Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Muslim Child is Born: Birth Activity

Assalamu alaikum,

From the title you may wonder, "Birth activity? How can there be an activity for a newborn?" Al-Bukhari reported that the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salam) said: "There is no baby but is poked by Shaytan when it is born, so it starts off by crying from Shaytan's pang - except for the son of Maryam and his mother."

Abu Hurayrah then added: "Recite if you wish Allah's saying:

وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

(Maryam's mother supplicated to Allah saying:) "And I seek Your protection for her and her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast." {3:36}

So the Muslim should strive to do the things that the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salam) recommended be done at the time of the birth of their child. From the authentic narrations a Muslim should do the following insha'Allah (two sunnan are listed but there are more):


Tahnik is to chew a date and place it into the baby's mouth. Al-Bukhari reported that the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salam) preformed tahnik for newborns.

Narrated Abu Musa: A son was born to me and I took him to the Prophet who named him Ibrahim, did tahnik for him with a date, invoked Allah to bless him and returned him to me. (The narrator added: That was Abu Musa's eldest son.)

Bukhari also narrated from Anas:

"Newborns were occasionally brought to Allah's Messenger. He would invoke Allah's blessings over them and perform tahnik for them."

One of the benefits to the child: Al-'Ayni said: "The wisdom behind tahnik is the expectation that the baby would then attain iman and its sweetness, because dates are the fruits of the tree that the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salam) likened to a believer."

The Aqiqa:

From Bukhari: Narrated Salman bin 'Amir Ad-Dabbi: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "'Aqiqa is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and relieve him of his suffering." (Note: It has been quoted in Fath-al-Bari that the majority of the scholars agree on the Hadith narrated in Sahih At-Tirmidi that the Prophet was asked about the aqiqa and he (sallalahu alayhi wa salam) ordered 2 sheep for a boy and one sheep for a girl and that is his sunnah.)

A good book to aide the Muslim in learning the authentic regulations regarding newborns is: Our Precious Sprouts by Muhammad al-Jibaly.

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