Egypt: Fatwa allows breast-feeding among adults

Al-Azhar University, one of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institutions, ordered one of its clerics Monday to face a disciplinary panel after he issued a controversial decree allowing adults to breast-feed.

Ezzat Attiya had issued a fatwa, or religious edict, saying adult men could breast-feed from female work colleagues as a way to avoid breaking Islamic rules that forbid men and women from being alone together.

In Islamic tradition, breast-feeding establishes a degree of maternal relation, even if a woman nurses a child who is not biologically hers. It means the child could not marry the nursing woman’s biological children.

Attiya – the head of Al-Azhar’s Department of Hadith, or teachings of the Prophet Muhammad – insisted the same would apply with adults.

He argued that if a man nursed from a co-worker, it would establish a family bond between them and allow the two to work side-by-side without raising suspicion of an illicit sexual relation.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
AP, via the Jerusalem Post, Israel
May 21, 2007

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This post was last updated: Jun. 24, 2010