Breast-feeding and relationships
Fatwa No: 86750


Until what age can the child be breast-fed by the mother? After that age if any child is breast-fed, will the relationship change? If a man when making love to his wife drinks the milk of her breasts, intentionally or unintentionally what is their relationship? How many times is breast-feeding required to develop a milk suckling relation?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

The age at which an infant stops breastfeeding is two complete years.  Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, …}[2:233].

If after the two complete years another suckling woman gives suck to infant, the latter does not become automatically a Mahram for her, and she is not considered a suckling mother for him; this is what is agreed upon by the Muslim scholars.  It is also the opinion of Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi’e and Ahmad and their successors.  It is also the opinion of the former and later scholars.

So, the fact that a husband drinks the milk of his wife, does not affect their marital relationship, because it is suckling outside the normal age of suckling known in Shariah as explained.  And there is a difference whether this suckling is intentional or unintentional.

The number of suckling times by which a person becomes a Mahram is 5 times as in the Hadith of Ayisha (Radiya Allahu Anha) who said: "What was first revealed from the Qur'an was that suckling 10 times, makes the person Mahram to his suckling mother.  But this was abrogated to 5 times (only).  The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) passed away, and it (that times) was still what is recited from the Qur'an.  She meant that the abrogation of the verse that reads “the number of suckling is 5 times” was abrogated so late that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) died and some people were still reading that abrogated verse."

Allah knows best.

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