In Surah Baqarah (2) Allah says:

Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Upon the father is the mothers' provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. No mother should be harmed through her child, and no father through his child. And upon the [father's] heir is [a duty] like that [of the father]. And if they both desire weaning through mutual consent from both of them and consultation, there is no blame upon either of them. And if you wish to have your children nursed by a substitute, there is no blame upon you as long as you give payment according to what is acceptable. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Seeing of what you do.
Quran 2:233

But with the rise of powdered infant milk, I see many mothers putting their babies on the bottle, not for any medical reason but just for the sake of vanity.

Besides the fact that the child is not getting natural nutrients through milk from it's mother or foster-mother (as in the case of Prophet Muhammad), what view does the Islamic Shariah hold?

Can a mother forego her duty to breastfeed her baby without any valid medical reason? Is breastfeeding optional in Islam?

  • It is wajib as long as the infant requires it and it is within the stipulated time period. There is difference of opinion on whether it is wajib on the mother or the father (to arrange it), and even where it is wajib on the mother there are reasons other than medical where a mother can forego it (see 65:6). – UmH Dec 17 '18 at 16:56
  • @UmH why is it wajib and how is this wajib defined? As far as I understand feeding and provision is a due on the husband/father while the verses I have in mind sound rather like optional for the mother. – Medi1Saif Dec 17 '18 at 18:23
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    @Medi1Saif For whom are you asking? Wajib on the father, wajib on the mother, or wajib in general? – UmH Dec 17 '18 at 18:32
  • @UmH According to the ayah (65:6) you shared, a foster mother should be arranged only if there is a discord between the parents and/or if the mother has passed away. Is my understanding correct? – Ahmed Dec 18 '18 at 4:18

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