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Breast-feeding more than Two Years

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by CouncilofUlama.co.za

Q: In Bahishti Zewar it states: “The maximum period of breast-feeding is two years. It is haram to feed a child beyond two years.” Is this correct ? Why is it haraam to feed a child more than 2 years, what if the child still want to be breast fed?

A: Allah Ta’ala in the Holy Quran has said

“And mothers suckle their children full two years; it is for one who wants to complete the (period of) suckling.”   (Surah Baqarah v.233)

From the above verse we can deduce that the total time given for suckling is for two lunar years after which suckling should not be done.  However, on the basis of some verses of the Holy Quran and reports from the ahadith, Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) ruled that if it was carried on over a period of 30 months all the legal effects of suckling should be applicable.  But breast-feeding a child after completing 30 months is unanimously haraam.  (Maariful Quran p.603 v.1)

The cause that establishes fostering (radhaah) is the hardening of bones and growth of flesh and this takes place within 24 to 30 months whether the milk is drunk either by suckling on the breast or from a bottle.  (Al-Mughni p.537-p.538 v.7 & Hidayah p.351 v.2)

Therefore, if a child older than 30 months drinks the milk; no fostering relationship will be established.  (Raddul Muhtar p.421 v.4)

Only Allah Knows Best

Aadiel Moosagie (Mufti)
[email protected]

This answer was collected from CouncilofUlama.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Council of Ulama Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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