Salaam lovely, beautiful Mamas. Hope you're all well inshallah.
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with another sister regarding the time period for breastfeeding based on the Quran and Islamic scholars. Turns out the topic is more dynamic than I thought. I'd like to share with you all some of the info that I found, and get your opinion.
Generally, most Muslims say that breastfeeding is encouraged, and that weaning should happen sometime before 2 years old.
There are 3 verses from the Quran that refer to this - although let me first say that the different English translations give a different idea of the meaning:
1) And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing (the burden) of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; ...[46:15]
2) And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents-- his mother bears him with weakness (and hardships) upon weakness (and hardship) and his weaning takes two years-- saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming.[31:14]
3) And the mothers should suckle their children for two whole years for him who desires to make complete the time of suckling; and their maintenance and their clothing must be-- borne by the father according to usage; no soul shall have imposed upon it a duty but to the extent of its capacity; neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child, and a similar duty (devolves) on the (father's) heir, but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them, and if you wish to engage a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you so long as you pay what you promised for according to usage; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah and know that Allah sees what you do.[2:233].
* The interesting thing about these verses is that the Arabic word for weaning is based on the root f-s-l, which some scholars say refers to not just weaning, but the whole period of a child being dependent on the mother.
* Also keep in mind, the years referred to would mean LUNAR years (Islamic calender), which is a little less than 2 full years on the Gregorian calendar
Now here's where it gets interesting.
Apparently in some schools of thought (madhab - there are 4), specifically the Shafi school, breastfeeding is allowed not only over 2 years....but up to 7 lunar years! http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.a...12273&CATE=389
A scholar from another school (Hanafi) writes that: The renowned Hanafi Jurist, Imam Ibn Abidin states in his Radd al-Muhtar quoting from al-Quhustani:
�Breastfeeding the child is morally necessary until the child is in need of breastfeeding, recommended up to two years and permitted up to two and a half years. (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, 3/211, Bab al-Radha�)
(More about the minimum age a child should be b/f here: http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.a...D=4769&CATE=95
And, women get rewarded for b/fing - there's a saying from the Prophet Muhammad that "no mouthful of milk flows from her nor a [child's] suck except that she has a reward with every mouthful and with every suck." http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.a...6444&CATE=1408
So..longer b/fing...more goodness??
What do you Muslim Mamas think? How long did/would/do you nurse? DOES any sister here nurse longer than 2 years? What do you think the response in the Muslim community would be (or community in general)? Thoughts? And....why is the generally excepted cut off 2 years when 2 schools of thought (maybe more?) allow b/fing after 2 years?
Here's a whole page worth of answers about specific breastfeeding questions from Islamic scholars that I found - hope it helps! Good topics include b/fing and fasting, nursing in front of men, etc.http://search.sunnipath.com/search.p...0&q=breastfeed
Awaiting your comments, thoughts
Love to you all