In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All Praise due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. 

On October 5th, 2023, members of the Minnesota Islamic Council met with medical experts to discuss and give guidance to Muslim families on the use of pasteurized donor human breastmilk, which is widely available at hospitals for premature and sick babies. Members of an accredited milk bank also provided details on the safety of donated human milk by explaining the collection, heat-treatment, and testing process.

Important factor for the sharia

  1. Milk sharing is regarded as a virtue in Islam. Breastfeeding is strongly encouraged, and many verses in the Quran emphasize this. For example, Surah Al Ahqaf Ayah 46 states: “And we enjoined upon man to his parent’s good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months.” This emphasizes that for a mother to breastfeed her child is considered a very virtuous act.
  2. In accredited milk banks across the country like Minnesota’s, breastmilk is pooled from 3-5 donors. This makes it less likely that a baby will be fed a large amount from one donor. In addition, there is a legal prohibition of disclosing the identity of the milk donors that is applied in the milk banks. These factors decrease the likelihood of the establishment of kinship. Surah: Al-Baqarah, Ayah 233 Allah says “Mothers (should) suckle their children for two years, for one who wants to complete the period of suckling.” 
  3. For some babies, human breastmilk serves therapeutic/medicinal purposes and is preventing dangerous illnesses from forming in the baby’s digestive system, according to the Fatwa Committee’s decision. Regardless of the donor’s religious beliefs, the use of heat-treated donor milk for that specific reason aligns with Islamic Sharia’s law goals, which prioritize the preservation of human life. Surah: Al- Ma’idah Ayah 32“Whoever saves one-it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” 

After 3 days of deliberation with more than 10 Islamic scholars, imams, and professors of Islamic studies, this council reached the verdict on Monday, October 9th 2023:

The benefits of pasteurized donor human breastmilk are such that all babies, particularly preterm, low birth weight, and ill babies should be given this milk when that of their own mother is not available.  

Additionally, we have ruled that the identification of the donor mother is not a necessity as that violates the privacy of the uncompensated donor.

Signed under seal this 16th of November, 2023.

Dr. Mohamed Mahad – Imam Masjid Nuruliman