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 The Manners of Welcoming the New-Born Child in Islm

   



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: 20/11/2007

: The Manners of Welcoming the New-Born Child in Islm    11, 2008 3:40 pm

The Manners of Welcoming the New-Born Child in Islm





by brother Abu Rumaysah

Children are a source of delight and an adornment for the world granted by Allh to their parents, they give vigour to the hearts, joy to the souls, pleasure to the eyes. They are the fruit from whom good is to be hoped for when they frequently supplicate:


"Our Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small"


and they are the ones in every nation upon whom hope for the future lies, and they are the youth of tomorrow upon whose shoulders the call to Islm is carried. Indeed Islm has indeed elevated the status of children and has laid down manners for their treatment relating to all their affairs and each stage of their and from these are the manners for welcoming their arrival in this life.

Our Prophet (SAW) was a living example, educating, cultivating the Muslims upon the practices of Islm, teaching them how to worship their Lord in the best of ways. But a number of Muslims have strayed from his pure teachings and have substituted that which is gold for that which worthless.

So here are the manners the Prophet (SAW) taught us with regards our new-born.

Encouragement to have Children

Allh says, "So now have sexual relations with them,, and seek that which Allh has ordained for you." And the Prophet (SAW) said, "Marry the loving and fertile because through you, I will compete with the nations for superiority in numbers"(Abu Dawd)

And it is important that the Parents bring up their children upon righteousness, so that the Parents will benefit from them during their lives and after their death. Allh 's Messenger (SAW) said, "A servant will have his rank raised and will say, 'O my Lord how has this come about for me?' He says, 'through your sons after you seeking forgiveness for you'"(ibn Maajah)

Know that what has preceded applies equally to both boys and girls, and indeed Islm has encouraged the bringing up of girls, and Allh condemns those that are distressed at the birth of a girl, and the Messenger (SAW) came elevating the status of this gift from Allh ,


"whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood - he and I will come together on the Day of Resurrection (like this) - and he interlaced his two fingers"(Muslim)


Meaning in Paradise. So can their be a greater honour given to daughters?!

Giving the good news of the Birth

The near of kin who are anxiously waiting should be informed so that they can stop worrying and congratulate the parents and supplicate for the baby. Allh mentions this good news being conveyed to a number of His Prophets, from them Zakariyyah of his son Yahya,


"Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in a private room (saying), Allh gives you glad tidings of Yahya'"


Giving the Adhn in the ear of the newborn

The first practice to do is to make the adhh in the ear of the baby, so that the first words that the baby hears is the name of Allh , and the kalima.

It is to be given straight after the birth, or very soon afterwards as he (SAW) did with his grandson al-Husayn, as is related by Abu Raafi' who said,


"I saw the Prophet give the adhh for prayer in the ear of al-Husayn ibn Al when his mother Ftimah gave birth to him," (Tirmidh)


It should be given with it's usual wording in a voice which is audible to the baby, not so loudly that it risks harm to the baby or alarms it.

Only the adhn is to be given, not the iqmah as well as there is no authentic evidence to support this. Giving the adhaan only is also the reported practice of the Khal fah Umar bin Abdul Azz. This is closer to the sunnah, and Allh knows best.

The sunnah has not specified as to which ear it should be given, however the Messenger (SAW) used to love to do good actions starting from the right, so it would be more appropriate to give the adhn in the right ear.

The Tahnk

This means to softening a date and then rubbing the palate of the new-born with it just after the birth or soon after. This is done by putting a piece of the softened date on the finger and rubbing it from left to right in the mouth of the baby. Ibn Hajr said, "if one is not able to find a dry date, then a fresh date should be used, and if that is not available then anything sweet." (Fath 9/588)

It is not essential to chew the date rather it may be softened in any way. The action of chewing as reported in the sunnah was something specific to the Messenger (SAW) due to the blessings that Allh had placed in his saliva.

It is done by the father or the mother or anyone from the People of Knowledge whose supplication is hoped would be accepted. So he should perform tahn k and supplicate for the child as was the practice of the Companions.

Imaam Nawaw says, " scholars are agreed upon the recommendation of performing tahn k upon the baby after it's birth." (Sharh Sah h Muslim 4/122)

Aaishah (ra) reports, " new-born children used to be brought to the Messenger of Allh and he would supplicate for blessings for them, and rub a chewed date upon their palate." (Muslim)

Naming the child

The baby may be named on the day of it's birth or later on the seventh day or past the seventh day, as this is what is clear after study of all the evidences from the sunnah.

It is the father or the mother who chose the name for the baby. If they differ amongst themselves then it is the father who has the choice, he may name it himself or give his wife the right to choose. The fact that this is the right of the father is shown by the principle that the child is ascribed and attributed to the father, as Allh says,


"Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just in the Sight of Allh "


It is also allowed for the parents to allow others to name the child, since our Prophet (SAW) used to name some of the children of his Companions.

The name should carry a good and praiseworthy meaning as the Messenger (SAW) said,


"On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and your fathers names, so make your names good." (Abu Dawd)


It is recommended to call oneself a servant of Allh (Abdullh) or the servant of any of the names of Allh . Then it is recommended to name a child after a prophet, due to the had th,


"call yourselves by the names of the Prophets" (Abu Dawd)


and the hadth,


"a son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather Ibraahm" (Muslim)


Then it is recommended to name the child after any pious person in the hope that it will become like him/her. Then it is recommended to name by any name which has good meaning.

It is forbidden to name a child with a name that denote servitude to other than Allh , for example Abd an-Nabi, Abd ar-Rasl etc, just as it is forbidden to name them with names that are particular to the Unbelievers like George, Michael, Susan etc.

The names of tyrants and evil personalities should be avoided such as Fir'awn, Qarn, Abu Lahab etc.. Likewise it is disliked to name with the names of the Surahs of the Qur'aan like 'Taa Haa' or 'Yaa Sn' as is reported from Imaam Maalik and others. There is no authentic had th which ascribes the above two as being names of the Prophet (SAW).

The Aqqah

After the seventh day of the arrival of the new-born, as a form of welcome for it and to give thanks to the One who gave the blessings, it is prescribed to slaughter a sheep. The Messenger (SAW) said,

"Every child is in pledge for it's Aq qah which is sacrificed for it on its seventh day, and it is named on it, and its head is shaved" (Abu Dawd)


If the new-born is a boy then two sheep are to be sacrificed, and if it is a girl then one sheep. This is the position of the majority of the scholars and Companions. The Prophet (SAW) said,


"for the boy two equal sheep, and for the girl, a single sheep." (Ibn Mjah)


So it is permissible to sacrifice the male or female sheep or goat, and this is best. As for sacrificing other animals then the scholars have differed over this.

The sacrifice should be done by the father or a close relative, for our Prophet (SAW) performed the Aq qah for his two grandsons. It is also obligatory to mention the name of Allh over it while sacrificing, and if a close relative is performing the Aq qah then he should add, 'this aq qah is the Aq qah of so and so' mentioning the name of the person on whose behalf he is performing the aq qah, as is reported in the had th related by al-Bayhaq.

The meat of the sacrifice may be distributed cooked or uncooked,, but it is preferred that it should be cooked as this leads to greater blessing as mentioned by a group of the scholars.

Shaving the baby's head

On the seventh day after the birth the head of the baby should be shaved. So when al-Hasan was born the Prophet (SAW) told his daughter, Faatima (RA),


shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver to the poor" (Ahmad)


The right side of the head should be shaved first, then the left as mentioned in the had th,


"shave, and he indicated to the right side of his head, and then the left" (Muslim)


It is not permissible to shave a part of the head and leave a part, as this was prohibited by the Messenger (SAW) as reported by al-Bukhr. The strongest view seems to be that the head of the boy or the girl should be shaved, as is reported that Faatimah weighed the hair of her daughter (Muwatta) but the scholars differ on this, and Allh knows best.

The shaving should be done after the sacrifice, and our pious predecessors liked to rub some perfume over the baby's head after the shaving.

Then it is prescribed to give the value of the baby's weight of hair in silver in charity, and it is recommended to give this charity on the seventh day also, but it is not necessary to do so, and may be delayed.

Circumcision

It is prescribed that the boy be circumcised, it is recommended that the circumcision take place on the seventh day, but it is obligatory to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty.

    
 
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