Inspiring Women

Accidental Ingestion of Breast Milk and The Rulings that Result from Breastfeeding

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: There is an issue and we need your kind knowledge and advice on it.

One of my good friend’s son accidentally drank my wife’s breast milk, from the bottle. My wife did see him drinking it, but we are not sure how much he drank.
What are the rulings for this situation, between my friend’s son and my daughter, also for his family and my family. I do fallow hanafi madab.

Answer:Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health states.

According to the Hanafi school, the rulings that result from breastfeeding take place regardless of the amount of milk ingested, as long as this occurs within the appointed time period.

According to the preferred position of legal verdict (fatwa), the appointed time period is two lunar years (24 lunar months). [Ibn Humam; Fath al-Qadir; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Maydani, Lubab]

As such, if the baby were of that age or less, and if there is certainty that the baby ingested the woman’s breast milk, then the baby would become her child by nursing. The baby would also be the child by nursing of the man with whom she had intercourse and gave birth, whereby she was able to produce that milk. The couple’s children would therefore be siblings by nursing of the baby, and the same would apply to aunts, uncles, etc. Effectively, the baby is another child of that couple.

So the baby may not marry its nursing parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc. Also, the obligation of covering (hijab) would not apply between the baby and the opposite gender relatives of the nursing family, although wisdom and caution do entail modesty in dress and interaction, since they are not actual blood relatives.

Finally, no relation is established between members of the baby’s new nursing family and the actual blood relatives of the baby. So for example, the baby’s new brother by nursing could marry the baby’s actual sister, and hence the obligation of covering would apply between the two families. [Maydani, Lubab; Mawsili, Ikhtiyar]

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani