Question # 529: Asalamoalaikum wrwbtuhu, if women wanted to fast the white days but are affected by their period could they make the intention to fast those days and make them up after they are ritually cleansed?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: There are three opinions in case a woman vows to fast on specific days (for example, al-Ayyam al-Beed or the three white days, i.e., the 13th, 14th, and 15th of each lunar month) but did not fast them due to menstruation:
- She is required to make up those missed fasts without any expiation. This opinion is deemed to be preponderant of all.
- She is not required to make up those missed fasts or offer expiation because the vow was to fast on particular days, and those days have elapsed.
- She is required to make up those missed fasts as well as offer expiation like that of breaking an oath.
And, In sha Allah, if someone is used to fasting on the White Days and misses fasting them, he/she may make up for them after attaining ritual purity and will attain the same reward of fasting on them, especially if they are missed with an excuse.
Long Answer: If a woman vows to fast on specific days but did not fast them due to menstruation, she is required to make up these missed fast days because it is obligatory fasting and she did not observe it due to a valid excuse, just like making up for the missed fast-days in Ramadan. Another opinion held that it is not obligatory for her to make up for those fast days because these specific days have already elapsed. The first opinion is safer and more prudent in terms of clearing her liability from the obligation in this regard. Al-Mawsoo‘ah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kuwaytiyyah states about the ruling on the one who vows to fast certain days but breaks his vow due to an excuse, whether or not it is obligatory on him to make up for such missed fast days:
“The first opinion is that it is obligatory on the vow-maker to make up for those missed fast-days that he vowed to fast but did not, and no expiation is required of him. This opinion was held by the Hanafi scholars, Abu ‘Ubayd, the Maaliki scholars, and it was also the more correct opinion held by the Shaafi‘i scholars regarding the one who fails to fast during the period specified in the vow due to travel. However, some Maaliki scholars held that it is recommended, but not obligatory, to make up for such missed fast days.
There is also an opinion held by some Shaafi‘i scholars that it is obligatory to make up for the one who fails to fast due to sickness. This opinion was deemed preponderant by Ibn Kajj, and it is also the outweighed opinion held by the Shaafi‘i scholars for the woman who fails to fast due to menstruation or post-partum bleeding. This opinion was also one of the opinions narrated on the authority of Ahmad … They also supported their opinion by the fact that it is obligatory on a woman, who did not fast because of menstruation or post-partum bleeding, to make up for the missed fast days because the time when her menstruation or post-partum bleeding occurred was a valid time for fasting per se, but she did not fast because of her special state (i.e., menstruation or post-partum bleeding) and therefore it is obligatory on her to make up for the missed fast-days afterward. This is similar to the case of a woman who does not fast in Ramadan due to menstruation or post-partum bleeding (i.e., it is incumbent to make up for the missed fast days).
The second opinion is that whoever fails to fast the days specified in his vow due to an excuse, it is not incumbent on him/her to make up for those fast days, and no expiation is required either. This was the opinion held by the Maaliki scholars regarding the one who does not fast due to sickness or a woman who does not fast due to menstruation or post-partum bleeding. It is also the reliable opinion held by the Shaafi‘i scholars regarding the one who does not fast due to sickness, and also the preponderant opinion held by them regarding a woman who does not fast due to menstruation or post-partum bleeding. They supported their opinion by the fact that since fasting on the days of menstruation or post-partum bleeding was not possible, to begin with, given the occurrence of such states, these days should not be included in the period specified in the vow, and accordingly, it is not obligatory to make up for them, and the expiation is subordinate to the obligation of making up for the missed fast-days (and therefore takes the same ruling), and also because these days specified in the vow have elapsed.”
Lastly, according to the Hanbali scholars, the woman, in this case, is required to make up for those days and offer expiation like that of breaking an oath.
To be on the safe side, the woman should make up for those fast days that she vowed to fast, and it is not obligatory on her to fast them immediately after menstruation ends; rather, she may make up for those days in the following week after she attains ritual purity.
(The above reply is based on various answers on similar topics provided by Islamweb.net, a website belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.