Question: I nursed a friend’s child for about a month while she worked. Her mother was nursing and had to work and she refused the formula, so she told me to go ahead and nurse her. Years passed and her mother asked me to be sure I nursed her daughter enough times to make me her milk mother. I assured her I had. It seems she did not wish me to be her milk mother and she resented me for it even though she instructed it. We later had a falling out and she has not spoken to me since. What is my responsibility to my milk daughter and her mother?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, as you had not done anything wrong. I pray that you can reconcile with her, not just because of your milk-daughter, but because she is your sister in Islam.
As for your relationship with your milk-daughter, she is like your daughter, and your sons are like her brothers. Your husband and your father are her mahrams. There is no financial responsibility upon you toward her, but rather, the basis of your relationship is love, respect, and honour. See the details here:
Generally speaking, it is always worthwhile to try and get along with people even if they have been unjust or have wronged you. While you mustn’t allow someone to disrespect you, you can tell her that you are not comfortable with this silence between you and that you would like to reconcile. If she refuses, at least there is no sin upon you. If she demands an apology, you could apologize once, for the sake of Allah.
This du`a will benefit you in sha Allah:
اللَّهُمَّ أَلِّفْ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِنَا وَأَصْلِحْ ذَاتَ بَيْنِنَا وَاهْدِنَا سُبُلَ السَّلاَمِ وَنَجِّنَا مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَجَنِّبْنَا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَبَارِكْ لَنَا فِي أَسْمَاعِنَا وَأَبْصَارِنَا وَقُلُوبِنَا وَأَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ وَاجْعَلْنَا شَاكِرِينَ لِنِعْمَتِكَ مُثْنِينَ بِهَا قَابِلِيهَا وَأَتِمَّهَا عَلَيْنَا
May Allah reward you for your sincerity and for doing the right thing.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.