Part 1: A love letter to my birth child
My dear baby girl Brr,
We call you Brr because you’re a fission of energy. And you electrocute us all with it. And also, because you used to look like a burrito in a swaddle.
Your smile is so infectious, it travels through your pictures. Being countries apart from you, pictures are all I have. And the few memories… But even those few are enough. They sprawl out of every corner I choose to lay.
Your giggles are all I hear, with those sweet coos
that carry enough sugar to sweeten the blues.
If I could only wish that the oceans stir together and the islands bundle up into one, I’d pray that the days be folded over the nights so you could be nearer to me.
Even though I didn’t give birth to you, you are beloved to me like my birth child. I am glad I made you my foster daughter.
You have no religious bounds to give the parental rights to me, but I have no legal bounds to give the motherly love to you. You may not hold a place in inheritance legally, but you hold a large part of my heart.
It comes with this bond that has no real name but all the real feelings. Love does not need a name to exist. Feelings aren’t mathematical figures.
My daughter got an elder sister after her birth. How cool is that! It’s like you have two mothers and two fathers. Love can be multiplied like that. You’ll grow up with double the love and double the hugs ❤ in shaa Allah.
And so will my daughter for having your mother as her nursing mother. Cross-nursing as it’s called. Intertwining the threads of bonds even closer. The day you’ll be able to understand this relationship, these ahadith will guide you through…
Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Abdullah ibn Umar said, “There is no kinship by suckling except for a person who is nursed when he is small. There is no kinship by suckling over the age of two years.” [Suckling – كتاب الرضاع]
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “What becomes unlawful through breastfeeding is that which becomes unlawful through birth.” [Muslim]
Being your milk-mother means more siblings for you, hence more bonds. Whoever is Mahram for my birth children are Mahram for you as well.
You were only 6 months old when I made you my daughter. I would have loved to make your elder sister (my first love) my daughter as well, but she was almost 3 by that time. The time was gone…but Allah knows best what’s best for all.
Did you know that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) also had wet-nurses in his childhood?
*Thuaiba (may Allah be pleased with her)
*Halimah Al-Sadiah (may Allah be pleased with her).
Due to which he had many foster siblings:
*Masruh (son of Thuaiba (may Allah be pleased with her))
*Abu Salama (Prophet’s Companion (may Allah be pleased with him) who was also breastfed by Thuaiba (may Allah be pleased with her))
*Hamzah bin Abdul-Muttalib (Prophet (ﷺ)’s Uncle was also suckled by Thuaiba and Halimah (may Allah be pleased with them)).
and from among the children of Halimah Al-Sadiah (may Allah be pleased with her):
*Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him).
*Shayma (may Allah be pleased with her).
*Aneesah (may Allah be pleased with her).
What a beautiful way of extending love between different families. What an honor Allah has bestowed upon women. A means to give life, a power to nourish and an ability to connect separate bonds into one through breastfeeding.
It doesn’t only strengthen our bond with each other, but it has strengthened my love for your mother. My sister. And even your blood siblings, who I didn’t get to nurse. Yet they feel like my own. You have knit our relationship snug and warm.
People call you my niece, but I’d like to call you my daughter. Meri beti. Binti ❤
What a beautiful letter mashaAllah. I’ve always been cautious because of how nursing does affect things like who is whose mahram etc, but this is such a heartfelt letter and nursing someone else’s child – however close the relation – is such a selfless thing to do x
Jazakillah khair Iman ❤ basically, whoever is mahram for your birth child is mahram for your nursed child as well 🙂
This is a beautiful letter. It’s a great gift to be a nursing mother even though wet-nursing is not very common nowadays. As you mentioned that our prophet also had wet-nurses, I only knew of one so jazakillah khair for enlightening me that they were two.
I believe it is such a blessing to be able to successfully breastfeed your birth children,let alone being able to breastfeed other babies Masha’Allah.
Alhamdulillah. It’s not common indeed but can be a huge help for those who are seeking adoption.
Allahumma Barik this is so sweet! Such a beautiful bond wet nursing creates as well. I’m glad you decided to share it. ❤
It does alhamdulillah. No wonder Prophet peace be upon him had such high regard for his foster mothers 🙂
SubhanAllah this is beautiful. I’d love to her more of the story behind this as I think it’s something that people don’t really talk about much. Jazakillahu khayrun for sharing dear sister
Well we cross nursed each other’s children. Initially, I was finding it difficult to nurse my daughter so frequently, so my sister came to my rescue. Later on, my sister had to attend her classes so I took the nursing responsibility in that time. This way mahram relationship has been built in a way it wasn’t before. For eg: her daughter wasn’t my husband’s mahram but now is…
Hope that clarifies many things. Feel free to email me if you’ll have more questions 🙂
Read it twice! I cannot say I like this one better than the first part. Because BOTH are in comparable. Full of emotions!
I wish I had the talent of putting my feeling into words as beautifully as you do.
you simply need to write more ❤
Practice Practice Practice!
This was indeed a lovely evening read. Such a beautiful post and I am so glad I came across this. Wet nursing is something that only some women can do. Nursing is indeed something that involves a lot of patience so hats off to those women.
Thank you Fatima. I think bottle feeding is still more difficult. Unless someone else is preparing the milk and washing the bottles 😅
Beautiful – full of emotion.
Thank you so much kamana 🙂
Reading this literally moved my heart! I can still feel it “shake”! You’ve brought tears to my eyes. MashAllah, may Allah reward you for all you have done to help your foster child, and I hope you will be reunited again one day.
It lovely to see a list there of all the foster siblings of the Prophet (SAW).I’ve never seen it listed out like that before. JazakAllah khayr.
Jazakillah khair Gemma. I cried upon writing too…
The list is from “The Sealed Nectar” ❤
This is so beautiful mashaAllah. I especially loved “your giggles are all I hear, with those sweet coos, that carry enough sugar to sweeten the blues.” So adorable!
This is so beautiful! I love how you also included Islamic relevance to such a heartfelt letter <3
Very beautiful mashaaAllah. How lovely of you to revive a forgotten sunnah.
This is so beautiful. I do know of instances of wet-nursing in our country but never heard of the bond created as a result. You have really added a ‘personal’ touch to what women just do as a form of necessity at that given moment. May Allah Bless all the beautiful relations thus created with love and unity always. Aameen <3
You naturally develop a relationship with someone you choose to share a part of you with…and above that, she’s my niece – the daughter of my best friend 🙂
Subhanallah this was such a beautiful read! The bond it creates and the fact that it’s a sunnah as well how amazing women are so strong and so blessed. (www.beautywithzainy.com and http://www.spicyfusionkitchen.com)
Alhamdulillah. It has truly been a blessing 🙂
A beautifully written letter 💕
Loved the poetic descriptions you used.
Thank you for sharing such a personal part of yourselves with us.
Really nice write-up. Bit this also means that in future, any of your kids won’t be able to marry your sister’s kids- like if your son wants to marry his cousin- am I right?
I guess the positive is that they can grow up together as siblings, as it’s hard to maintain proper hijab between cousins when kids come of age. Sorry if I’m coming across as downright rude.
Nothing rude about gaining Islamic knowledge sis. Yes, milk siblings can not marry each other. But this only applies to those who have been nursed. For eg: I have nursed my sister’s second born and she has nursed my firstborn, so for eg: my son can not marry my sister’s second born (because only she is mahram to him) but her other sisters are not his mahram. They will eventually have to maintain hijab around him as his cousins and my son will maintain his sight-hijab around them (lowering gaze) in shaa Allah. So the only mahram foster sister he has is the one who I have nursed (not her siblings that I have not nursed). I hope it clarifies things. Feel free to reach out if you will have more questions.