Is There an Age Limit to Breastfeeding?
Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
I am a breastfeeding counselor and often get asked by sisters about the maximum age limit for breastfeeding. Often sisters are worried to feed past the age of two. Can you please let me know if there is a maximum age limit and what it is?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
The basis in benefiting from the human body is that it is prohibited.
Allah Most High says, “We have honoured the children of Adam” [17.70]
However, considering the need of the baby and the potential harm therein, an exception was made to the general rule.
Allah Most High says, “Mothers suckle their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the term, and clothing and maintenance must be borne by the father in a fair manner. No one should be burdened with more than they can bear: no mother shall be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor any father on account of his. The same duty is incumbent on the father’s heir If, by mutual consent and consultation, the couple wish to wean [the child], they will not be blamed, nor will there be any blame if you wish to engage a wet nurse, provided you pay as agreed in a fair manner. Be mindful of God, knowing that He sees everything you do.” [2.233]
That being said, the jurists limit this nursing period to the two lunar years stated as the basis with necessities is that they are only permitted to the extent of the need.
Nevertheless, the position of Imam Abu Hanifa is that the child can be suckled up to thirty months. As such, and in cases of need or hardship, this position can be followed.
Beyond that, the ruling returns to the basis, namely that it is prohibited to benefit from the human body.
Please also see: Accidental Ingestion of Breast Milk and The Rulings that Result from Breastfeeding
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani