December 17, 2011

Sunnah of Childcare: Welcoming the Newborn Part 1

 When a Muslim child is born, welcoming him or her into the world includes certain religious rituals. Some of these rituals are considered obligatory to perform while others are not. And for some others differences of opinion exist. Below is a list of these rituals compiled from various sources. 

1. Reciting the Athan in the Newborn’s Ear
Immediately after a child is born, within the first moments of its life, the athan should be recited into his or her ear. It’s reported in Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, and Ahmad, that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, recited the athan into the ear of Hasan ibn Alee when Fatimah gave birth to him.

Regarding the wisdom of this, Ibn Al Qayyim said, “The secret meaning behind the athaan (in the ear), and Allah knows best, is that the first sound that should resonate in the ears of a human being are these words which consist of magnification and glorification of the Lord as well as the testimony of Faith, which is the first thing that admits one into Islam…”  

--Taken from Raising Children in Light of the Quran and Sunnah

2. Performing Tahneek
Tahneek is the practice of softening a date and rubbing a bit of it on the hard palate of the newborn’s mouth with your finger. This is a recommended sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. 

Abu Moosa Al-Asharee reported, “A boy was born to me, so I took him to the Prophet. He named him Ibraheem, performed tahneek on him using a date, and invoked blessings on him.” –Bukhari and Muslim

Ibn Hajar is reported to have said, “Priority should be given to ripe dates. If one is not able to find them, then he may use moist dates. If not, then something sweet. And the honey of a bee is better than anything else.” – Fat’h-ul-Baaree under “The Book of Aqeeqah’

The benefits of performing tahneek include: 
  • Reviving a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah
  • Helping a newborn child to exercise his mouth muscles by moving his tongue when he tries to lick and jaw when he tries to suckle, both of which can help to initiate breastfeeding. --Tarbiyyatul-Awlaad fil-lslaam' of 'Abdullaah Naasih 'Alwaan (Vol. i, P. 71)
-- Taken from

3. Announcing the News
It is customary for the parents to announce the good news of the child’s birth. This puts ease into the hearts of anxiously waiting family members and lets them know that they can be happy for the parents, congratulate them, make dua’a for them, and make dua’a for the child. 

The announcement can also be done for the coming of the newborn, as is mentioned in the Qur’an. 

In Suratal Maryam, Allah, subhana wa ta ala, announced to Prophet Zakariyyah (alayhi salaam) that he would have a son. The translation says: “O Zakariyah, verily We give you the glad tidings of a son whose name will be Yahyaa.” –ayah 7

And in Surah As-Saaffaat, Allah, subhana wa ta ala, speaks of Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi salam, when he says (translation): “And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaaq – a prophet from among the righteous.” –ayah 112

--Taken from Raising Children in Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah

4. Naming the Child
Giving a good name is one of the essential rights of a Muslim child. You can read more about this right in our previous post, Children’sRights: To Be Given a Good Name

It is recommended to name a child on the seventh day after their birth though it is permissible to name them at any time before or after that as well. 

In a saheeh hadith reported by Ahmed, Abu Dawood, and others, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Every child is held in pledge for his aqeeqah which is sacrificed for him on his seventh day, and he is named on it and his head is shaved.”

Among the praiseworthy names to give a Muslim child are:
  •  Names that indicate servitude to Allah, i.e. Abdullah or Abdurrahman
  •  Names that belonged to the Prophets, i.e. Muhammad, Adam, or Ibraheem
  •  Names of pious people, both men and women, including The Companions, the Martyrs and the Scholars, i.e. Maryam, Sumayyah, or Umar
  •  Names that have good meanings, i.e. Sarah or Hamzah
Names that are prohibited to give a Muslim child include (but are not limited to):
  • Names that indicate servitude to other than Allah, i.e. Abdur Rasool (slave of the Messenger)
  • Names that are specific to Allah, i.e. Al-Ahad
  • Names that have negative meanings, or meanings that could cause the child to feel humiliated, or meanings that could be offensive, i.e. Fitnah (temptation), Himaar (donkey), or Nuhaad (young woman with raised breasts)
-- Taken from

1 comment:

  1. Masha’Allah, always great to read your posts. I especially like this one. :) Keep up the great work.

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom