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Can I Breastfeed My Baby for More Than 2 Years?

07 January, 2018
Q For how long can a mother breastfeed her child? I heard it is for 2 years only. Can a woman breastfeed beyond 2 years? Is there any limit?


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.

In this fatwa:

There is no strict limit in breastfeeding in Islam. However, the ideal age to stop it is the age of two.

Responding to your question, Dr. Hatem Al-Hajj, Dean of the College of Islamic Studies at Mishkah University and a member of the Permanent Fatwa Committee for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), states:

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The two year limit is not binding on the parents to stop breastfeeding at. Rather, it is the most ideal age to stop. Some of the scholars indicated that a woman may continue to breastfeed after that.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said that she may extend breastfeeding till the middle or even the end of the third year.

To my knowledge, the scholars didn’t address extending it beyond that.

The limit short of reaching the age at which the child should not be allowed to see the nakedness of others is to be determined by the experts of child health, including the psychological and mental health.

If it was determined that breastfeeding past a certain age will have negative consequences, then all harm has been forbidden in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There should be no harm or reciprocation of harm.” (Malik)

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.