Fatwa: # 19733
Category: Hadith
Country: India
Date: 23rd January 2012


Please explain the Hadīth of Sālim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu.


Ayesha Radhiyallāhu Anha reported that Sālim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu lived with him and his family in their house. She (i.e. the daughter of Suhail came to Allāh’s Apostle (Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and said: Sālim has attained puberty as men attain, and he understands what they understand, and he enters our house freely.  I, however perceive that something (rankles) in the heart of Abu Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu, whereupon Allāh’s Apostle (Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said to her: Suckle him and you would become unlawful for him and the rankling which Abu Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu feels in his heart will disappear.  She returned and said: So I suckled him and what was there in the heart of Abu Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu disappeared.


Please shed some light on this Hadīth and the Fatwas given in Egypt and Arabia.  This Hadīth was shown to me by a non-muslim friend, which is also doing rounds on the internet.  I am really troubled after reading as it is contradicting the rulings of Islām (as far as I know).

JazakAllāhu Khairan


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


The following is the Hadīth referred to in the query:


عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ سَالِمًا، مَوْلَى أَبِي حُذَيْفَةَ كَانَ مَعَ أَبِي حُذَيْفَةَ وَأَهْلِهِ فِي بَيْتِهِمْ، فَأَتَتْ - تَعْنِي ابْنَةَ سُهَيْلٍ - النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَتْ: إِنَّ سَالِمًا قَدْ بَلَغَ مَا يَبْلُغُ الرِّجَالُ. وَعَقَلَ مَا عَقَلُوا. وَإِنَّهُ يَدْخُلُ عَلَيْنَا. وَإِنِّي أَظُنُّ أَنَّ فِي نَفْسِ أَبِي حُذَيْفَةَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ شَيْئًا. فَقَالَ لَهَا النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ «أَرْضِعِيهِ تَحْرُمِي عَلَيْهِ، وَيَذْهَبِ الَّذِي فِي نَفْسِ أَبِي حُذَيْفَةَ» فَرَجَعَتْ فَقَالَتْ: إِنِّي قَدْ أَرْضَعْتُهُ. فَذَهَبَ الَّذِي فِي نَفْسِ أَبِي حُذَيْفَةَ    (صحيح مسلم, رقم الحديث 1453: دار إحياء التراث العربي – بيروت)

Translation: It is narrated by Aishah Radhiyallāhu Anhā that Sālim, the freed slave of Abī Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu was residing with Abū Hudhaifah and his family.  The daughter of Suhail (The wife of Abū Hudhaifah) approached Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam and said: “Indeed Sālim has attained puberty just as other men attain.  And he comprehends what men comprehend.  He comes in our presence and I apprehend that this disturbs Abū Hudhaifah.  Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam replied: “Give him your milk to drink.  This will make you unlawful for him (With regards to marriage, hence the laws of Hijāb will not apply).  And the disturbance in the heart of Abū Hudhaifah will seize to exist.  Thereafter she returned.  She says: “I gave him my milk to drink, and the disturbance in the heart of Abū Hudhaifah disappeared.”    (Sahīh Muslim, Hadīth No. 1453)


This narration is also recorded by Imām Nasaī in his Sunan.


The scholars have written that the wife of Abū Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu poured her milk into a utensil from which Sālim Radhiyallāhu Anhu drank the milk.  He did not drink directly from the breast of Abu Hudhaifah Radhiyallāhu Anhu’s wife. [1]


The issue in discussion is known as “Radhāa’tul Kabīr” (an adult drinking breast milk). “Does the drinking of breast milk by an adult constitute foster relationship with all its implications such as marriage, hijab, etc.


With the exception of Aishah Radhiyallāhu Anhā and Dāwūd Dhāhirī Rahimahullāh, all the Sahābah, Tabieen, Muhaddithīn, and Fuqahā unanimously agree that the consumption of breast-milk after the designated time will not have any bearing on the laws of marriage and hijab.  In other words, the intake of milk will not prohibit the male from marrying the female whose milk was consumed.  Hence, she is still obligated to conceal herself from him because he is a stranger with respect to her just like any other strange man. 


Hereunder are the designated times for breast feeding according to the four Madhāhib(schools):


1.      Allāmah Shihāb Ad-Dīn Ar-Ramalī Rahimahullāh writes in “Nihāyah Al-Muhtāj”, a commentary on the Jurisprudence of the Shāfī’ Madhab: “If the baby reaches two years, the suckling will not prohibit (marriage)”.  [2]


2.      In “Hāshiyah Ad-Dasūqī”, a renowned commentary on the Mālikī Madhab, Allāmah Muhammad bin Ahmed Ad-Dasūqī Al-Mālikī Rahimahullāh writes: “The breast feeding that takes place even one day after two years and two months is not valid i.e. the laws of marriage and hijab will not be affected”. [3]


3.      It is mentioned in “Matālib Ulunuhā” a commentary on the Hambali Fiqh: “One condition of breastfeeding is that it must be done within two years.  If it is done even one moment after two years, the laws of breast feeding will not apply.” [4]



4.      According to the Hanafī school of thought, Allāmah Haskafī has written in his famous work, “Ad-Durr Al-Mukhtār” that the designated time is two and a half years according to Imām Abu Hanīfah and only two years according to his students, Imām Abu Yousuf and Imām Muhammad Rahimahumullāh.[5]


Hereunder are a few of the substantiations for the four schools:


Allāh Ta’ālā says in the Qurān:


“And the mothers will breast-feed their children for two complete years” (Qurān 2/233)


Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam has stated:


Suckling is only valid i.e. will affect the laws of marriage and hijab if it takes place during the designated breast-feeding period. (Muslim, Hadīth No. 1455)  [6]


This Hadīth is accepted as authentic as it in Sahīh Muslim.


In another Hadīth, Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam is recorded to have said:


Breast-feeding will not prohibit (i.e. marriage) except that which opens up the intestines i.e. serves as a nourishment for the baby. [7] (Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadīth No. 1152)


Imām At-Tirmidhi Rahimahullāh states the Hadīth is authentic Hadīth.

Thereafter he says that this Hadīth supports the view of the majority i.e. those who say the designated time period is two years.


It is clear from the above that Radhāa’tul Kabīr is prohibited.


The Muhaddithīn explain the incident of Sālim was an exception to the rule. It was a dispensation and a special case for Sālim and Sahlah Radhiyallāhu Anhum.  The permissibility and validity of breast feeding an adult cannot be established through this lone incident.  It is impermissible to breast feed after the designated time period. [8]  



With regards to Hadhrat Aishah Radhiyallāhu Anha’s opinion, she had this view due to the incident of Sālim Radhiyallāhu Anhā. However, it is proven from a narration in Abū Dāwūd that the rest of the blessed wives of Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam opposed Hadhrat Aishah Radhiyallāhu Anha’s view. [9] 



Also, Allāmah Kāsānī Rahimahullah, the author of “Badāi’ As-Sanāi’” a book on Hanafī law says that Aishāh Radhiyallāhu Anhā may have retracted from her view.  This is so because she is a narrator of a Hadīth that supports the view of the majority of Ulemā. [10]


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Abdul Azīm bin Abdur Rahman,
Student Darul Iftaa


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1]  قَوْلُهُ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ (أَرْضِعِيهِ) قَالَ الْقَاضِي لَعَلَّهَا حَلَبَتْهُ ثُمَّ شَرِبَهُ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَمَسَّ ثَدْيَهَا وَلَا الْتَقَتْ بَشَرَتَاهُمَا وَهَذَا الَّذِي قَالَهُ الْقَاضِي حَسَنٌ (صحيح مسلم بشرح النووي, ج 5, ص 268: دار الفوائد)


[2]  (وَشَرْطُهُ) أَيْ الرَّضَاعِ الْمُحَرِّمِ: أَيْ مَا لَا بُدَّ مِنْهُ فِيهِ فَلَا يُنَافِي عَدَّهُ فِيمَا مَرَّ رُكْنًا (رَضِيعٌ حَيٌّ) حَيَاةً مُسْتَقِرَّةً فَلَا أَثَرَ لِوُصُولِهِ لِجَوْفِ مَنْ حَرَكَتُهُ حَرَكَةَ مَذْبُوحٍ وَمَيِّتٍ اتِّفَاقًا لِانْتِفَاءِ التَّغَذِّي (لَمْ يَبْلُغْ) فِي ابْتِدَاءِ الْخَامِسَةِ (سَنَتَيْنِ) بِالْأَهِلَّةِ مَا لَمْ يَنْكَسِرْ أَوَّلُ شَهْرٍ فَيُتَمِّمُ ثَلَاثِينَ مِنْ الشَّهْرِ الْخَامِسِ وَالْعِشْرِينَ، فَإِنْ بَلَغَهَا لَمْ يُحَرِّمْ (نهاية المحتاج الي شرح المنهاج, ج 7, ص 202-203:دار الفكر)


[3]  وَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّ الرَّضَاعَ إذَا حَصَلَ بَعْدَ الشَّهْرَيْنِ وَالْحَوْلَيْنِ لَا يُحَرِّمُ، وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْدَهُمَا بِيَوْمٍ وَاحِدٍ (حاشية الدسوقي على الشرح الكبير,ج 2, ص 503: دار الفكر)


[4]  فَصْلٌ (وَلِلْحُرْمَةِ) بِالرَّضَاعِ (شَرْطَانِ أَحَدُهُمَا أَنْ يَرْتَضِعَ) الطِّفْلُ (فِي الْعَامَيْنِ، فَلَوْ ارْتَضَعَ بَعْدَهُمَا بِلَحْظَةٍ لَمْ تَثْبُتْ) الْحُرْمَةُ؛ لِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: {وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلادَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ} [البقرة: 233] فَجُعِلَ تَمَامُ الرَّضَاعَةِ حَوْلَيْنِ،( مطالب أولي النهى في شرح غاية المنتهى, ج 5, ص 599: المكتب الإسلامي


[5]  ( في وقت مخصوص ) هو ( حولان ونصف عنده وحولان ) فقط ( عندهما وهو الأصح ) فتح وبه يفتى كما في تصحيح القدوري عن العون لكن في الجوهرة أنه في الحولين ونصف ولو بعد الفطام (الدر المختار, ص 202: دار الكتب العلمية)


[6]  (1455) حَدَّثَنَا هَنَّادُ بْنُ السَّرِيِّ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْأَحْوَصِ، عَنْ أَشْعَثَ بْنِ أَبِي الشَّعْثَاءِ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ، قَالَ: قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ: دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَعِنْدِي رَجُلٌ قَاعِدٌ، فَاشْتَدَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ وَرَأَيْتُ الْغَضَبَ فِي وَجْهِهِ، قَالَتْ: فَقُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، إِنَّهُ أَخِي مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ، قَالَتْ: فَقَالَ: «انْظُرْنَ إِخْوَتَكُنَّ مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ، فَإِنَّمَا الرَّضَاعَةُ مِنَ الْمَجَاعَةِ» (صحيح مسلم, رقم الحديث 1455: دار إحياء التراث العربي – بيروت)


[7]   - حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتِ المُنْذِرِ، عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ قَالَتْ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَا يُحَرِّمُ مِنَ الرِّضَاعَةِ إِلَّا مَا فَتَقَ الأَمْعَاءَ فِي الثَّدْيِ، وَكَانَ قَبْلَ الفِطَامِ» : «[ص:451] هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ» وَالعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا عِنْدَ أَكْثَرِ أَهْلِ العِلْمِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَغَيْرِهِمْ: أَنَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ لَا تُحَرِّمُ إِلَّا مَا كَانَ دُونَ الحَوْلَيْنِ، وَمَا كَانَ بَعْدَ الحَوْلَيْنِ الكَامِلَيْنِ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يُحَرِّمُ شَيْئًا «وَفَاطِمَةُ بِنْتُ المُنْذِرِ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ بْنِ العَوَّامِ وَهِيَ امْرَأَةُ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ» (سنن الترمذي, رقم الحديث 1152: شركة مكتبة ومطبعة مصطفى البابي الحلبي – مصر)


[8]  فتاوي محمودية, ج 17, ص 507: مكتبه محموديه

[9]  وَأَبَتْ أُمُّ سَلَمَةَ وَسَائِرُ أَزْوَاجِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ يُدْخِلْنَ عَلَيْهِنَّ بِتِلْكَ الرَّضَاعَةِ أَحَدًا مِنَ النَّاسِ، حَتَّى يَرْضَعَ فِي الْمَهْدِ، وَقُلْنَ لِعَائِشَةَ وَاللَّهِ مَا نَدْرِي لَعَلَّهَا كَانَتْ رُخْصَةً مِنَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِسَالِمٍ دُونَ النَّاسِ (بذل المجهود, ج 10, ص 39: دار الريان للتراث)


[10]  وَأَمَّا عَمَلُ عَائِشَةَ - رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا - فَقَدْ رُوِيَ عَنْهَا مَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى رُجُوعِهَا فَإِنَّهُ رُوِيَ عَنْهَا أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ: لَا يُحَرِّمُ مِنْ الرَّضَاعِ إلَّا مَا أَنْبَتَ اللَّحْمَ وَالدَّمَ.(بدائع الصنائع, ج 3, ص 402: المكتبة الرشيدية)


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