My families have always commented that I have the easiest to manage boys (alhamdulillah) and asked what I practiced during my pregnancies. For those keen on giving their kids a head start, read on! I hope the tips are as beneficial to you as they are to me.
Tip no 1 : Say A Little Pregnancy Dua
It is narrated in the Shahih Bukhari and Muslim that after 120 days of gestation, Allah will place the "Ruh" in the baby and four things will be decided for him ; rezeki or livelihood, death, deeds (good or bad) and condition of life (easy or hard).
It is because of this hadis, that I make it a habit to say this prayer:
O Allah, please take care of my baby inside of me and cure him of any ailments for there is no cure except yours. O Allah please bestow on my child good body, intellect and manners, please let him be a practising moslem, a god fearing believer and a filial child. O Allah please record for him happiness and victory in this world and hereafter. O Allah please grant him a good ending in life with your compassion Ya Karim .
Tip no 2: Recite Surah Luqman
I'm sure that most of us have heard of the practice of reciting Surah Maryam if you are expecting a girl and Surah Yusuf if you are expecting a boy so that the child will be born as pretty/handsome and pious as Lady Maryam or Prophet Yusuf. For those expecting boys, you would of course know that Surah Yusuf is a pretty long surah as compared to Surah Maryam. Personally, I always feel sleepy reading Surah Yusuf (beats me every time!) so, I decided to read Surah Luqman instead. It's a short surah, with only 34 ayah but it's really packed with good advice and when I read it, I pray in my heart that Allah bestow on my child the characteristics mentioned in these wonderful verses.
Tip no 3: Try to khatam the Quran
Well, most of our pregnancies are around 40 weeks and the quran is about 600 pages, that works out to about 2-3 pages per day, which you can pretty much cover on the train ride to/from work or even during your lunch break. If you are not really fluent in reading Quran, sticking to a few verses and repeating it every day is also beneficial. Remember the best deed that is dear to Allah is the consistent one even if its only a small act.
You can choose from as simple as Al-Fatihah (so that your child will always be thankful to Allah and will only pray to Allah and ask from Allah, that he may be among those guided by Allah and that he be protected against Allah's wrath) or even Surah Al-Mu'minun ayah 1-11.
Tip no 4: Practise Zikir
It doesn't matter if it's as simple as "Ya Allah" or any salawat that is easy for you, treat it as though as you are singing a lullaby to your baby so that when he is born, he is used to that soothing voice of yours repeating the zikr and he will calm down to it.
You can also choose any of the 99 names of Allah as zikr, say if you want your child to be smart, you will zikr "Ya Rashid" if you want him to be kind hearted its "Ya Latif" and so on.
Tip no 5: Talk to your child
If I'm not mistaken, the child starts listening around week 20, so it's best to start communicating with the baby right away! I remember during my first pregnancy I keep talking to my son every chance I get. I usually say things like "When you come out, I hope you will help mummy by being a good boy, listen to mummy and daddy's advice, I hope you will be a happy baby and grow up to be a good moslem."
Talk to your child regarding your hopes for him. I think it's good to say all the good things that we hope he will be as I always believe that a mother's word's are as good as a prayer. And it's good to pray for our children.
Well, those are basically what I practised and I hope that you find it useful. May Allah give us the strength to be good parents!
You may be interested in:
"Newborn Checklist: What to do after the birth of your child" here
"Quran Recitation During Pregnancy (Surah Maryam) here
"Quran Recitation During Pregnancy (Surah Luqman) here