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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Published on 23rd July, 2002

Less Cancer for Muslim Mothers

By Islamic Occasions Network

Muslim WomenThousands of women might be spared the agony of breast cancer if they extended the period for which they suckle their babies. Research published on Friday suggests that for every year of her life spent breastfeeding, a woman's risk of the disease drops by 4.3% This is on top of the 7% reduction she enjoys for every baby to which she gives birth.

If women in the UK breastfed on average for an extra six months each, 1,000 cases of breast cancer - and hundreds of deaths - would be prevented each year. However, experts say that too few women in this country are breastfeeding their babies - partly because too little support is available to help them start. Belinda Phipps, the chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said:

"Currently, only one in five UK mothers are still breastfeeding after six months - we know that many give up before they want to. It is clear that UK women are still not getting the information and support they need to breastfeed their babies. We need to see a real shift away from the current bottle-feeding culture in the UK to one where breastfeeding is completely accepted."

Developing World

The latest study was carried out by analysts at Cancer Research UK, who pooled data from dozens of different studies into the benefits of breastfeeding. Differences in childbearing and breastfeeding habits could partly explain why rates of breast cancer are so low in the developing world. 

On average women in the developing world breastfeed for approximately two years, and have six or seven children, as opposed to two months per child and two or three children in the UK. Professor Valerie Beral said: "It's long been known that breast cancer is common in situations where women have few children and breastfeed for short periods.

"We've shown that these factors alone account for much of the high rates of breast cancer in these settings."

Common cancer

Fellow researcher Dr Gillian Reeves said: "Even if women in the West were to breastfeed each of their children for an extra six months, this could prevent 5% of breast cancers each year." Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in women - there are well over 30,000 cases each year, and mortality is approximately a third. A spokesman for Breakthrough Breast Cancer said:

"This study has indicated a relationship between breastfeeding and a lower risk of cancer -but more research is necessary to clearly establish a causal link."


Just last week, the geniuses at Oxford University in England prescribed that:

  • Breast-Feeding (for the full term) is one of the leading deterrents of Cancer of the Breast. Further, they mentioned that cases of breast cancer are almost unheard of in countries were breast-feeding is common-place.

  • Having more than two children is another deterrent for breast cancer and other related female-specific cancers. Their study compares the new movement in the western world of having little or no offspring as opposed to eastern (Muslim) societies that have many children. The overall finding of the university is that those mothers who have more than two children and breast-feed for the full term have only a slight chance of contracting the disease. On the other hand, a recent study estimated that one in four N. American Women will contract Cancer at some stage of their lives by 2010.

Compare, what Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

1. Al-Buqara (The Cow)

And the mothers should suckle their children for two whole years for him who desires to make complete the time of suckling; and their maintenance and their clothing must be borne by the father according to usage; no soul shall have imposed upon it a duty but to the extent of its capacity; neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child, and a similar duty (devolves) on the (father's) heir, but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them, and if you wish to engage a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you so long as you pay what you promised for according to usage; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah and know that Allah sees what you do. (2:233)

2. Al-Ahqaf (The Wind- Curved Sandhills, The Dunes)

And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says: My Lord! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee, and surely I am of those who submit. (46:15)

3. Luqman 

And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. (31:14)

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