Recommended Acts of Breastfeeding
1. The mother should have taqwa (piety), and should be careful that the milk should not be contaminated due to lack of piety and virtue. Especially during the period of breastfeeding, one should stay away from all types of sin. Mustahab acts and closeness to Alla-h (swt) have positive effects on the child.
2. Say “Bismillah” before starting to breastfeed. It is narrated from the Prophet (s): “Any important and valuable act that is carried out without the dhikr “Bismillahi Rahmani-Rahim,” will be imperfect and without a (good) conclusion.”
3. Breastfeed the child with the remembrance of Ima-m Husain (as), as it is narrated from the Ima-m: “Oh my Shi-‘a, every time you drink wholesome water, remember me.”
4. At the time of breastfeeding, look at the child and talk to him/her. In particular, talking about the martyrdom and birth of the Ma’su-mi-n (as) is recommended; do not be worried about whether the child understands or not. A mother who wants to pass on the culture and traditions of the Ahlul Bayt (as) to her child needs to have the culture of the religion herself and implement this when training and feeding her child.
5. Patience and relaxation, anger and hot-temperedness, healthy and un-healthy thoughts, generous disposition and kindness and stubbornness and revengefulness all have an effect on the child. It is important to remember that the future of the child is in the hands of your actions.
6. Each day of the week, carry out your daily duties such as cooking, cleaning, eating and breastfeeding, with the remembrance of the Ma’su-mi-n (as) of that day, as specified in Mafatihul Jinan:
Saturday: Prophet Muhammad (s).
Sunday: Ima-m ‘Ali- (as) and Hadrat Fa-tima (as).
Monday: Ima-m Hasan and Ima-m Husain I.
Tuesday: Ima-m Zain al-’Abidi-n, Ima-m Muhammad al-Ba-qir (as) and Ima-m Ja’far as-Sa-diq (as) (as).
Wednesday: Ima-m Mu-sa- al-Ka-dim, Ima-m ‘Ali- al-Rida-, Ima-m Muhammad al-Taqi- and Ima-m ‘Ali- al-Naqi- (as).
Thursday: Ima-m Hasan al-’Askari- (as).
Friday: Ima-m Mahdi- (as).
7. As recommended by the Prophet (s), begin your actions with Qur’an, and remembrance of Alla-h (swt) and the Ahlul Bayt (as) (including Du’a al-Faraj for Ima-m Mahdi- (as)).
8. Thank and praise Alla-h (swt) after breastfeeding
9. Ultimately, carry out all your actions, especially breastfeeding, with the intention of seeking Alla-h (swt)’s pleasure and closeness.
It is necessary to remind the reader that although there are many recommended methods of weaning, this manual only mentions a few that have been have been mentioned in Islamic sources and by the Ahlul Bayt (as):
1. Do not use harshness with the child, and stay away from techniques like rubbing spices on the breast, etc.
2. When a child insists on breastfeeding, do not chase him/her away from you.
3. With attention to the fact that breastfeeding is not only a source of food but a source of closeness and comfort for the child as well, it is important that along with adequate food replacements, adequate love and quality time with the child are provided as well.
4. Choosing a good time and place for the beginning and end of all acts, especially those with importance and value, is one of the techniques of the scholars of Islam. Therefore, it is only appropriate that for the weaning of a child from such an important act as breastfeeding, a good place and time is chosen, and acted upon by taking into account the readiness of the child and presentation of a good opportunity.
5. Where possible, the best place for weaning is the hara-m (shrine) of the Ma’su-mi-n (as) or Ima-mzade (sons or daughters of the Ima-ms).
6. The recommendation of a scholar is as follows:
In the last months of breastfeeding when the decision has been made to slowly wean the child, do Wudu- and enter the hara-m in a ritually clean state. Once you have reached the dari-h (noble grave), recite the relevant ziya-rat and ask for tawassul (Divine Intercession) of the noble person. Then, take a peeled sweet pomegranate and sit facing the Qibla. While reciting Surat Ya-si-n, feed the child from both breasts until the milk is finished, and blow on the pomegranate from time to time. At the end of the recitation, send the reward of the recitation to the soul of 6-month old ‘Ali- Asghar and his mother. Then pray to Alla-h (swt) to accept the period of breastfeeding by his generosity, and to give meaningful sustenance to your children with the end of breastfeeding. Then feed the child the whole pomegranate (or the juice of it).
NOTE: The sweetness of the pomegranate has been emphasized in particular. Also in general, eating pomegranate is very useful, especially on Fridays, and has been linked to increased relaxation, the removal of agitation and worries.
NOTE: If going to the hara-m is not possible for geographical or other reasons, it is possible to make the intention of visiting the shrine and performing all the recommended acts at home.
236 Rayha-neye Beheshti-, pg. 212-213
Adapted from the book: "From Marriage to Parenthood; The Heavenly Path" by: "Abbas and Shahin Merali"
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