Egypt: Fatwa allows breast-feeding among adults

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May 21, 2007 23:03

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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