Section: the pregnant woman and the nursing woman having a choice between fasting and not fasting the fast of Ramadan when they are capable of fasting
It is like the obligatory from one aspect, and that is when she chooses to fast. Before choice, it has the principle of the allowed action which she can choose to do or not to do. Therefore, it is also like the voluntary action. It is better to perform what is recommended than to not do it. This is why He says about it, "But if you fast, it is better for you." (2:184) Muslim related that Salama ibn al-Akwa' said, "At the beginning of the time with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, during Ramadan, whoever wished would fast and whoever wished would not fast and would redeem himself by feeding a poor person. This was until this ayat was sent down, "Any of you who are present (or witnesses) for the month should fast it." Some of them say that it is abrogation, and some say that it is specific. The latter is our position. The judgement of the ayat remains for pregnant and nursing women when they fear for their child. Allah called it voluntary and said, "Whoever voluntarily does good, it is good for him." He made good indefinite, so it includes both feeding and fasting.
Al-Bukhari mentioned that Ibn 'Abbas said about the words of Allah, "For those who are able to fast, the reparation [lit, ransom, fidya] is to feed the poor." (2:184) Ibn 'Abbas said, "It is not abrogated. It is for the old man and the old woman." Abu Dawud reported that Ibn 'Abbas said, "It is affirmed for pregnant and nursing women." Ad-Daraqutni mentioned that Ibn 'Abbas said in regard to this, "Each day he feeds a poor person with half a sa' of wheat."
When Allah gave choice to the slave, He made him bewildered
Know that when Allah gave choice to the slave, He made him bewildered. His reality is slaveness which has no freedom of action except by the principle of compulsion and force. Choice is an attribute of the master. The master was put his slave in a position of choice in order to try and test him to see whether he will remain with his slaveness or will choose and act like his master. In this meaning, he is compelled in his choice even though it comes from the command of his master. Therefore he has not left his slaveness and he is not like his Lord in the choice that Allah has obliged.
Some slaves are confused and do not know what is preferable for the slaves. Some say, "My Lord says, 'They do not have choice,' (28:68) and that is negative. I will remain with the denial. I will not leave my slaveness for the blink of an eye." Some say, "My Lord says, 'They do not have choice' from their essences. I have allowed them to choose and I have chosen that for them. I have made its place specific." Part of its place is the choice that has come in this ayat between fasting and not fasting, and some of the kaffarat.
The reward in acts of kaffara in which there is choice is doubled
Then He told the slaves that fasting is better for them when they choose it, and by that He made it clear to them what is preferable so that they prefer fasting to not fasting. This is part of His compassion to them since He removed bewilderment from them in the choice by this amount of preference. Nonetheless, testing accompanies it because Allah Almighty did not make it obligatory for him to do what He preferred for him. Rather, the human being still has choice directly facing him. That is why he does not commit a wrong action by breaking the fast. So whoever fasts it has performed the obligation, It was specifically prescribed for him to do one of the two. When the one responsible, who is the slave, designates it, then the obligatory nature which it contains is designated, even though in its basis he can choose in it and so it resembles the voluntary fast. Therefore when the slave who has this state fasts it, he has both the reward of the obligatory and the reward of the voluntary and the reward of hardship. So it is a greater and more abundant reward than that which is comes from performing the obligatory rather than the voluntary. It is like that with the reward for the kaffarat in which there is choice. They contain the reward of the obligatory and the reward of the voluntary. This is part of the generosity of Allah in making people responsible.
Section on intending to fast in the night in the obligatory and recommended fasts
An-Nasa'i transmitted from Hafsa, Umm al-Mu'minin, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever does not intend his fast from the night, has no fast." The fast is written for him when he intends it from the beginning of the night, or the middle of it or the end. So the fasters vary in the reward according to the intention in the night. That supports continuous fasting (wisal). It is as if it were written for him in connecting his day to the first part of the night, and it is written for him in connecting the last part of his night to his day. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever fasts continously, should continue until dawn. Continuous fasting (wisal) and suhur will come in this chapter.
In fact, the Truth is unseen in the seen and seen in the unseen