Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Kinship: Milk: Overview
(2,250 words)

This entry examines the legal-ethical rules and practices, prevalent in Muslim societies, past and present, which stem from the idea that transmission of milk from a nursing woman to a strange (that is, another woman's) nursling creates impediments to marriage.

The idea that the relations created through lactation between a nurse and her (strange) nursling are similar, from the viewpoint of prohibitions of marriage, to blood relations, is based on a pre-Islamic Arabic concept. In Arabic medical writings of the classical period of Isla…

Cite this page
Giladi, Avner, “Kinship: Milk: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 27 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0103>
First published online: 2009

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