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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pregnancy in Islam : Newborn Checklist (What To Do After The Birth of Your Child)

For first time parents, here a general guide of things to do after the birth of your newborn:

1) Reciting the Azan in the right ear and the Iqamah in the left ear immediately after birth.

The wisdom behind this action is that the first thing the new born hears is the call to Allah's path.

2) "Tahnik"

"Tahnik" is the action of putting something sweet in the new born's mouth. Usually a piece of date or some honey. It is also recommended that tahnik be done by a pious Muslim in the hope that the baby grows up to be righteous and pious too.

3) Shaving the baby's head

It is recommended that the newborn's head is shaved on the seventh day. The shaved hair is then weighted and it's weight in gold or silver is given out as alms to the needy.

4) Naming the baby

This is of course an obvious thing.

It is related that Samurah said, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said"Every child is bound to have aqiqah, to be slaughtered for him, and is given a name, and has his head shaved, all on his seventh day."

But it is also related in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said "A boy has been born for me tonight and I named him after my ancestor Ibrahim."

So, it's clear that we a have a choice, we can name the baby on the first day or on the seventh day to follow sunnah or we can name the baby anytime before or after (it's just that you will not get the sunnah's reward.)

5) Offering Aqiqah

Aqiqah is the act of slaughtering 2 goats (for boys) or 1 (for girls), the meat is then cooked and distributed to others. It is sunnah that you keep some for yourself and that when you cook the meat the bones are only cut at the joints and not into smaller pieces.

As from the hadis mentioned before, it is strongly encouraged that aqiqah be offered on the seventh day, but it is still sunnah to do it anytime after birth up until the child's puberty. After that stage, it is no longer sunnah for the parents to do it but the sunnah is transferred to the child instead.

6) Circumcision

Circumcision is considered as fitrah (part of nature) in Islam.

Abu Hurairah related that Allah's Messenger peace be upon him said, "Five practices that are characteristics of fitrah: Circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the moustache, clipping the nails and the removal of the underam hair."

It is clear from the hadis above that circumcision is part of cleanliness in Islam.

But is it obligatory or sunnah?

For boys: It is sunnah according to Hanafis and some Hanbalis but is obligatory according to Malikis and Shafi'is

For girls: It s unanimous that circumcision is sunnah and not obligatory.

Phew, and that is the end of the list!

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