The Rights of the New Born Baby in Islam
In all communities around the world the birth of a child is considered a blessing and ceremonies are held to celebrate this event. Besides being a natural expression of joy, it also serves a special purpose, that is, making it known in a suitable and dignified manner, that the father has accepted the child as his own and that there is no doubt or suspicion concerning this matter.
It shuts the door to any mischief that could arise in the future. As soon as your child is born, they are under attack from Satan.
The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said,
“When any human being is born, Satan pinches the body with his two fingers, except ‘Isa, the son of Maryam, whom Satan tried to pinch but failed, for he touched the placenta instead”.
[Sahih Bukhari 4:506]
This is why the child cries at birth; Satan never leaves his enemy without harming it. To protect the faith and Islam of the newborn baby, who is now under attack by mankind’s greatest enemy, the Messenger of Allah taught us about various things that we can do. Some are well known others not so well known.
The following brief points are intended to remind all people of what the Prophet did when a child was born.
Saying the Adhan
Abu Raf’I relates that, “I saw the Prophet saying the adhan of salah in the ear of his grandson, Hasan, when the child was born to his daughter Fatima”.
This Hadeeth is found in Musnad Ahmad, and authenticated by Shaikh Abdul Qadit ‘Arnoot.
When a child was born to one of the families of the Sahaba (the Companions of the Prophet) they would take it to the Prophet so that he would bless it, and apply the pulp of a date, chewed by him, to its palate. This ‘tahneek’ as it is known in ‘Arabic’, was to keep the child safe from evil. Therefore, similarly when a child is born into a Muslim family, it should be taken to a virtuous, pious person, so that this person may supplicate for the child and perform the tahneek. Tahneek is among those Sunan whose practice has become rare.
Aisha (RA) narrates that “the people used to bring their newborn children to the Prophet and he would bless them and perform the tahneek”
[Sahih Muslim 1:560]
Aqeeqah & shaving the head
The Aqeeqah ceremony essentially consists of two acts: the shaving of the hair from the head of a newborn baby, and the sacrifice of an animal (these were also characteristic features of Millat-u-Ibrahim, the religion of the Prophet Ibrahim).
The hair on the child’s head is shaven and its weight in silver is given as charity. An animal is then sacrificed as a mark of celebration and distributed amongst friends, family, the poor and a portion is kept for ones own consumption.
Ali (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah slaughtered a goat on the occasion of Hasan’s birth, the son of Fatimha (RA) and Ali (RA) and said “Oh Fatimah! Shave the head of Hasan and pay silver equal to the weight of the hair as charity”.
[Sahih Sunan at-Tirmithee 2:1226]
It is reported by Abdullah bin al-As that the Prophet said, “To whomsoever a child is born and he wants to perform a sacrifice of Aqeeqah on behalf of it, he should sacrifice two goats for a boy and one goat for a girl”.
[Sunan Abu Dawood 2:2836]
It is reported by Buraydah (RA) “During the age of ignorance, when a child was born to anyone of us, we used to slaughter a goat and smear the child with its blood. Later, after the dawn of Islam, our practice became (on the advice of the Prophet) that we sacrifice a goat of Aqeeqah on the seventh day after the birth of the child, shave the head of the infant and apply saffron on it”.
[Sunan Abu Dawood 2:2137]
Tasmiyah (naming the child)
It is from the teachings of the Messenger of Allah, that each member of the family be given a good name. Those who ask Allah to give them children should also ask Allah to make these children among the followers of the Prophet Muhammad and adherents to his Sunnah. It is an obligation upon the parents that their child be given a good name. Some Ahadeeth indicate that the child is to be named on the seventh day along with Aqeeqah. However, the Prophet also named children on the day of their birth, as proven by other narrations. There is no harm if the child is named before the seventh day, but if the naming has not been done, and then the child should be named on the seventh day.
Naming a child with a beautiful and honourable name is very important. The Prophet always chose names with good and beautiful meanings, even telling people to change their names if they had unpleasant meanings.
Narrated by Abu Musa (RA)” a son was born to me and I took him to the Prophet who named him Ibrahim, did tahneek for him with a date, invoked Allah’s blessing upon him and returned him to me.
[Sahih Bukhari 7:376]
Ibn Umar (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger said that “the names dearest to Allah are Abdullah and Abdur-Rahman.”
[Sahih Muslim 3:5315]
Abu Wahab al-Jushamee (RA) who was the Companion of the Prophet reported him as saying”, call yourselves by the names of the Prophets. The names dearest to Allah are Abdulla and Abdur Rahman, the truest are Harith (ploughman) and Hammam (energetic) and the worst are Harb (war) and Murrah (bitter)”.
[Sunan Abu Dawood 3: 4140]
Narrated Abu Hurayrah (RA). Allah’s Apostle said, “the most awful name in Allah’s sight on the Day of Resurrection will be that of a man calling himself Malik Al-Amlaak. (king of kings)”.
[Sahih Bukhari 8:224]
Ibn Umar (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger changed the name of Aasiyah (disobedient) and said “You are Jameelah (good and beautiful).
[Sahih Muslim 3:5332 & 4747 ]
(This name should not to be confused with Asiya, the Muslim wife of the Pharaoh)… see Islamic glossary
Usaman Ibn Akhdari (RA) said, a man called Asram (harsh, severe, cut off) was among those who came to the Apostle of Allah. The Apostle of Allah said “what is your name?” he replied “Asram” He said “no, you are Zu’rah”. (which means, has been taken or derived from crop, or to sow seed).
[Sunan Abu Dawood 3:4144]
Khitan – Circumcision
Narrated Abu Hurayah (RA), I heard the Prophet saying “five practices are characteristic of the Fitrah: circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the moustache short, clipping the nails and depleting the hair of the armpits”.
[Sahih Bukhari 7:779]
Allah says in the Qur’an
“Then we have inspired you (O Muhammad) follow the religion of Ibrahim, the true in faith and he was not from polytheists”
[Surah An-Nahl 16:123]
In this verse, the Prophet and his Ummah are commanded to follow the religion if Ibrahim, therefore it is known that circumcision is from the religion of Ibrahim.
[Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim]
Abu Hurayah (RA) said that Allah’s Messenger said, “Ibrahim did his circumcision with an adze (hand tool with a steel cutting blade) at the age of eighty”.
[Sahih Bukhari 4:575. Sahih Muslim 4:5844]