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Marrying One With Who Suckled Less than Five Times?

Imam Shafi’i and his As-hab maintain that nothing less than five will establish a rada’-relationship

Source : / 09 Nov 2013


 Assalam o Alicum, I would like to ask the imam sahib a question about the rule of breastfeeding which makes a person a mehram. My first cousin and I would like to get married but the issue is that he was breastfed by my mother, who is his aunt. I have read numerous views on this issue. Some scholars believe that one suckling is enough to make a person mehram and others believe that the suckling or breastfeeding session should be five or more times within the first two years of a childs life to make him a mehram. Since he was only fed once by my mother, can we get married? I would truly appreciate if you can share your findings with me on this issue. 


Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu, suckles

In Sahih Muslim v. 10, p. 1762-64, there are two hadiths which pertain to this issue:

The first is on ‘A’ishah’s authority (radyAllahu ‘anha),

كان فيما أنزل من القرآن عشر رضعات معلومات يحرمن ثم نسخن بخمس معلومات فتوفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهن فيما يقرأ من القرآن

“There was what was revealed from the Qur’an ten sucklings to establish the rada’-relationship; and thereafter, they were abrogated by five. Then, Allah’s Messenger (sallaAllahu ‘alayhie wa sallam) passed away and they were what were read from the Qur’an.”

And the second is also on ‘A’ishah’s authority (radyAllahu ‘anha) that the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhie wa sallam) said,

لا تحرم المصة أو مصتان

“One or two sucks to not establish the rada’-relationship.

In Sharh Sahih Muslim, Imam Nawawi commentated that because of hadith such as these, Imam Shafi’i and his As-hab maintain that nothing less than five will establish a rada’-relationship [meaning a relationship establish by milk kinship]. In Rawdah v. 7, p. 451, Imam Nawawi also stated that five is stipulated.

Thus, the Shafi’i Madhhab’s stance is that there would not be a relationship established by less than that. Also, this is a point on which the ulama differ, and moreover, a Shafi’i considering the difference of opinion in their selection of a prospective spouse would be prudent and proper. This is a point made by Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad Ba’Alawi in Bughyat al-Mustarshidin p. 301 where he said,

فائدة : مذهبنا أنها لا تحرم إلا خمس رضعات ، وقال أبو حنيفة ومالك : تحرم رضعة واحدة فليتنبه لذلك والاحتياط لا يخفى

“Our Madhhab is that a rada’-relationship is not except for by five sucklings; and according to Abu Hanifah and Malik, one. So take note of that and exercising caution goes without saying.”

Thus, we advise against it.

And Allah knows best.


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