Q. Is it compulsory for a mother to breastfeed her new born child? If so, for how long?
Can the mother make her own decision to not breastfeed her new born child?
A. It is recommended (Mustahab) for a mother to breast her child up to two lunar years (24 Months). If a mother wishes to wean off her child before the expiry of two lunar years, it is permissible for her to do so with the consent of the child’s father.
Allah Taa’la states in the Quran: The mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those who wish to complete the term of suckling…If they decide on weaning after mutual consent and consultation, there is no sin on them… (Surah Baqarah 233)
If, however, there is a need for the mother to breastfeed her child after the expiry of two lunar years, then it is permissible for the mother to breastfeed her child up to 2 and a half lunar years (30 Months). Thereafter, it is impermissible to breastfeed the child. (Shaami 3/211)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa