Prohibited by Foster Relationship
The third of those permanently prohibited for the Muslim woman in marriage besides those prohibited by blood and marital relationship are those prohibited by foster relationship.
When a woman breastfeeds a baby boy he has become related to her as her delivered sons. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Indeed breastfeeding prohibits (for marriage) that which is prohibited by birth (Blood Relationship)." (Bukhari and Tirmidhee)
However, to fulfill prohibitive relationships breastfeeding should fulfill the following conditions:
First, the breastfeeding should be performed on at least five distinct suckles. Aa'isha RA narrates that:
"What was revealed in the Qur'aan (was that) - 'Ten known suckles prohibit.' Then it was abrogated by - 'five known (suckles).' So, the Messenger died and it was part of what they used to recite of the Qur'aan." (Muslim).
The abrogation of ten suckles by five suckles came so lately towards the end of the Messenger's life so much that the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) died and some of the people recited five suckles as part of the Qur'aan.
The abrogation was an abrogation of the recitation and ruling of ten suckles and the establishment of the ruling of five suckles without an establishment of its recitation. When it was known to them they stopped the recital. (Sharh Muslim (10/29) and 'Awn al- Ma'bood [6/47]).
Secondly, the baby should drink its fill in each suckle. Umm Salamah (RA) reported that the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Breastfeeding does not cause prohibition unless it expands the intestines (satisfies the baby's hunger) while on the breast and takes place before weaning." (Tirmidhee and Ibn Maajah).
The hadeeth also proves that the breastfeeding must be before the baby is weaned.
Thus, commenting on the Hadeeth al-Imaam at-Tirmidhee said:
"This was what the majority of the Scholars and the Companions of the Messenger were upon - that breastfeeding does not prohibit except that which took place before weaning period but for the one which took place after the two complete years of weaning then this does not cause prohibition." (Tirmidhee).
However, Zaynab the Daughter of Umm Salamah (RAH) narrated that, "Umm Salamah (RA) said to Aa'isha (RA), 'Verily, the young man who I do not approve to come in (to my apartment) comes in to your apartment?' Aa'isha (RA) said, 'Do you not find in the Messenger of Allaah a good example?' She said, 'the wife of Abu Hudhayfah (came to the Messenger and) said, 'O Messenger of Allaah, Saalim comes in to my apartment and he is a (bearded), matured young man and Abu Hudhayfah (her husband) was not any pleased with it and the Messenger said,
'Breastfeed him so that he can come into your apartment.' She said, 'How will I breast feed him when he is a grown-up male?' The Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) smiled and said:
'I knew he is a grown up male.'" (Muslim and Ahmad)
To be concluded next edition insha Allaah.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited