Breastfeeding a Baby for 30 Months: OK?

Question and answer details
As-salamu `alaykum. Can you breastfeed until 30 months of age of the child?
Wael Shihab

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Sister, the question of breastfeeding a baby depends on many factors among which is the doctors’ advice. Islam encourages breastfeeding  babies for prolonged periods (up to two years).

Responding to your question, Dr. Wael Shihab, PhD in Islamic Studies, Al-Azhar University, and the Head of the Shari`ah Dept. of Onislam.net website, stated,

Thank you for your question.

Islam encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies for prolonged periods (up to two years). The Qur’an says, {The mothers (including those divorced) shall nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing. The father shall bear the cost of their feeding and clothing on equitable terms. No soul has a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. No mother shall suffer because of her child. Similarly the father should not suffer. The same duties rest upon the heir (that is, if the father dies). If they (that is, the parents) both decide on weaning (the child) by mutual consent and after due consultation they are not to blame. Also they are not to blame if they decide on a foster mother, provided they insure, in a fair manner the safety of the child.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 233)

From the above Qur’anic verse, it becomes clear that mothers are Islamically encouraged to breastfeed their babies for complete two years as long as it is beneficial for the child. The actual period of breastfeeding is better specified by the professional doctor who is following up the baby’s health and body development. Islam encourages resort to professionals in all fields; so doctors are to be consulted in this regard.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

Allah Almighty knows best.