Fatwa ID: 04902
Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Pray that you are in the best of health and Imaan. My question is regarding children and how to make them mahram to myself, my husband, and to my son.
I have three foster children who have lived with me for over five years now and will be with me very long-term Insha Allah. Two girls, 15 and 11, and one boy 12. I have a son of my own who is 11 also.
With all the children growing up very fast, I have been alerted that they will all soon become ghair mahram and wanted to know whether there is any way around this as they are as good as family to me and we all truly love them as our own. Hope that made sense. Look forward to hearing from you soon. JazakAllah Khair and please keep us in your humble duas.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Firstly, looking after orphan children and taking them in one’s care is a very rewarding action. It is mentioned in a hadith that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said: “I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be in Paradise like these two” – and he gestured with his forefinger and middle finger, holding them apart. (Sahih Bukhari)
Regarding your question, one can make a male or female orphan into one’s mahram by the mother wife breastfeeding them, thus the children would become foster sons and daughters and foster brothers and sisters to each other.
However, the breastfeeding of the children should be done within 30 months of their birth.
Allah (SWA) in the Holy Quran has said
“And mothers suckle their children full two years; it is for one who wants to complete the (period of) suckling.” (Surah Baqarah v.233)
From the above verse, we can deduce that the total time given for suckling is for two lunar years after which suckling should not be done. However, on the basis of some verses of the Holy Quran and reports from the ahadith, Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) ruled that if it was carried on over a period of 30 months all the legal effects of suckling should be applicable. (Maariful Quran p.603 v.1) If a child older than 30 months is breastfed; no fostering relationship will be established. (Raddul Muhtar p.421 v.4)
The conclusion to your question is that there is no way around this particular situation. You should make sure the rules of hijab are observed between the parties concerned.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham