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Foster relationship


AOA Sir,

As I know that “Razaat” or Foster relationship is established between wet nurse and child, if breastfeeding takes place within first two years of child birth only. The wisdom behind establishment of this Foster relationship within first two years is because the milk from wet nurse provides nourishment to the child, harden it’s bones and grows the flesh of child within first two years of child birth and after that, child nourishment and flesh growth doesn’t occur with this breast milk as he starts to take solid foods after that and then the child nourishment occurs with that solid food and not the milk.

My question is that with the advancement of science and technology, scientist have enhanced the human female breast milk, both naturally and artificially by using human female breast milk DNA, so that drinking of that enhanced female breast milk provides nourishment of human adult and flesh growth of human adult occurs (whether this flesh growth of human adult’s entire body is in large amount). Now I am really confused that since the nourishment and flesh growth occurs in human adults which was the wisdom behind Foster relationship, so what is the ruling of Islam regarding the establishment of Foster relationship between this woman whose breast milk is enhanced and human adult?

Secondly, if the Foster relationship or “Razaat” is established between the woman and human adult who drank her enhanced milk to cause the nourishment and flesh growth of his body (whether the flesh growth of his entire body is in large amount), then is this relationship has the same rights as that of foster mother i.e. Mehram only or her rights are enhanced to that of the biological mother?

Kindly clarify and explain the answer in detail as I am really confused about this matter.Thanks


Wa Alaykumussalam brother

Mothers shall suckle their children for two full yearsthat for such as desire to complete the sucklingand on the father shall be their maintenance and clothing, in accordance with honourable norms….(Surah Baqarah/233)

I appreciate your knowledge regarding Razaat but if you put it together things will clear up. You have already mentioned some of the things which are the rulings and makes it clear that a child above 2 doesn’t become Mahram.

First, I will mention the “conditions for breastfeeding to cause someone to become mahram” according to Shias and Sunnis and eventually mention some of the points:

According to one of the Mujtahideen of Shias, Ayatullah al-Udhma Sayyid Ali Sistany:

Ruling 2492. There are eight conditions that must be fulfilled in order for breastfeeding to cause someone to become mahram:

1. a child must breastfeed the milk of a woman who is alive. Therefore, if a child breastfeeds some of the required amount of milk from the breasts of a dead woman, it is of no use [i.e. the child does not become mahram];

2. the milk of the woman must be from a legitimate birth, even if [the conception of the child was] from intercourse that ensued from a mistake (wat’ al-shubhah). Therefore, if, supposedly, a woman produces milk without giving birth, or the milk of a child that was born from fornication is given to another child, the latter does not become mahram to anyone;

3. the child suckles the milk from the breasts of the woman. Therefore, if the milk is poured into the child’s mouth, it has no effect;

4. the milk must be pure and it must not be mixed with anything;

5. the amount of milk that is required for someone to become mahram must all be related to one husband. Therefore, if a nursing mother is divorced and then marries another man and becomes pregnant by him, and until she gives birth the milk that she has from her first husband still remains [in her body], and, for example, before giving birth she breastfeeds the child eight times with the milk that is related to the first husband, and after giving birth she breastfeeds the child seven times with the milk that is related to the second husband, then in such a case, the child does not become mahram to anyone;

6. the child must not vomit the milk. If it does, it has no effect;

7. the child must be breastfed to the extent that its bones become firm by the milk and the milk has made the flesh of his body grow. If it is not known whether the child has been breastfed to this extent or not, in the event that the child breastfeeds to its fill for one day and one night or fifteen times in accordance with the next ruling, it is sufficient. However, if it is known that the milk has not had an effect on making the bones firm and on growing the flesh of the child’s body even though the child breastfed for one day and one night or fifteen times, then obligatory precaution must be observed; i.e. in such a case, the child must not marry [those who would become mahram to him by means of breastfeeding] and nor must he look at them as mahrams would;

8. the child has not completed two years of age. If he is breastfed after he completes two years, he does not become mahram to anyone. In fact, if, for example, before he completes two years he is breastfed eight times and after that he is breastfed seven times, he does not become mahram to anyone. However, in the event that more than two years pass from the time a woman gives birth and she still carries milk, then, if she breastfeeds a child, this child becomes mahram to those who were mentioned above.

Some rulings according to Sunnis:

The second condition:

The breastfeeding must occur within the time when the infant is usually nourished by breastfeeding, but is that regarded as being two years, or until weaning?

There are two scholarly views. The madhhab of Imam Ahmad states that it is two years.


Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him), those who followed him and a number of other scholars, understood from this verse that the breastfeeding that establishes the mahram relationship that is the same as the mahram relationship through blood ties can only occur within the first two years, because when the two-year period ends, breastfeeding is complete, and breastfeeding after the first two years does not count [in establishing the mahram relationship]… This is also the view of az-Zuhri, Qataadah, ash-Sha‘bi, Sufyaan ath-Thawri, al-Awzaa‘i, ash-Shaafa‘i, Ahmad, Ishaaq, Abu Yoosuf, Muhammad and AbuThawr.

End quote from Tafseer al-Qurtubi (4/109).


Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“for breastfeeding is only through hunger”. These words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) establish a general ruling which clearly states that the breastfeeding that counts for establishing the mahram relationship is only that which occurs during the time when the child is exclusively breastfed (and eats no other food). That can only be in the first two years or thereabouts.

End quote from al-Mufhim (4/188).

To read more conditions, please visit:

The breastfeeding which establishes the relationship of mahram is that which takes place five or more times in the first two years.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 21/116

The above mentioned 8 conditions have to meet for breastfeeding to cause someone to become mahram. Therefore:

a)According to the second condition, the child should be breastfed by a woman who produces milk from a legitimate birth. Hence, breast milk produced due to an illegitimate birth, will not make a child , who breastfed from the woman, mahram with one another  

b) As mentioned in the eighth condition, child has to be below 2 years, and above 2 will never become Mahram! and an adult does not fit in this scenario. In-fact, Even a child above 2 years won’t meet the condition.

c) According to the seventh condition, do you think an adult can be breastfed to the extent that his flesh and bones become firm just by milk? Even if the DNA proves that it helps in firming, but it will never be sufficient for an adult to be fed just on milk without any solid nutrition. none the less, this is not a condition for an adult at all

d) This confusion is created by some of the Wahhabi scholars who had issued a Fatwa which says the non-Mahram can become Mahram if they are breastfed for a number of times(I don’t remember the exact number) by an adult female.

Islam is a beautiful religion and it gives its rulings clearly. It is upon the intellectual people to understand and not to misuse the things in a way that they are led to Haram, corruption and Fasad in this world.

Those who accept this fatwa and act upon it, what is the difference between them and the Haram relationship between non-mahram in the West?

e) You have mentioned “Now I am really confused that since the nourishment and flesh growth occurs in human adults which was the wisdom behind Foster relationship”

If Allah’s wisdom behind all this is the nourishment and flesh growth in the infant, can’t it be Allah’s wisdom behind the 2 years condition which says the mahram concept can take place only if the child is below 2 years?!

I hope the answer is very clear.

Regarding the haram relationships, it is clearly said; joking or speaking with the intention of lust with a non-mahram, is Haram. The laws set by Allah the Almighty are very clear and we do not have the permission and  authority to change them.

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider