Bringing a baby into this world is one of the most thrilling and emotionally charged experiences of a lifetime. It’s exciting, scary, overwhelming and beautiful all at the same time. Alhamdullilah, we are so lucky to be able to draw on Islam for some guidance on how to welcome a beautiful baby into this world.
That being said, once the baby is born your hormones do go a bit crazy (to say the least) and so here at MMM, we thought we’d make life a bit easier for you and arm you with an easy go to list of some recommended acts to perform once bubba makes their entrance.
All of these acts are considered recommended, except for circumcision for boys which is obligatory. This list is a guide and is in no way exhaustive. Do what works for you and ultimately remember that becoming a Mama in itself is the greatest reward.
Immediately after and on day of birth
- Adhaan is recited in the baby’s right ear. This is narrated to have been performed by the Prophet’s (SAW) at the birth of his grandsons1. Some sects also recommend reciting Iqama in the left ear, however this varies depending on school of thought2-3.
Why? This practice ensures that the first words baby hears declare the greatness and oneness of Allah (SWT),3 starting their journey on the best possible footing. Recitation of Adhan is also narrated to protect from and drive away Satan4-5.
- Tahneek – to place a little bit of the flesh of a date inside the baby’s mouth (this can be chewed until it becomes soft enough for the baby to suck on and swallow). This practice has been narrated across different sects as one performed by the Prophet (SAW) for many newborns6-8
Why is this beneficial? This practice may help with the circulation of blood to the mouth potentially aiding baby to nurse from mum. Secondly, it may also regulate the blood sugar in newborn babies. Interestingly there is actually a scientific study underway to assess these benefits9.
MMM Tip: Make a note of the Adhaan and Tahneek on your birth plan so the midwives and medical team are aware of these traditions. This will allow you to be given the chance to do this with privacy and in a calm environment.
- Naming the baby – one of the Islamic rights of a child is to be given a good name; a name with an honourable meaning will hold them in good stead for their lifetime and give them something to aspire to10-11. It may sound obvious, but names of persons with good character are encouraged, whilst those suggesting servitude of anyone other than Allah (SWT) or of those with negative personalities should be avoided.
When? There is some debate on this; some sources say on day seven after birth, others on the day of birth or even whilst in the womb12-14. Ultimately, do what works for you and your family. Good intentions will always be rewarded inshAllah.
On the Seventh day after birth
- Aqeeqa – a sacrifice of an animal (usually a sheep or a goat) in the name of the child. The meat is then usually distributed to family members and the poor, although many choose to have this conducted in countries where there is a greater need15-17.
Why? This act of sacrifice is said to be bound to a child and linked with their destiny; thereby its completion is said to protect the child from harm and tribulation18-9. The sacrifice is also to give thanks to Allah (SWT).
- Shaving the hair on the head of the baby and giving its weight in silver to charity –
Narrated in a number of sources, this practice was one which the Prophet (SAW) requested of his daughter at the birth of his grandchildren15,18,20-21.
How? Practically speaking, it’s a difficult task to weigh such a small amount of hair. So you may need to estimate the weight of the hair and give the amount in ‘money’ equivalent to the price of this amount of gold or silver.
Why? It has been said that shaving the hair removes harm from the child amongst other physical benefits such as strengthening the root of the hair22. This is a form of sadaqa (charity).
- Circumcision of boys – should ideally be done on day seven but must be done before puberty.
Why? Hygienically speaking (and without going into too many details), circumcision is necessary for boys to be able to pray and maintain their Wudhu. There are health benefits too; circumcision reduces the risk of penile cancer.23
We hope this comes in handy for all you Mamas and Mamas to be. Were there any other traditions you carried out after giving birth? Leave us a comment below
- Sunan Abi Dawud 5105
- Ibid. vol. 6, pg. 24, no. 6
- Sahih Muslim 388
- al-Kāfī, vol. 6, pg. 6, no. 8
- Sahih Muslim 2145
- Sahih al Bukhari 5467
- Isrār khūrākīhā, pg. 96
- Sunan Abi Dawud 4948
- °alliyatul Muttaqīn, pg. 128-130
- Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book of Manners, Hadith 2832
- Muslim 2149
- Jami’at at Tirmidhi, Book of Sacrifices 1519
- Abu Dawood 2834
- Abu Dawood 2836
- Jamiat at Tirmidhi, Book of Sacrifices 1522
- al Kafi, vol 5, pg 6, no. 3,
- Ibid. pg132
- Hadith al Muwatta 26.2