Storing the milk of a number of mot...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Storing the milk of a number of mothers to nurse a number of children, is it permissible?


What is your opinion on storing the milk of a known number of mothers to nurse a known number of infants other than their own? If the ruling is its permissibility, kindly mention the criteria which will prevent lineage confusion.


In addition to what we have mentioned in the third question, we cite what is mentioned in the chapter of Rida’ (p. 379) in the first part of Mujma’ Al-Anhar Sharh Multaqa Al-Abhar: “According to the opinion of Abu Yusuf, when the milk of a woman is mixed with the milk of another, the prohibition is established based on whose milk constitutes the major proportion. However, Muhammad maintained that the prohibition is established by the milk of both women because “objects of the same genus do not prevail over one another”. Abu Hanifa has two opinions on this matter. His first opinion concurs with that of Abu Yusuf which is likewise the opinion of Al-Shafi’i. In his second opinion, Abu Hanifa maintained that the milk of both women establishes the prohibition of marriage [regardless of their amounts] and this is likewise the opinion of Muhammad and Zufar. Some scholars preponderate Muhammad’s opinion. It is stated in Al-Ghaya that Mohammed adopts the more cautious approach and it was also said it is the dominant opinion of the school.
Based on the above, it is impermissible for these children whose number is known to marry the offspring of these mothers whose number is also known. This is because they become milk-siblings after they are fed from the stored milk of these women who in turn become their milk-mothers. It is legally established that what is prohibited due to blood relations is prohibited due to rida’. The criteria that must be followed in such a case are that the mothers in question must not suckle infants other than their own except when necessary. And if they do, they must memorize and record the names of the infants they nursed as a precautionary measure to avoid any future unlawful marriages between these infants.

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