How to welcome the newborn in Islam?
Children are a source of pleasure and an adornment to the world given by God to their parents, they give strength to hearts, joy to souls, pleasure to the eyes. They are the fruit of those who hope in Allah that they will often plead for them:
“O my Lord, have mercy on them both, as they had mercy on me, creating me from a young age” [Holy Quran 17:24]
Children in all nations are those on whom hope for the future lies, and it is the youth of the future who carry the call to Islam on their shoulders. Islam really raised the status of children and established ways for their treatment in relation to all their subjects and at every stage of their lives, from these ways we extracted the ways to welcome their arrival in that life.
Our Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) was a living example, educating, raising Muslims in the practices of Islam, teaching them to worship the Lord in the best ways. But several Muslims have deviated from their pure teachings and substituted what is gold for what is not worthwhile.
So, here are the customs that the Prophet ﷺ taught us regarding the newborn.
Incentive to Have Children
“Come to them now and enjoy what God has prescribed for you. “. [Holy Quran 2: 187]
And the Prophet ﷺ said:
“I MARRIED THE LOVING AND FERTILE, BECAUSE THROUGH YOU, I WILL COMPETE WITH THE NATIONS FOR SUPERIORITY IN NUMBERS” [ABU DAWUD]
And it is important for parents to raise their children fairly, so that parents will benefit from them during their lives and after death. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
“A SERVANT WILL HAVE HIS ELEVATED POSITION AND WILL SAY,” O MY LORD, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME? “HE WILL SAY: ‘THROUGH YOUR CHILDREN AFTER ASKING FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS'” [IBN MAJAH]
Know that the above applies equally to boys and girls, and, in fact, Islam encouraged the creation of girls and God condemns those who are distressed at the birth of a girl, and the messenger ﷺ has raised the status of this gift of God,
“Who takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood – he and I will meet on the Day of Resurrection (like that) – and they intertwined both fingers” [Sahih Muslim 4/122]
Meaning in Paradise. So, can they be a greater honor given to daughters ?!
Giving the Good News of Birth
Relatively expecting relatives should be informed so that they can stop worrying and congratulate the parents and beg the baby. Allah mentions that this good news is transmitted to several Prophets, from Zakariyyah to his son Yahya,
“Then the angels called him, while he was praying in a private room (saying):” God gives you good news from Yahya “. [Holy Quran 3:39]
This means smoothing out a date and then rubbing the baby’s palate with it just after birth or just after. This is done by placing a piece of the softened date on the finger and rubbing it from left to right in the baby’s mouth.
Ibn Hajr said: “if someone cannot find a dry date, then a new date should be used, and if that is not available, then anything sweet”. [Fath 9/588]
It is not essential to chew the date, instead it can be smoothed out anyway. The masking as reported in the sunnah was something specific to the Messenger ﷺ due to the blessings that God placed in his saliva.
It is done by a parent or any other person of whom you have the knowledge and whose prayer can wait to be accepted. This causes the techniques as well, and to pray for the baby, as we learn to practice Sahabov.
Says Imam Nawawi “Scholars agree with the recommendation for tahnik after birth” [Sahih Muslim 4/122]
Aysha reported: “Newborn babies used to be taken to the prophet Mohammad ﷺ and, he pleaded for blessings for them and rubbed a chewed date between (the baby’s) lips.” – [Sahih Muslim]
Naming the Child
The baby can be named on the day of birth or later on the seventh day or after the seventh day, as this is what is clear after studying all the evidence for sunnah.
It is the father or mother who chose the name for the baby. If they differ, then it is the father who has the choice, he can name him personally or give his wife the right to choose. The fact that this is the father’s right is shown by the principle that the child is attributed and attributed to the father, as Allah says,
“Connect them (adopted children) by (their names) their parents, this is more just in the Vision of God” [Holy Quran 33: 5]
Parents are also allowed to allow others to name the child, as our Prophet ﷺ used to name some of his Companions’ children.
The name must have a good and commendable meaning, as the Messenger ﷺ said:
“On Resurrection Day, you will be called by your names and your parents’ names, so make your names good.” [Abu Dawud]
It is recommended to call yourself a servant of Allah (Abdullah) or the servant of any of God’s names. So, it is recommended to name a child after a Prophet, due to the hadith,
“Connect with the names of the prophets” [Abu Dawud]
And the hadith,
“A son was born to me tonight and I called him after my ancestor Ibrahim” [Muslim]
So, it is recommended to name the child after any godly person with the hope that he will become like him / her. So, it is recommended to name by any name that has a good meaning.
It is forbidden to name a child with a name that denotes servitude in addition to Allah, for example, Abd an-Nabi, Abd ar-Rasul, etc., just as it is forbidden to name them with particular names to unbelievers like George, Michael, Susan etc.
The names of tyrants and evil personalities should be avoided, such as Fir’awn, Qarun, Abu Lahab, etc. Likewise, he does not like to name the names of the Surahs in the Qur’an as ‘Ta Ha’ or ‘Ya Sin’ as reported by Imam Malik and others. There is no authentic hadith that attributes the two above as names of the Prophet ﷺ.
After the seventh day of the newborn’s arrival, as a way of welcoming and giving thanks to the One who gave the blessings, it is prescribed to slaughter a sheep. The Messenger ﷺ said:
“EVERY SON IS PLEDGED FOR HIS AQIQAH, WHO IS SACRIFICED FOR HIM ON HIS SEVENTH DAY, AND IS CALLED UPON HIM, AND HIS HEAD IS SHAVED” [ABU DAWUD]
If the newborn is a boy, then two sheep must be sacrificed, and if it is a girl, then a sheep. This is the position of most scholars and Companions. The Prophet ﷺ said:
“FOR THE BOY, TWO EQUAL SHEEP, AND FOR THE GIRL, ONE SINGLE SHEEP.” [IBN MAJAH]
Therefore, it is allowed to sacrifice the male or female sheep or goat, and this is better. As for the sacrifice of other animals, scholars differed on this.
The sacrifice must be made by the father or a close relative, as our Prophet ﷺ performed the Aqiqah for his two grandchildren. It is also mandatory to mention the name of Allah on him while sacrificing, and if a close relative is performing the Aqiqah, then he must add: “This Aqiqah is the Aqiqah of such and so” mentioning the name of the person on whom he is performing the Aqiqah, as reported in the hadith related by al-Bayhaqi.
The sacrifice meat can be distributed cooked or uncooked, but it is preferable that it be cooked, as this leads to a greater blessing as mentioned by a group of scholars.
Shave Baby’s Head
On the seventh day after birth, the baby’s head should be shaved. So, when Al-Hasan was born, the Prophet ﷺ told his daughter, Fatima,
“SHAVING THE HEAD AND GIVING THE WEIGHT OF THE SILVER HAIR TO THE POOR” [AHMAD]
The right side of the head must be shaved first, then the left, as mentioned in the hadith,
“SHAVE, AND HE INDICATED THE RIGHT SIDE OF HIS HEAD, AND THEN THE LEFT” [MUSLIM]
It is not permitted to shave a part of the head and leave a part, as this was prohibited by the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), as reported by al-Bukhari. The strongest view seems to be that the head of the boy or the girl must be shaved, as it is reported that Fatimah weighed the hair of his daughter (Muwatta), but scholars differ on this, and Allah knows best.
Shaving should be done after sacrifice, and our godly predecessors liked to rub some perfume over the baby’s head after shaving.
So it is prescribed to give the value of the baby’s hair weight in silver in charity, and it is recommended to give this charity on the seventh day as well, but it is not necessary to do so and can be postponed.
It is prescribed that the boy be circumcised, it is recommended that circumcision occurs on the seventh day, but it is mandatory to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty.