Laws of Surah Baqarah V.233

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَٱلۡوَٲلِدَٲتُ يُرۡضِعۡنَ أَوۡلَـٰدَهُنَّ حَوۡلَيۡنِ كَامِلَيۡنِ‌ۖ لِمَنۡ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ ٱلرَّضَاعَةَ‌ۚ وَعَلَى ٱلۡمَوۡلُودِ لَهُ ۥ رِزۡقُهُنَّ وَكِسۡوَتُہُنَّ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ‌ۚ لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفۡسٌ إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا‌ۚ لَا تُضَآرَّ وَٲلِدَةُۢ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلَا مَوۡلُودٌ۬ لَّهُ ۥ بِوَلَدِهِۦ‌ۚ وَعَلَى ٱلۡوَارِثِ مِثۡلُ ذَٲلِكَ‌ۗ فَإِنۡ أَرَادَا فِصَالاً عَن تَرَاضٍ۬ مِّنۡہُمَا وَتَشَاوُرٍ۬ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيۡہِمَا‌ۗ وَإِنۡ أَرَدتُّمۡ أَن تَسۡتَرۡضِعُوٓاْ أَوۡلَـٰدَكُمۡ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ إِذَا سَلَّمۡتُم مَّآ ءَاتَيۡتُم بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ‌ۗ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ۬

“Mothers (should) suckle their children for two full years, for one who wants to complete the (period of) suckling. It is the obligation of the one to whom the child belongs that he provides food and clothing for them (the mothers) with fairness. Nobody is obligated beyond his capacity. No mother shall be made to suffer on account of her child, nor the man to whom the child belongs, on account of his child. Likewise responsibility (of suckling) lies on the (one who may become an) heir (of the child).  Now, if they want to wean, with mutual consent and consultation, there is no sin on them. And If you want to get your children suckled (by a wet-nurse), there is no sin on you when you pay off what you are to give with fairness, and fear Allah, and be assured that Allah is watchful of what you do. (233)”

Ruling: Suckling is an obligation on the mother, she is considered to be in sin if she does not feed the child without a valid reason. The total period of suckling is two full years. For the well being of the child or the inability of the mother due to sickness, it can be decided after consultation between the parents to wean him early. (Maarif Al Quran V1 pg 603/607)

Ruling: The verse also tells us that it is permissible for the husband to hire someone besides the mother to breastfeed the child when there is a valid reason. For instance, the mothers milk is not wholesome. The wages of the wet-nurse should be settled and given to her at the correct times. (Maarif Al Quran V1 pg 607)

Ruling: While the mother is married to the husband, it is not permissible for her to take a wage for suckling her child. This rule also applies for the wife who was divorced but is still in her iddah. In both these cases, it is an obligation on the husband to fully maintain his wife and divorcee by paying for her lodging, clothing and food. In the case where the divorced mothers iddah has been completed, she is still more deserving to suckle her child then any other wet-nurse. She is allowed to take the normal wage of suckling. If she demands more than that, the father has the right to hire another wet-nurse instead. (Maarif Al Quran V1 pg 605)

Ruling: The parents should not harm one another because of the baby, for example, the mother refuses to feed the child out of hatred for the husband or the father gives the child over to someone besides the mother to be breastfeed out of spite. (Maarif Al Quran V1 pg 605)

Ruling: If the father isn’t alive, the responsibly of arranging to have the child suckled falls on the person who is the legal heir and mahram of the child. If there is more than one heir, then they will share the responsibility in proportion to their share of the inheritance. If the mother and grandfather of the orphaned child are both alive, these are his heirs and mahram’s. The maintenance of the child shall be borne by both of them in proportion to their share of the inheritance. That is, the mother shall bear one third and the grandfather two thirds. (Maarif Al Quran V1 pg 606)

Ruling: In this verse there is also an indication that the child’s lineage is established through the father. (Maarif Al Quran V1 pg 604)

Ruling: In the case where the chid has money, whether the father is alive or not, that money can be used solely to be spent of the child for his or her maintenance including paying the wet-nurse. (Tafsir Mazhari V1 pg 359, Ruh Al Maani V1 pg 321)

Ruling: This verse also proves that it is incumbent upon the husband to maintain the wife. When the husband and wife are both affluent, matching expenses will be obligatory. When both are poor, correspondingly, matching expenses will be obligatory. If both have a different financial status for example the woman is poor, and the man is wealthy, her expenses will be medial, that is, higher than those of the poor and lower then those of the wealthy. (Maarif Al Quran V1 pg 605, Durr Al Mukhtaar and Radd Al Muhtaar V5 pg 285)

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