Uncovering the breasts whilst breastfeeding

Q. Would breastfeeding openly in front of my kids be sinful? I heard that after 2 years of age, boys should not be seeing their mom’s partially nude. Am I wrong? 

A. In principle, it is necessary (Waajib) upon a woman to cover herself (Awrah) in front of another Muslim woman from her navel to her knee. Added to that, it is necessary for a Muslim woman to cover her back as well in front of her Mahrams, such as her minor and major sons.

The Shariah has given this allowance to woman as a matter of convenience. In no way does this mean that a woman should not cover the other areas of her body. Modesty (Hayaa) demands that a woman should cover and clad herself as much as possible. This becomes further necessary if there is a fear of any form of temptation (Fitnaa) expected in exposing other areas of her body.

In the enquired case, whilst it will not be sinful for a woman to expose the upper portion of her body during breastfeeding in the presence of her Mahram males or her minor and major sons, she should cover herself as much as possible and take the necessary precautions in doing so. (Hidaaya 4/370 – Shaami 6/371)

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa