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Assalamualaikum wbt,

I have a question; I have extra breast milk and it cannot be stored for a long time. So, I plan to make it into soaps. My question is what is the ruling of making soaps using breastmilk just for my own personal use? Hope for an explanation from Datuk Mufti.



Waalaikumussalam wrt wbt,

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

We will start with the statement of Allah SWT:

وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلاَدَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ

“Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period].”

Surah al-Baqarah (233)

Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaili stated that these rulings are set by syarak to protect the rights of children to be able to live and guarantee their future. Whoever turns away from this ruling is sinful and will be punished in the hereafter for Islam is a blessing to all, regardless of whether the person is still young or an adult. (See al-Tafsir al-Wasit, 1/130)

Breastmilk is Pure

Regarding the purity of breast milk, Imam al-Nawawi stated the following:

لَبَنُ الْآدَمِيِّ وَهُوَ طَاهِرٌ عَلَى الْمَذْهَبِ ... وَبِهِ قَطَعَ الْأَصْحَابُ إلَّا صَاحِبَ الْحَاوِي فَإِنَّهُ حَكَى عَنْ الْأَنْمَاطِيِّ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا أَنَّهُ نَجِسٌ وَإِنَّمَا يَحِلُّ شُرْبُهُ لِلطِّفْلِ لِلضَّرُورَةِ ... وَهَذَا ليس بشئ بَلْ هُوَ خَطَأٌ ظَاهِرٌ وَإِنَّمَا حَكَى مِثْلَهُ لِلتَّحْذِيرِ مِنْ الِاغْتِرَارِ بِهِ وَقَدْ نَقَلَ الشَّيْخُ أَبُو حَامِدٍ إجْمَاعَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ عَلَى طَهَارَتِهِ قَالَ الرُّويَانِيُّ ... إذَا قُلْنَا بِالْمَذْهَبِ إنَّ الْآدَمِيَّةَ لَا تَنْجُسُ بِالْمَوْتِ فَمَاتَتْ وَفِي ثَدْيِهَا لَبَنٌ فَهُوَ طَاهِرٌ يَجُوزُ شُرْبُهُ وَبَيْعُهُ

Breast milk is pure according to madhhab Syafie… and the decided opinion of Syafi’yyah scholars except for the author of al-Hawi. He cited an opinion from al-Anmathi who is a Syafi’yyah scholar who said that breastmilk is najis. And it is permissible to be drunk by a child due to exigent situation… and this opinion is of no value and a clear mistake. However, he included this opinion as a precautionary tale from being deceived by it (the opinion). Indeed, Syeikh Abu Hamid wrote that Muslims have agreed on its purity. Al-Ruyani said… if we said that according to the opinion of the madhhab (Syafie) that human is not najis even after his death. Thus, when a woman dies and there is milk in her breasts, the milk is pure and it is permissible to be drank or sold.” (See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 2/569)

Furthermore, al-Khatib al-Syirbini also stated:

أَمَّا لَبَنُ مَا يُؤْكَلُ لَحْمُهُ كَلَبَنِ الْفَرَسِ وَإِنْ وَلَدَتْ بَغْلًا فَطَاهِرٌ. قَالَ تَعَالَى : {لَبَنًا خَالِصًا سَائِغًا لِلشَّارِبِينَ} [النحل : 66] وَكَذَا لَبَنُ الْآدَمِيِّ، إذْ لَا يَلِيقُ بِكَرَامَتِهِ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَنْشَؤُهُ نَجِسًا.

“As for animal milk of which its flesh is eaten such as horse milk, even if it gave birth to a mule, it is pure. Allah SWT state: {(of which) milk is pure, easy to drink and delicious for people who drink it.} [Surah al-Nahl:66] And the same for breast milk for it is inappropriate with its honour to be said that it originates from najis.” (See Mughni al-Muhtaj, 1/234)

Moreover, al-Mardawi also stated that human milk and animal milk are pure according to the consensus of scholars (without any khilaf). (See al-Insof fi Ma’rifah al-Rajih min al-Khilaf, 1/343)

Thus, we know that human milk is pure and not najis. We have explained this matter in our previous article al-Kafi li al-Fatawi (1542): The Purity of Mother’s Milk and The Validity of Prayer.

Soap Made from Breast Milk

The discussion regarding mother’s milk or breastmilk generally revolves around the issue of drinking or selling it.

The original ruling of using milk (which is pure) in the making of soap is permissible, such as goat’s or cow’s milk. This is in accordance with the Islamic legal maxim:

الأصل في الأشياء الإباحة حتى يدل الدليل على التحريم

“The original ruling of something is its permissibility until there is evidence of its prohibition.”

However, using breast milk as one of the ingredients in soap making, we are inclined to state that it is prohibited and impermissible.

The reason is the status of human is as an honoured creation of Allah SWT compared to any other creations, thus any part of him or anything that originates from him should be honoured and respected and should not be benefitted arbitrarily, especially to be made as a cleanser (soap). This is in line with the method of Sadd al-Zarai’ which is to close the doors that could lead to the misuse of materials originates from human such as mother’s milk and degrading the honour of a human.

Especially when soap is included as matters of tahsiniyyat (improvement) and not hajiyat (necessity) or darurat (exigent need). It is sufficient that Allah SWT has provided all other creations for human to benefit from, from among the animals, plants and others.

This is as stated by Allah SWT:

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿١٣﴾

“And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth - all from Him. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.”

Surah al-Jathiyah (13)

The above verse shows that Allah SWT has subjected for us everything in the heavens which includes the sun, moon, and stars and everything that is on earth from the animals (as food and transportation), plants, ships and others for our benefit. All these blessings are gifts from Allah SWT and He provides for You with His blessings. Thus, only to Him you should worship and never associate Him with others. Indeed, for whatever He has subjected for you are signs and proofs of His Oneness for those who contemplate on Allah SWT’s verses (regarding His Sovereignty) and arguments and evidences from Him so that they take lessons from them. (See al-Tafsir al-Muyassar, pg. 499)

Moreover, this prohibition is in line with the rules set in the Guidelines for Control of Cosmetic Products in Malaysia which stated all the ingredients listed in Annexe II Part I as impermissible to be used in the making of cosmetic products. (See Guidelines for Control of Cosmetic Product in Malaysia, Part. Cosmetic Ingredients, pg. 10). Among the prohibited ingredients listed in table Annexe II Part I are cells, tissues or anything that originates from humans. Thus, mother’s milk is included in the prohibition and soap is considered as a cosmetic product.


According to the above discussion, we surmise the following matters:

  • We are inclined to the opinion that prohibits breast milk or mother’s milk from being made into soap. The reason is the status of human itself is honoured according to Allah SWT. Thus, any part or anything originated from humans should be respected and honoured and cannot be benefitted arbitrarily, especially when it is used to be made into a cleanser (soap).


The honour of a human is stated by Allah SWT:

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ

“And We have certainly honored the children of Adam,”

Surah al-Isra’ (70)

  • This prohibition is in line with the decision made by the 86th shariah panel of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) which state that it is impermissible to use mother’s milk as an ingredient of cosmetic including the production of soap.
  • This is also a Sadd al-Zarai’ step which is to close the roads that could lead to the degradation of human and the misuse of anything that originates from humans such as mother’s milk as set in Guidelines for Control of Cosmetic Product in Malaysia.
  • Especially when soap is included as matters of tahsiniyyat (improvement) and not hajiyat (necessity) or darurat (exigent need). It is sufficient that Allah SWT has provided all other creations for human to benefit from, from among the animals, plants and others.
  • We also advise all women who have extra milk which is safe from contagious diseases or effects of medicine, that it is better for her to find a milk child who really needs breast milk before pumping her milk. Hopefully, it could be one of her good deed that is accepted by Allah SWT in the hereafter.

May Allah SWT give us all a clear understanding in religion. Amin.