Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco ommodo consequat.

Monday to Friday: 9-20
Saturday to Sunday: closed

  /  Maliki Fiqh Corner   /  Prayer and Breastfeeding

Prayer and Breastfeeding


Can you please tell the fiqh rules for both menstruation and for prayer for women in the Maliki madhhab (e.g. do we put our forearms on the floor like Hanafi women; where do we raise our hands to: shoulders or ears; when we first begin can we pray in congregation with other women & can women lead women in prayer, etc., etc., etc.)?

Also, about breastfeeding, many Muslims believe it is “haram” to breastfeed a child after two years of age. Please can you comment on this, and how long it is allowed? Must children be forced to wean at or by 2 years of age?

Jezakum Allahu khairan.


As for the rules of menstruation, check the section of replies related to Menstruation.

As for the position of prostration, women are encouraged to place their forearms and elbows against their sides, and not on the ground, and not to spread them as men are encouraged to do. Their feet should also be put together.

In the opening Takbira, they should raise their hands to their shoulders.

As for women leading women in prayer, the popular view in the school of Malik is that they cannot. However, there is strong evidence that it is permitted. For that reason, some Malikis hold it to be permissible for women to lead other women in prayer. But the first is the dominant view in our madhhab.

As for praying with women who pray in congregation, if this is being done to avoid controversy, it is permissible as long as you do not make it your intention to follow the Imam. This is if you believe it to be haram for women to lead other women in prayer.

As for breastfeeding children after they have reached or exceeded two years, I have not found any scholar stating that it is haram for them to breastfeed beyond two years or that they must be forced to stop breastfeeding. As a general rule, children will stop breastfeeding within a period of two years. This is what is meant by the Qur’anic verse: “And mothers are to nurse their children for two complete [lunar] years for whoever wants to complete the nursing” (Baqara: 233) So it is the right of the husband over his wife that she nurse his child for this period.

There are none who say this indicates that a child has to be forced to stop nursing after 2 years. But there is discussion between scholars about whether or not the child who nurses from other than his/her mother beyond two years, whether or not this can be considered to make the child haram to marry the biological children of the women doing the nursing. And the fact that they have such a discussion is proof enough that no one has the view that a child must be forced to stop nursing after 2 years. Rather, a child is allowed to nurse until it is completely weaned off his/her mother’s milk even if that is beyond two years.

And Allah knows best

Shaykh Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali