Ibnu Qayyim, one of the greatest Islamic scholars history has known, had left us with his legacy including the sciences of Hadith and Fiqh.
He deeply understood why Allah encourages breastfeeding in the first two years of life:
"Babies should only be fed the mother's milk until their teeth appear. Their stomach and digestive system (in the early months) are incapable of handling (solid) food. When the baby's teeth emerge, its stomach becomes strong and ready for food. Indeed Allah delays the growth of teeth until the baby needs food. This is from His wisdom and kindness, and out of mercy toward the mother and her nipples, so that the baby would not bite them with its teeth."
Scientists in the modern world are just discovering more benefits of breastfeeding which were already highlighted by the Islamic scholars in the medieval era.
Imagine how delicate the stomach and the digestive system of a baby is, so much so that Allah says only breastmilk for the first two years.
Imagine how powerful breastfeeding is, so much so that ...
- the emotions and characteristics of the mother flows into the baby via the milk and the emotional bonding as the baby lies close to the chest of the mother. Perhaps this is the beginning of da'wah - as the baby learns from the mother subconsciously.
- when a baby is breastfed by a lady who is not its mother, this child cannot marry the children of this lady. Perhaps it's because of the live cells and enzymes that get transferred to the baby from this lady, so in a sense, the baby inherits characteristics of the lady who has breastfed it.