I have two daughters – one is 5yrs. going on 6yrs. and the other is 2yrs. The first daughter breast fed until she was 2yrs. I had no problem to wean her off the breast by the time she was 2yrs. Our other daughter is more baby-ish and we are having a problem weaning her off the breast. I was recently told that the breast milk after 2yrs. of age is haraam for them. Is this true? Please explain.
According to the majority of scholars the duration of breast feeding is until two years from birth. It will be prohibited after two years for a mother/wet-nurse to continue breast feeding a child after this time (i.e. two years). However it is also the opinion of the great Imam, Abu Hanifa (AR) that the allowance for breast feeding is until two and a half (2 1/2) years. He based his opinion on the verse of the Holy Quraan which states that, ‘The carrying of the child and its weaning is a period of thirty months.’
Many great scholars have accepted this opinion and have also given fatwa (religious verdict) upon it. As such it can be said that an effort should be made firstly to end the breast feeding upon two years. However if this becomes difficult due to the state of the child (who sometimes do not take anything besides the mother’s milk and it is feared that the child can be harmed), then the allowance can be given to an additional six months to breast feed the baby. In this case breast feeding in the additional 1/2 year would not be Haraam or Unlawful. After this time of 2 1/2 years it is totally prohibited to continue breast feeding the baby.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan