What is the detailed analysis of the second opinion which states that a pregnant or nursing woman only needs to pay the fidya of feeding one needy Muslim person per missed day?

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This opinion, which is endorsed by ibn ‘Abbas and ibn ‘Omar, adopts the premise that verse 184 was never abrogated and still applies in the case of the elderly, the chronically ill, and the pregnant/nursing woman:

“…And among those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]…” [Al-Baqara, 2:184]

Ibn ‘Abbas believes that the pregnant/nursing woman is able to break the fast due to the special allowance that was given to the people in the category talked about in verse 184; this is different from the category of the traveler, who is allowed to break the fast due to inconvenience. The woman of childbearing age has the potential of having several consecutive pregnancies followed by nursing periods, with no breaks in between. This makes it difficult for her to make up the missed fasts of her childbearing years.

Majority of the scholars don’t agree with this opinion because they believe that verse 184 was abrogated and replaced with the following verse:

“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs and guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of ] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [Al-Baqara, 2:185]

In the above verse, Allah gave everyone the command to fast except for the traveler and the sick person; He did not mention the pregnant or nursing woman in the verse. The ruling for the pregnant or nursing woman came in the following hadith:

Narrated by Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasaa’i, and ibn Maajah:
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah has relieved the traveler of half the prayer and of the duty to fast, and He has relieved pregnant and nursing mothers (of the duty to fast).”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh abi Dawood.

Also, the majority of the scholars go on to say that the statement that women of childbearing age are in a constant state of pregnancy or nursing cannot be applied to all women; not all women have many pregnancies. Also, a woman will eventually end her childbearing years, so her condition is a temporary one. This is unlike the very elderly or the chronically ill whose condition is permanent.


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