Mothers suckle their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the term, and clothing and maintenance must be borne by the father in a fair manner. No one should be burdened with more than they can bear: no mother shall be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor any father on account of his. The same duty is incumbent on the father’s heir. If, by mutual consent and consultation, the couple wish to wean [the child], they will not be blamed, nor will there be any blame if you wish to engage a wet nurse, provided you pay as agreed in a fair manner. Be mindful of God, that He sees everything you do.
- Breastfeeding Breast milk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life.
The scientific accuracy of this verse is confirmed by modern scientific research. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life, and then continuing breastfeeding along with complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. The verse specifically mentions a two-year breastfeeding period, which aligns with modern recommendations. Additionally, the verse emphasizes the importance of fair treatment and support for mothers and fathers in fulfilling their responsibilities towards their child, which is consistent with modern understanding of the importance of parental support for child development. It also acknowledges the possibility of using a wet nurse if needed, as long as it is done in a fair and agreed-upon manner. Overall, this verse demonstrates the Quran’s recognition of the importance of maternal and parental care for child development, as well as its alignment with modern scientific understanding of child-rearing practices.