If a woman misses several years of fasting the month of Ramdan due to pregnancy and breastfeeding is she obligated to make these up by fasting each day? Is there another option that she may take such as feeding the poor because it would be very difficult for her to make up so many days? Some women are pregnant or breastfeeding for many years in a row without an opportunity to make them up. Also, does she need to make these up before she can do voluntary fasting such as during the month of Shawwal? If this is the case, then it may be difficult for her to gain the rewards of fasting during this month since she would need to make up the missed days first ? Is the opportunity to make up days lost after a certain time period ? For example, if the woman had not made them up before the next Ramadan is the opportunity lost ?
Jazak Allah Khair.
Praise be to Allaah.
A Muslim woman who misses any fasts in Ramadaan because of being pregnant or breastfeeding must make them up after she no longer has that excuse, just like the sick person of whom Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days…” [al-Baqarah 2:184]
A woman may space out these days (i.e., she does not have to fast them all at once, consecutively), as this is easier for her. (See also "Seventy Questions About Fasting ",
, under the heading Books on this web-page).
It is better to make up missed days before the next Ramadaan comes, but if the excuse is still present, she may delay making them up until she is able to do so. She should not resort to feeding poor people (instead of fasting) unless she is totally unable to fast. And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid