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Chapter twenty-nine » Divorce → ← Chapter twenty-eight » The etiquettes of breastfeeding

Chapter twenty-eight » Miscellaneous rulings on breastfeeding

Ruling 2507. It is better that a woman does not breastfeed every child because it is possible that she may forget whom she has breastfed, and afterwards [as a result] two persons who are maḥram to each other may get married to each other.

Ruling 2508. It is recommended to breastfeed a child for twenty-one complete months, and it is not befitting to breastfeed a child for more than two years.

Ruling 2509. If a man’s rights are violated due to his wife breastfeeding someone else’s child, his wife cannot breastfeed the child without his permission.

Ruling 2510. If a woman’s husband marries a girl who is being breastfed and his [first] wife breastfeeds the girl, then based on obligatory precaution the woman becomes forever unlawful for him, and as a precautionary measure he must divorce the woman and never marry her again. If the milk is related to him, the girl who is being breastfed also becomes forever unlawful for him. And if the milk is related to the woman’s previous husband, then based on obligatory precaution the marriage contract is invalid.

Ruling 2511. If someone wants his brother’s wife to become maḥram to him, some [jurists (fuqahāʾ)] have said that he must contract a temporary marriage (mutʿah) with a breastfeeding girl for two days, for example, and in those two days – while fulfilling the conditions that were mentioned in Ruling 2492 – his brother’s wife must breastfeed the girl so that she becomes the nursing mother of his wife. However, this rule (ḥukm), in the event that the brother’s wife breastfeeds the girl with the milk that is related to the brother, is problematic (maḥall al-ishkāl) [i.e. based on obligatory precaution, the rule is not established in this case].(1)

Ruling 2512. If before a man marries a woman he says that by means of breastfeeding she is unlawful for him – for example, he says that he has breastfed the milk of her mother – then in the event that it is possible to substantiate his statement, he cannot marry the woman. And if he says this after the conclusion of the marriage contract and the woman accepts his statement, the marriage contract is void. Therefore, if the man has not had sexual intercourse with her, or he has but at the time of intercourse the woman knew that she was unlawful for him, she is not entitled to any dowry (mahr). However, if she realises after sexual intercourse that she was unlawful for him, then the husband must pay her a dowry that amounts to the dowry usually given to women like her.

Ruling 2513. If before the marriage contract is concluded a woman says that by means of breastfeeding a child she is unlawful for a particular man, in the event that it is possible to substantiate her statement, she cannot marry the man. And if she says this after the conclusion of the marriage contract, it is just like the case where a man says after the conclusion of the marriage contract that the woman is unlawful for him; the rule for such a case was mentioned in the previous ruling (masʾalah).

Ruling 2514. Being maḥram by means of breastfeeding is established in two ways:

1.
by the report of someone, or some people, from whom one attains certainty (yaqīn) or confidence (iṭmiʾnān);
2. the testimony of two just (ʿādil) men; however, they must describe the circumstances in which the child was breastfed. For example, they must say, ‘We have seen such and such child breastfeeding from the breasts of so-and-so woman for twenty-four hours and the child did not eat anything during that period.’ Similarly, they must also explain the other conditions that were mentioned in Ruling 2492. As for establishing that a child was breastfed by the testimony of one man and two women, or four women, all of whom are just, this is problematic; therefore, precaution must be exercised here.

Ruling 2515. If one doubts (i.e. has a shakk) whether or not a child has breastfed a quantity of milk that causes someone to become maḥram, or if one merely supposes (i.e. has a ẓann) that a child has breastfed that amount, the child does not become maḥram to anyone. However, it is better to exercise precaution.

(1) As mentioned in Ruling 6, the term ‘problematic’ (maḥall al-ishkāl) amounts to saying that the ruling is based on obligatory precaution.
Chapter twenty-nine » Divorce → ← Chapter twenty-eight » The etiquettes of breastfeeding
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