allowance of the menstruating woman of breaking her fast,
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: "This is contrary to the woman in the state of Istihaadah,
for this state comprises an unfixed period of time, and there is not a
time in it in which she can be commanded to begin fasting (again). So
because of this, it is not possible to caution against it, the same as
for throwing up unexpectedly, emitting blood due to a wound, getting a
boil, Ihtilaam (when sexual fluid comes out of the private
parts not due to intercourse or foreplay), as well as all the other
things that do not have a fixed time in which they could be cautioned
against. So this (Istihaadah) was not made as something that nullifies the fast, such as the blood of menstruation." [Majmoo’-ul-Fataawaa: 25/251]
2. The Menstruating woman as well as the pregnant and breastfeeding women,
if they break their fast in Ramadaan, must make up for the missed days
of fasting in the time that occurs between the Ramadaan in which they
broke their fast and the forthcoming Ramadaan. But to complete them
early is better. And if there only remain a few days before the next
Ramadaan begins, then they are obligated to make up the missed days of
fasting (from the previous Ramadaan) such that the new Ramadaan will not
come upon them while they still have to fast days from the previous
Ramadaan. But if they don’t do this and Ramadaan comes upon them while
they still owe days of fasting from the previous Ramadaan, and they have
no (valid) excuse for delaying it, they are obligated to make up the
missed days and to feed a needy person for each day. But if they have a
valid excuse, then they must only make up the missed days of fasting.
This goes the same for those who must make up the missed days of fasting
due to sickness or traveling. Their ruling is like the ruling of the
woman who broke the fast due to menses, with the previously mentioned
details.
3. It is not permissible for a woman to observe a recommended fast
if her husband is present unless she has his permission. This is based
on what Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others have reported from Abu Hurairah
(raa) that the Prophet (saws) said: "It is not permissible for a woman to fast while her husband is present except with his permission." In some narrations of the hadeeth in Ahmad and Abu Dawood, there occurs the wording "...except Ramadaan."
But if the husband permits her to observe a recommended fast or he is
not present around her or if she doesn’t have a husband, then it is
encouraged for her to observe this recommended day of fasting. This is
especially for the days in which it is recommended to fast such as
Mondays and Thursdays, three days in every month, six days in Shawaal,
the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of ‘Arafah and the Day of
‘Aashooraa along with the day before or after it. However, she should
not observe a recommended fast while she owes days to make up for (the
previous) Ramadaan, until she first makes up these missed days and
Allaah knows best.
4. If a menstruating woman stops bleeding during the day in Ramadaan,
she must begin her fasting for the remainder of the day but still make
it up with the days that she didn’t fast because of menses. Her fasting
for the remainder of the day in which she stops bleeding is an
obligation on her out of respect for the time (i.e. Ramadaan).
Author:Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan
Source: His book Tanbeehaat ‘alaa Ahkaam takhtassu bil-Mu’minaat (pg. 62-67)
Translator: Isma'eel Alarcon

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Re: Rulings for Fasting that are Specific for Women

Post by Masooma on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:31 am

informative post
JazakALLAH kHaIR
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