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For how long should a mother breastfeed her newborn child?

Nasihah (Advice): Have mercy on the young and respect the elders

 

Sayyiduna Anas Bin Maalik Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that an old man came to seek Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, and the people were hesitant to make room for him. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “He is not one of us who does not have mercy on our young and does not respect our elders.” (Sunan Tirmidhi)

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Question and Answer:

 

  1. Is it compulsory for a mother to breastfeed her new born child? If so, for how long? Can the mother make her own decision to not breastfeed her new born child?

 

(Question published as received)

 

  1. A) It is recommended (Mustahab) for a mother to breastfeed her child up to two lunar years (24 Months).

 

If a mother wishes to wean off her child before the expiry of two lunar years, it is permissible for her to do so with the consent of the child’s father.

 

Allah Taa’la states in the Quran: The mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those who wish to complete the term of suckling…If they decide on weaning after mutual consent and consultation, there is no sin on them. (Surah Baqarah; 233)

 

If, however, there is a need for the mother to breastfeed her child after the expiry of two lunar years, then it is permissible for the mother to breastfeed her child up to 2 and a half lunar years (30 Months).

 

Thereafter, it is impermissible to breastfeed the child. (Shaami 3/211)

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

Confirmation:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

 

(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.) 

 

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport

Durban, South Africa
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099

Email: fatwa@jamiat.org.za
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
Website : www.jamiat.org.za

 

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