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The importance of breast feeding and ensuring that one’s child does not starve

Question

Is this Hadith reliable?

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “While I was sleeping two men (Angels) came to me, held my upper arms, and took me to a rocky mountain. They said, ‘Climb.’I said, I am unable to climb, they said, we will make it easy for you. So I ascended until I reached a high place in the mountain. I heard fierce cries and enquired what those cries were? They answered, that is the loud cry of the people of the fire… We moved on until I saw women with snakes biting their breasts. I asked ‘What is the matter with these?’ They answered, these are the women who deprive their children of their breast milk…”

 

Answer

Imams Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban and Hakim (rahimahumullah) have declared the Hadith authentic. ‘Allamah Dhahabi has concurred with Imam Hakim.

(Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith: 1986, Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 7491, Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 2 pg. 210. Also see: Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 1 pg. 430, Targhib, vol. 3 pg. 273 and Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 1 pg. 76/77)

 

The Hadith seems to be referring to those women who allow their children to starve and die out of hunger. They don’t breastfeed their children nor do they hire a wet nurse to do so.

(Refer: Marginal notes on Targhib, vol. 3 pg. 273)

 

Kindly refer to a Mufti/Darul Ifta for further clarification on this issue.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar