A five-star hotel in Malacca has been forced to apologise to a woman who was given the brush-off when she asked staff to freeze a quality of her breast milk.
According to this report, the woman, identified only by the name “Chua”, was told that it was not halal, and could not be put in the hotel’s freezer.
After she wrote of her experience on a closed Facebook page, the story went viral in Malaysia, and the unnamed hotel apologised.
At around 9pm, I brought the breast milk to the reception counter and requested for it to be frozen. However, the staff refused to help me and left after pointing out that the breast milk was non-halal.
She waited until fresh staff came on duty and repeated her request, but was again turned down.
I tried to explain to the staff and even told them about the benefits of breast milk, but they just weren’t convinced.
She added that she was forced to discard the milk.
The next morning, she brought a new batch of breast milk to the VIP room that operates only during the day. This time staff agreed to freeze it.
After the story made headlines, the unnamed hotel issued an apology. Said Chua:
They apologised to me regarding the staff’s behaviour, and explained to me that the hotel does provide such service for breastfeeding mothers, including at night.
There’s no such thing as halal and non-halal when it comes to this.
The male staff on duty that night was not well-trained in handling breast milk and he had very little knowledge about breast milk too. That’s why he refused to assist me.
So, is breast milk halal or haram?
When I Googled this I could only find questions from Muslim men asking whether they can drink their spouse’s milk. According to IslamQA:
… One must remember that it is totally unlawful (haram) and a sin for the husband to intentionally drink milk from his wife’s breast.
The great Hanafi jurist, Imam al-Haskafi (may Allah have mercy on him) states:
‘It (milk) is a part of a human being and to make use of it without a real need to do so is Haram.’ (Radd al-Muhtar, 3/211)