How Many Breastfeedings Are Required to Establish a Mahram Relationship?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


My cousin wants to marry a girl, but his mother breastfed the girl’s youngest sister once. In Hanafi fiqh, does this establish kinship through breastfeeding, making him her mahram? Also, regarding the Hadith about 5 or 10 feedings, has it been abrogated, and what is the current ruling?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

You may marry the sister of your breastfed sister. However, it is not permissible to marry her sister, who has become your sister, through the act of breastfeeding.

Establishing of Ties Through Breastfeeding

The majority ruling is that a single instance of ingesting even a drop of a woman’s milk, as long as the child was less than 2.5 lunar years old, will establish a mahram relationship.

A single instance of ingesting even a drop of a woman’s milk will establish a mahram relationship if the child ingesting it was less than 2.5 lunar years old.

[Mukhtasar al-Quduri]

The Ruling of 10, 5, or 3 Feedings

The ruling of 10, 5, or 3 feedings must have been abrogated in stages till only one feeding was required, but since this abrogation took place right before the passing of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), perhaps not every Companion was aware of the final ruling right away. Many of the jurists amongst the Companions, however, were. See the detailed answer below

[Usmani, Takmila Fath al Mulhim]

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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.