Is it haraam to breastfeed a child over the age of 24 months?
Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
According to the majority of Scholars, the maximum period of breast feeding is 24 months, and it will be haram to breastfeed for more than this period.
However, the great Imam, Abu Hanifa (A.R) holds the opinion that breastfeeding can go up to 30 months and not beyond that. He based his opinion on the verse of the Quran which states, ‘And the bearing of the child and his weaning is thirty (30) months’ (46:15). Many great jurists have accepted this opinion and have given their official verdicts on it. (Al Lubaab Fi Sharh AL Kitaab Vol. 2, Pg. 163, Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi; Al Jawharah An Nayarah Vol. 2, Pg. 152 Qadeemi Kutub Khana Karachi).
Hence, it can be said that breastfeeding a child for more than 30 months is unanimously haram. Therefore, all efforts should be made to stop nursing the baby upon the completion of two years. If the baby does not stop and it becomes very difficult upon him, then within the other six months, the mother should slowly ease up on the nursing until she finally ends it upon the completion of 30 months.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.