Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 12392
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Giladi , Avner.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Breast-Feeding in Medieval Islamic Thought: a Preliminary Study of Legal and Medical Writings
  • Source: Journal of Family History 23, 2 (April 1998): Pages 107 - 123.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Breast Feeding Incest Infants Islam Law Medicine Mothers Wet Nurses
  • Geographic Area: Eastern Mediterranean;Northern Africa
  • Century: General
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  • Abstract: The way medieval Islamic writings discuss breast-feeding reflects not only general attitudes of adults toward children but also concepts that adults held of the first stages of socialization, the status of women, and the power relations that obtained within the family. The nursling's well-being was a central point of deliberation among Muslim religious scholars as well as physicians, whose understanding of the nursling's needs and of parental sentiments is impressive. Moreover, a mother's rights to breast-feed her own children and have custody of them, as formulated by muslim jurists, constituted the foundations of a sort of female autonomy within the patriarchal domain. By having nonmaternal breast-feeding create a complex and ramified network of impediments to marriage, Islamic law made this natural activity play an important role in social life- it influenced the way relations between different families were established, reduced the occurence of endogamous marriages, and created semiprivate spaces.
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1998.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 03631990
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