Q: Praise be to Allah, I am a young married man and have five children but I want to marry the daughter of my maternal aunt (the sister of my mother). However, I am confused and want Your Eminence to guide me regarding this affair. To sum up: a) I
was breastfed by my maternal grandmother
who also gave milk to the elder sister of the girl (that I want to marry). B) I
was breastfed by my second maternal aunt (another sister of my mother) and my mother also breastfed some of her children. Such a second maternal aunt also breastfed the children of my maternal aunt whose daughter I want to marry.
C) I was also breastfed by my maternal uncle's wife who breastfed the children of my maternal aunt whose daughter I want to marry. My mother also breastfed the children of my maternal uncle. I have a strong desire to marry the daughter of my maternal aunt. Please, guide me to the right path, may Allah continue to make you a source of knowledge to serve Islam! It is worth mentioning that I was not breastfed by my maternal aunt whose daughter I want to marry and my aunt did not breastfeed any of my siblings.
The breastfeeding that prohibits marriage takes place only if the baby has five times of suckling or more during the first two years of their life. Every time a baby holds a breast and sucks milk and then leaves it to take a breath or to be moved to another breast, then this is to be counted as one suckling, and so forth until five times of suckling are counted. If (Part No. 21; Page No. 95) the times of suckling are less than five, even if they are four times of suckling, then this breastfeeding does not prohibit marriage. Mentioning the women forbidden for marriage, Allah (Exalted be He) says:
...your foster mothers who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sisters.
It is reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said
Milk relationships are equal to blood relationships in rendering marriage unlawful i.e. whatever is prohibited due to blood relationships is also prohibited by milk relationships.
It is related by
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
It had been revealed in the Noble Qur'an that ten clear sucklings make marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by "Five clear times of suckling i.e. Forbid marriage" and Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) died while the latter rule was in force.
It is also related on the authority of
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
One suckling or two do not make (marriage) unlawful.
Thus, if you were breastfed by your maternal grandmother five times of suckling or more during the first two years, then it is not permissible for you to marry the daughter of your maternal aunt, because you became her maternal milk-uncle. If both you and this daughter of your maternal aunt were breastfed by some other maternal aunt of yours and she breastfed you both five times or more during the first two years, then she (the girl in question) becomes your milk-sister. Accordingly, you become her milk-brother on one side and her maternal milk-uncle on the other side. (Part No. 21; Page No. 96) May Allah grant us success. May Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions!