Nursing relations are only established if the child is suckled within the nursing term

بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم

▪️Nursing relations are only established if the child is suckled within the nursing term▪️

Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam -may Allaah preserve him- was asked the following question:

📩 Question:

With regard to the Syrian refugees, there are disbelievers in America and Europe who adopt some of their young ones, and this contains harms which you are well aware of such as apostasy from Islaam. So the question is, some Muslims want to sponsor these children but they are not allowed sponsorship unless they are adopted by the law, so is it permissible to breastfeed them (in order to establish nursing relations) even though they are slightly old in age, and if it is permissible how much milk must they consume before this takes effect?

📝 Answer:

The first part of the question says that he wants to sponsor, but he is unable to do so until they (the ones being sponsored) are adopted by the law.

If the questioner means, he is not allowed to sponsor unless he is given permission by the state over there and it’s as though the questioner resides in America or Europe, if this is the intent of the questioner, that he is not allowed to sponsor unless permission is granted by the state, then there is nothing wrong if he gains access to them via the state and seeking permission beforehand.

But if the questioner intends something else by, ‘adopted by the law’, he needs to clarify that.

And if he intended that they stipulate conditions, then these conditions are looked at in light of the Sharee’ah; if they are in line with the Sharee’ah, he is allowed to adopt, but if they are contrary to the Sharee’ah, then he must refrain; he must not contravene the Sharee’ah for this. Nonetheless he should seek alternative routes to remove these children from being under their care so as to save them from leaving Islam for Christianity.

And with regards to the second part of the question: it permissible to breastfeed them (in order to establish nursing relations) even though they are slightly old in age?

The Answer: The one slightly older in age is not to be suckled because the Prophet ﷺ said as in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah reported by Bukhaari and Muslim that:

((إنما الرضاعة من المجاعة))

“Breastfeeding (which makes marriage unlawful / establishes nursing relations) is that which satisfies hunger.”

i.e. Breastfeeding makes marriage unlawful / establishes nursing relations only if it is administered in the first two years (after birth), because this is stage when breastfeeding satisfies hunger. After this stage, breastfeeding has no effect in making marriage unlawful / establishing nursing relations. In fact, there are authentic reports from the Sahaabah, such as Ibn ‘Abbaas -may Allaah be pleased with him- asserting this, that the term for breastfeeding is in the first two years.

Moreover, Allaah -The Mighty and Majestic- said:

{وَٱلۡوَ ٰ⁠لِدَ ٰ⁠تُ یُرۡضِعۡنَ أَوۡلَـٰدَهُنَّ حَوۡلَیۡنِ كَامِلَیۡنِۖ لِمَنۡ أَرَادَ أَن یُتِمَّ ٱلرَّضَاعَةَۚ}

“The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling.”

[Surat Al-Baqarah 233]

i.e. Two years is the complete term for nursing.

Similarly, it’s been reported from Umm Salamah -may Allaah be pleased with her- that she said:

((لا يحرم من الرضاع إلا ما فتق الأمعاء وكان قبل الفطام))

“No prohibition (in marriage) results from suckling except for what penetrates the intestines during the breastfeeding term, before weaning.” [Reported by Tirmithi]

This statement was attributed to the Prophet ﷺ, but what’s correct is that statement was made Umm Salamah – not the prophet ﷺ.As for the incident concerning Saalim -the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah-, where the Prophet ﷺ allowed Abu Hudhayfah’s wife to breastfeed him (Saalim), then this is a special case which cannot be applied to anyone else, as most of the Sahaabah understood, including all the wives of the prophet except for ‘Aa’ishah -may Allaah be pleased with her-; all of the prophet’s wives believed this was a special case and objected to ‘A’ishah’s Fatwa. In

the same way, all of the Sahaabah opposed this, and this is the opinion of most -if not all-of the scholars.


Translated by:

Abu Ishaq Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ba-‘Alawi

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