Nursed by Same Woman, Saudi Couple Must Separate After 35 Years of Marriage

Another Saudi couple has been ordered to separate after more than 35 years of marriage in the wake of claims they had been breastfed by the same woman at infancy, local media said.

A Yemeni woman in her 80s had told a public court in Najran that the man and wife, who have eight children, cannot remain married from the Islamic perspective.

The ruling, however, can be annulled on the basis that the testimony may not be valid since it was given by a woman, a subject of much debate among scholars.

Followers of the Hanafi school of thought rule that such a claim can be proven through the testimony of two men or of one man and two women, while Shafie followers stipulate the testimony of four women for the allegation to prove true.

Maliki followers, meanwhile, only require one man and one woman to provide testimony for the claim to become valid, a source told the paper.

Followers of the Hanbali school of thought, however, stipulate that the woman who is alleged to have breastfed the couple be present herself, a ruling that is commonly accepted by most scholars.

The man involved in the frenzy has called for proof after the woman’s account surfaced, feeling it was an ethical issue to remain married if the claim proves true, the source said.
“While both the man and his wife had no idea that they may have been nursed by the same woman at birth, he is still obliged to financially support the kids that resulted from this union,” said the source.

He added: “The separation must be officially documented to legal bodies and the ruling be referred to the court of appeal for endorsement or rejection based on evidence and testimonies.”

Earlier last month, a court in Al-Rass near Madinah issued a verdict separating a couple after finding out that they had been breastfed by the same woman, local reports say.
The separation order came 25 years after the couple were married and blessed with seven children.


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