Message No : 2Sr.No : 42/724
Question By : M.Z.CHIDA.


Assalamu Alaikum,

I am quoting below a Hadith.


Umme Salmah said to Aisha: A young boy who is at the threshold of puberty
comes to you. I, however, do not like that he should come to me, whereupon
Aisha said'' Don't you see in Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) a model
for you?
She also said: The wife of Abu Hudhayfah said: Messenger of Allah, Salim
comes to me and now he is a (grown-up) person, and there is something that
(rankles) in the mind of Abu Hudhayfah about him, whereupon Allah's
Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: Suckle him (so that he may become your
foster-child), and thus he may be able to come to you (freely).''
I do not understand this. Does this mean that a woman can allow a boy who
has reached puberty to suckle her and he becomes her foster child? How
can this be when holy Quran says ''Mothers should suckle their children for
two years''? When this is the rule for the own child how can the rule be
liberal for a grown up person who is not her own child - a non maharam.
According to the Holy Quran a mother cannot allow even her own child who is
more than two years old to be suckled by her. Please clarify.
I have also read somewhere that one or two suckling or the mother puts her
milk in a cup and gives it to the child to drink it does not make the
child a foster child. Is my understanding correct?

I am quoting below another Hadith.


It had been revealed in the Qur'an that ten clear suckling make the
marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five
suckling and Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) died and it was before
that time (found) in the Qur'an (and recited by the Muslims).

What is the meaning of this Hadith?

I am looking forward to a reply from you.



Reply By : Md. Obaidullah Mohiuddin
Designation : Mufti: ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

Dear brother in Islam
Wa'laikumus Salam

First of all I seek your excuse on giving you the answer of your question after such a long time. There are some rational reasons behind this delay. Also, we receive a flood of questions from all over the world; it causes delay in many answers.
However, your question can be classified into three categories.
1. Period of suckling in Shariah
2. Quantity of suckling
3. permission of Prophet about suckling of Salim

Period of suckling in Shariah:
The total period of suckling is two years only. So unless there be some special reason, it is the right of the child that this period be completed. To suckle after two years of child's age is Haram, and no Raza'at or invalidity of marriage is established after this period. So if a child is suckled after two years of age, it will not make the marriage unlawful, though this act is Haram itself. (Kitabul fiqh alal Madahib al-arba'ah v.4 p.250)
2. Quantity of suckling
According to all jurists except Imam Shafe'ee, mere suckling makes the marriage unlawful whether it be of one , two sips or more because the Quran says '' and your mothers who suckle you'' without mentioning any condition of more than two sips. Imam Shafe'ee holds that one or two sips of milk does not make the marriage illegal. (Mslim with Sharhe Nawawi v.1 p.468)
(I'laus sunan v.11 p. 119)
And, the Hadith of five sucklings reported by Hadrat Aaisha is abrogated as stated clearly by Hadrat Ibn Abbas and Hadrat Ibn Ma'sood. (Shami v.2 p.439)

3 permission of Prophet about suckling of Salim

Now, here a question arises that when the total period of suckling is two years, and after two years of age of the child suckling is Haraam, and an adolescent or a mature is not allowed even to look or touch a non-Mahrim ( one who can never be taken in one's marriage eg.mother, sister etc.) so how the Prophet in the Hadith of Umme Salimah permitted the wife of Abu Huzaifah (Sahlah bint Suhail) to suckle a young and adolescent boy like Salim to make him her foster son so that the problem of unlawfulness of his mixing with Abu Huzaifa's wife might be removed.
Several answers to this question have been given by Muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith). Two important answers of them are given below.

1) This was before the limitation of fosterage age by two years.
2) This was a special case and confined to Salim and Sahlah when the Prophet saw dire need for them. The prophet did'nt give others such permission. And, being it a special case only for Salim is supported by many Ahaadith in which all the other wives of the Prophet said that it was only for salim. Here again a question remains that suckling comes with undressing the bosom, sucking and touching and they are unlawful for an adolescent and non-Mahrim like Salim in this case, so how this permission was given by the Prophet. The answer to this question is this that suckling does not lead necessarily to undressing the bosom, sucking and touching but it may be done without them by suckling through putting milk in a pot etc
(Kitabul fiqh alal Madahib al-arba'ah v.4 p.251)

Note: one or two suckling or the mother puts her milk in a cup and gives it to the child to drink it will make the child a foster child. yes, in the case her milk was cooked with rice or other food , or was given through any way other than the child's mouth or nose, fosterage will not be established. (Shami v.2 p.439)
(Kitabul fiqh alal Madahib al-arba'ah v.4 p.254)

Thanking You

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