Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Please see the following verses:
“His mother carried him, in weakness upon weakness, and his period of weaning is two years” (Qur’an 31:14).
“His mother carried him with hardship, and gave birth to him in hardship. And the carrying of the child to his weaning is thirty months” (Qur’an 46:15).
Pregnancy is nine months, weaning starts typically after four to six months, and the earliest a child can wean is four months. How can nine months plus six months plus two years add to thirty months?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him.
The minimum gestation period in Sacred Law is six months and not nine. The recommended breastfeeding period is twenty-four months, according to Sacred Law. Twenty-four plus six months make up the thirty months as mentioned. Therefore, the calculation is in order, and Allah knows best.
Gestation and Weaning Period
Scholars of Islamic law are unanimous that the minimum gestation period is six months according to Sacred Law. Scholars have based their views on the verses you referred to in your question.
Allah says: “And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months.” [Qur’an 46:15]
Allah says: “And, Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period].” [Qur’an 2:233]
The above verses demonstrate that the nursing and weaning period is twenty-four months (as mentioned in the second verse). The gestation and nursing period is thirty months (as mentioned in the first verse), which indicates that the minimum gestation period is six months, and Allah knows best.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.