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Subject : She Found out that her Fiancé was Breast-Fed by her Grandmother

Fatwa Number : 1940

Date : 21-11-2011

Classified : Forbidden marriages

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

My maternal aunt`s son and I are planning to get married. However, I found out that he was breast-fed by my grandmother for one time, but it wasn`t filling, as she pointed out, because she was in her late forties when she gave birth to my aunt, so she didn`t have enough milk. What is the Islamic ruling on this?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

When a baby is breast-fed by its grandmother, she becomes its foster-mother and her daughter become its foster-sister. Thus, he becomes your foster-maternal-uncle. According to the Shafie Madhab (School of thought), it is conditioned that an infant receives five separate breast-feedings as grounds for marital prohibition and it isn`t conditioned that they be filling. This is stated in Article(27) of the Jordanian Personal Status Law: "Fosterage as a ground for marital prohibition must take place during the first two years of a baby`s life during which it is given five separate breast-feedings where, in each time, it leaves the mother`s breast on its own. This whether the suckled amount is small or big."

The majority of the Muslim scholars are of the view that the amount of the suckled milk makes no difference, be it small or big; thus, marital prohibition is established by one breast-feeding. This is also the view of the Hanafie and Shafie scholars who based their view on the following verse: "your foster mothers." {An-Nisa`, 23}, and the Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah said: "What is unlawful by reason of consanguinity is unlawful by reason of fosterage." {Bukhari}.

In conclusion, following the view of the majority of the scholars clears a person from the liability before Allah the Almighty. But, following the view of the Shafie school means taking the concession. However, before the conclusion of the marriage contract, it is better and safer to follow the view of the majority of the scholars. Yet, after the consummation of the marriage, it is better to follow the view of the Shafie school in order to preserve the family. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best. 



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