The relationship between a husband and wife is a very special one and most different from other relations. The topic of intimacy among the husband and wife however is a very sensitive one and one that normally escapes discussion, especially in conservative societies. Thus many couples become unsure about what is allowed or prohibited for them and many rely on their own logic instead of trying to find out the proper verdict from a religious scholar.
This may lead to them committing sins unintentionally just to avoid a little awkwardness. In this article we will try to shed light on one such issue and the view of different scholars on the matter.
Intimacy among husband and wife involves many acts apart from simple intercourse. These may include touching or kissing and may involve the woman’s breasts. However the problem of breastfeeding a husband is one which requires some thought. This problem is one which has been answered by scholars with some different views. We will discuss two of those views here.
One opinion states that drinking milk from his wife is a sinful act for a husband although it doesn’t cancel their marriage and doesn’t make the wife haram for the husband. However it is still a sin and should be avoided as much as possible. The only leniency that is allowed is in the case when the marriage itself becomes threatened.
For example if a husband insists on breastfeeding and threatens his wife if she disobeys, the wife’s priority should be to try and protect the marriage as much as she can. She should try and make the husband understand the situation but if he forces her she should allow it and all the sin will be on the head of the husband. This is according to Mufti Abu Yahya of Darul Iftaa Madrassa Inamiyah in accordance with Dur-ul-Mukhtar Ma’a Hashiyah Raddul Muhtar Vol.3 Pgs.211 & 225 – H.M. Sa’eed Company), Kifaytul Mufti Vol.5 Pg.166 – Maktabah Haqqaniyah
Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.18 Pg.624 – Jamia’ Farooqiyah. Husbands therefore should practice restraint themselves and even if such an urge comes into their mind they should control it.
The other argument from some scholars is that it is allowed in Islam for a couple to enjoy each other’s bodies except for anal intercourse or intercourse during the wife’s menstrual period. Since this does not include breastfeeding and also that breastfeeding an adult cannot make him a woman’s mahram as this can only happen for children under the age of two years, then the act of breastfeeding does not come under the heading of forbidden acts for a husband and wife. Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/338. This is the view of some scholars on the matter, however it must be remembered that if you are doubtful about something it is better to leave it to avoid any unintentional sins.
It is also advised to discuss any questions in detail with your local scholar or any scholar whom you trust to gain more knowledge on the matter.