Marrying a girl who is the daughter by breastfeeding of his divorcee

Fatwa no. 8526 All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Last Messenger. The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has read the letter that was sent to His Eminence the President by the questioner who is the Chairman of the Legal Court of Al-Fujarah and the subjoined areas. The letter concerned is registered at the Department of Research under Number 856, dated 23/03/1405 A.H. The letter reads as follows: Attached is a request that was submitted by a Muslim brother in the United Arab Emirates in 15/11/1984 A.D. and that we registered under Number 196 on 24/02/1405 A.H. The brother concerned inquires about the ruling on a man who married a woman that was breastfed by her paternal aunt who is the same man's ex-wife and the mother of some of his children. The breastfeeding continued for one month and took place when the man's ex-wife was married to another man. It is worth mentioning that the woman who was breastfed by her paternal aunt is still married to the man in question and they have seven children.We hope that Your Eminence will issue a Fatwa regarding the question mentioned above and advise the concerned man to do that which is most appropriate (Part No. 21; Page No. 112

A: If the case is exactly as what is mentioned and the concerned man's wife was breastfed by the same man's ex-wife for five times or more when the former was in the first two years of her age, she is forbidden to him for marriage because she is considered his step-daughter. Allah (Exalted be He) states: Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters until He (Exalted be He) states: ...your step daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in He (Exalted be He) also states: The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years Moreover, it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) states: 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. In addition, it is authentically reported that `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "It was among the revelation of the Qur'an that ten known times of breastfeeding make the marriage prohibited, but this was later abrogated and reduced to five. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) died and the ruling remained effective." It may be worth mentioning that one breastfeeding is that the baby holds the breast and sucks milk from it. If the baby releases the breast and holds it and sucks milk again, this will be counted as a second time and so on. However, if the concerned man's wife was breastfed by her paternal aunt for less than five times or that breastfeeding took place when the breastfed was older than two years of age, this will not affect the marriage at all. (Part No. 21; Page No. 113) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.