Is There An Age Limit To Breastfeeding A Child?

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: In the Hanafi school until what age can you legally breastfeed your baby? Is there a limit? If there is not a time limit when is the recommended time to stop?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahamtullah,

There are two valid positions in the Hanafi madhhab for the age until which a child may be breastfed:

(1) two lunar years (the position of Imam Abu Hanifa’s two companions Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, as well as the position of the Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali schools), and

(2) two and a half lunar years (i.e. thirty months, which is the position of Imam Abu Hanifa).

The child may legally be weaned anytime before this by mutual agreement from the parents, although medically there is great benefit for the child to continue to be breastfed (within the time period allowed by the shari`ah).

[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

wassalam,
Sulma

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani