To Celebrate the Occasion of the Birth of a Child According to Islam
THE BIRTH OF THE CHILD
When Muslim parents are blessed with a child, it should first be made paak (clean, pure) by proper bathing. After this, the message of the oneness and greatness of Allaah and prophethood of the Messenger of Allaah should reach him or her by saying the Azaan (the call to Prayer) near his or her right ear and the Iqaamah (the call to stand for prayer) close to his or her left ear.
THE AZAAN AND IQAAMAH
The first sound to reach the child shold be “Allaahu Akbar”, (Allaah is the Greatest), glorifying Allaah and calling the new born to eternal success, devotion and prayer.
An Aalim, an Imam or Pious elder of the family should be asked to recite the first Azaan and Iqaamah into the ears of the new born child. If no such person is at hand then any Muslim male may perform this masnoon (sunnat) duty.
Hazrat Asmaa-Bint-Abi-Bakr (Rd.A) reported::
“I gave birth to a child named Abdul-Lah-Ibn-Zubair at Quab-baa and then took him to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and placed him in his lap. He (the Holy Prophet) (S.A.W.) made “Tah-neek” of Abdul-Lah-Ibn-Zubair (Rd.A) and then he (the Holy Prophet - S.A.W.) made supplication for him and invoked a blessing on him. He was the first child to be born in the Islamic period”. (Bukhari, Muslim).
The act of “Tah-neek” is the placing of a very soft piece of date, further softened by chewing, on the palate and tongue of the new born baby.
So an Aalim an Imam or pious elder of the family should be asked to perform this sunnat (Tah-neek) (practice of the Holy Prophet - S.A.W.) and Dua for Barkat (blessing). If dates are not available, a little honey may be put into the mouth of the child with the finger.
FEEDING THE CHILD
The infant derives much benefit from the mother’s milk: besides being nourishing, the bond of affection between the parents and the child are strengthened. It also helps in transmitting to the child the good characters and manners of the parents. The baby is deprived of all these benefits by mothers who, for the sake of maintaining their figures are selfish in giving the infant its rightful attention and affection.
It is therefore most desirable to breast-feed the infant. Whenever feeding the child, the mother should read “Bismilla-hir-Rahmaanir Raheem”. (I begin in the name of Allaah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful).
In case the mother is unable to breast feed the baby, then only as a last resort should she feed him or her prepared baby food. Care should be taken that only foods that are lawful in Shariah (Divine Law) are fed to the baby.
The child can be beast-fed for nly two Islamic years. After this period it is forbidden (unlawful) to lbreast feed kthe child.
THE CHILD'S CLOTHES
Muslim males (adult or infant) are forbidden to wear silk as well as gold or silver ornaments. Likewise red and deep orange (saffron) coloured clothes may not be worn by males. The items are only allowed for women and girls.
Since the parents are responsible for the proper clothing of their offspring, they should take care that the restricted clothes and ornaments are not worn by their male children.
THE BABY'S HAIR
It is mustahab (desirable) to cut-off all the baby’s hair (either male or female) on the seventh day. It is not necessary to wait until Aqeeqah is done in order to cut the hair. After cutting the hair, if one wished one may dissolve (melt) saffron in a little water and place it on the head of the infant. Gold or silver equal to the weight of the cut hair or the value of such gold or silver should be given to the poor. The baby’s hair should be buried.
Buraida (Rd.A) reported:
“When a boy was born to one of us in the Pre-Islamic period, he sacrificed a goat and smeared his head with its blood, but when Islam came, we sacrificed a goat on the seventh day, shaved his head and smeared it with saffron”. (Abu Dawud).
There is no truth or foundation in the belief commonly held by many, that a baby will become dumb on shaving the hair off the head at this early age.
AQEE-QAH OR BIRTH CEREMONY
Aqee-qah is the birth ceremony of a child. Literally, Aqee-qah means hair of new born baby.
Aqee-qah is a mark of gratitude and thankfulness. When a child is born, Aqee-qah is performed.
It is Mustahab (desirable) to make Aqee-qah and to name the child on the seventh day after birth.
Aqee-qah should be performed on the seventh day from the date of the birth. In order to calculate easily, if the child is born on Friday, its Aqee-qah will fall on the next Thursday and if it is born on a Thursday, its Aqee-qah will fall on the next Wednesday.
If Aqee-qah is delayed beyond the seventh day, then too one should try and make it any subsequent seventh day, or any day after.
If the new born is a boy, then two sheep or goats should be slaughtered, for a girl one sheep or one goat is sufficient.
If the seventh day happens to fall during the Qurbaani period or if the Aqee-qah is delayed till the Qurbaani days, then the Aqee-qah may be included in the shares of the Qurbaani,, If the animal is a cow or ox (bull), then two parts should be included for a son and one part for a daughter.
Aqee-qah safeguards the child from sickness and evil effects.
Hazrat Hasan (Rd.A) reported from Sam-rah (R.A.) who narrated the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said:
“A body is pawned (secured with this Aqee-qah against all the calamities and miseries); sacrifice is made for him on the seventh day. He is given a good name and his head shaved”. (Tirmizi).
The actual word used in Hadees is ‘Murtahan’ meaning pawn or security, which is explained by authorities in the following way:
1. If Aqee-qah of a child is not performed even though one had means to do it, then the child would not intercede for his parents if he or she died in early age. It is similar to a pawned thing which is of no use to the owner.
2. The child, whose Aqee-qah is not performed is away from Divine Security and bBessings. He or she is nearer to miseries and calamities.
3. A child, whose Aqee-qahi is not performed is like the one who is still unclean and is stranded in dirtiness.
(Taken from Fatawah Rahimiyah by Maulana Mufti Abdur Rahim Sahib).
Amr-ibnj-Shu’aib (Rd.A) reported from his father who said his grandfather told him that the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) was asked about the Aqee-qah. He (the Messenger of Allaah - S.A.W.) replied:
“If any one has a child born to him and wished to offer sacrifice on its behalf, he may offer two goats for a boy and one for a girl”. (Abu Dawud, Nasai).
A person, who is not in the condition of offering two goats for a boy, may offer only one goat or sheep. However, even if one does not make the Aqee-qah, there is no harm in it.
If the parents of a person did not perform his or her Aqee-qah, in his or her childhood, he or she could perform it himself or herself. And he or she is permitted to take meat of his or her Aqee-qah. It is mentioned in a Hadees that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) performed his own Aqee-qah during his prophethood. (Fat-hul-Baari).
It is not compulsory that the animal must be slaughtered at exactly the same moment as when one begins to shave the head of the child.
The conditions regarding the quality and suitability of the Aqee-qah animal are the same as those of Qurbaani animals.
The animal which is not permissible for Qurbani is also not permissible for Aqeeqah and animals which are permissible for Qurbaani are also allowed for Aqeeqah.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE AQEEQAH MEAT:
The one who offers Aqee-qah might preserve some of the meat for personal use and distribute some of it among his Muslim and non-Muslim friends and relatives whether they happen to be rich or poor.
It is preferable that the Aqee-qah meat is divided into three parts, one for personal use, one for friends and relatives, and one for the poor.
The Aqeeqah meat may be distributed either cooked or uncooked or relatives and friends could be invited at home to partake from the meat.
It is permissible for the parents, grandparents or any other member of the family to partake of the Aqee-qah meat for a child.
Many Muslims think that the bones of the Aqee-qah animal should not be broken and should be buried. But this is a false belief. There is no Islamic proof for this in the Shariah (Divine Law).
NAMING OF THE NEW-BORN CHILD:
It is the parent’s duty and the right of the new-born child that he or she be given a suitable Islamic name.
Abu Darad (Rd.A) related that the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said:
“You will be called on the day of Qiyam-mah (Day of Judgement) by your names and the names of your fathers, so keep good names”. (Abu Dawood).
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:
“To whomever a child is born, he should be given a good name, sound education and when he becomes of age, he should be married”. (Mishkat-ul-Masabih).
Abu-Wahab-al-Jushami (R.A) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said:
“Keep the names of the Prophets (A.S.) and the most liked names by Allaah areAbdullah (servant of Allaah) and Abdur-Rahman (servant of The Merciful). (Abu-Dawood).
It is related that the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said:
“To whomever a boy is born and is named Muhammad because of love formed with the intention of the blessings of my name, then he and his son will enter Jannat (Paradise)”. (Kan-Zul-Ummal).
It is related by Ya’eesh-al-Ghaf-faari (Rd.A) that the
Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) once called for a camel and asked “Who will milk her?” A man said, “I”; The Messenger of Allaah, (S.A.W.) asked “What is your name?” He replied: “Mur’rah” (Bitter), The Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said to him: “Sit down”. Another person got up and was asked by the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.). What is your name? He too replied “Mur-rah” (Bitter) and the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said to him: “Sit down”.
Thereafter another man got up and the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) asked: “What is your name?” He answered “Jan-rah” (fire). Then the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said to him “Sit down”. Finally Ya’eesh (the narrator of this Hadees) got up and the Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) asked him “What is your name?” He replied, “Ya’eesh” (long live).The Messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said to him: “Milk her.” (Tab-raani).
Undesirable names and incorrect spelling which may distort (to twist) the meaning of a good name should be changed.
Hazrat Aayesha (R.A.) says:
“That the Prophet (S.A.W.) used to change bad names for good ones.”
Sayeed-ibn-Musay-yab (Rd.A) related from his father that his grandfather went to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and was asked: What is your name? he replied: My name is ‘Hazn’ (sorrow). The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: No, you are ‘Sahl’ (contented), means pleased and happy, but he declared: “I am not going to change a name my father gave me”. Ibn-Musay-yab said: “Therefore sorrow was always with us”.
Effort to anglicize (English) or westernize Islamic names is bad and cheap, and reveals an un-Islamic attitude. All Muslims should be proud of their names and faith.
Children should not be called by distorted (broken up) or westernized names like Aa-mad for Ahmad, Solly for Sulaymen, Sam for Abdus Samad, Fati for Fatimah, Jubee for Zubaidha, Julee for Zuleikha, etc.
DUAA (PRAYER) AT TIME OF SLAUGHTERING THE ANIMAL FOR THE AQEE-QAH FOR THE BOY:
1. (A) AL-LAA HUM-MA HAA-ZI-HEE AQEE-QATU (THE BOY’S NAME, IBN-FATHER’S NAME) DA-MU-HAA BI-DA-MI-HEE, WAL-LAH-MU-HAA BI-LAH-MI-HEE, WA-AZ-MU-HAA, BI-AZ-MI-HEE, WA-JIL-DU-HAA, BI-JIL-DI-HEE, WA-SHA’A-RU-HAA, BI-SHA’A-RI-HEE.
FOR THE GIRL:
2. (B) AL-LAA-HUM-MA HAA-ZI-HEE AQEE-QATU (THE GIRL’S NAME BINT-FATHER’S NAME) DA-MU-HAA BI-DA-MI-HAA, WA-LAH-MU-HAA, BI-LAH-MI-HAA, WA-AZ-MU-HAA, BI-AZ-MI-HAA, WA-JIL-DI-HAA, WA-SHA’A-RU-HAA, BI-SHA’A-RU-HAA’
3. INEE WAJ-JAH-TU WAJ-HI-YA LIL-LA-ZEE FA-TA-RAS SA-MAA-WAA-TI WAL-AR-DA-HA-NEE FAN-W. WA-MAA-ANA MI-NAL MUSH-RI-KEEN.
4. IN-NAA SA-LAA-TEE WA-NU-SU-KEE WA-MAH-YAA YA WA-MA-MAA TEE LIL-LAA-HI RAB-BIL ‘AA-LA-MEEN
5. LAA-SHA-REE-KA LA-HOO WA-BI-ZAA-LI-KA AU-MIR-TU WA-ANA AW-ANA AW-WA-LUL MUS-LI-MEEN.
6. AL-LAA HUM-MA MIN-KA WA-LAK.
7. BIS-MIL-LAA-HI AL-LAA-HU AKBAR.
Then slaughter the animal.
MEANING FOR THE BOY
(A) O Allaah! This the Aqee-qah (The birth sacrifice) of (the boy’s name, son of father’s name) its blood is for his blood, its flesh or his flesh, its bone for his bone, its skin for his skin, its hair for his hair.
MEANING FOR THE GIRL
(B) O Allaah! This is the Aqee-qah (The birth sacrifice) of (the girl’s name, daughter of father’s name) its blood for her blood, its flesh for her flesh, its bone for her bone, its skin for her skin, its hair for her hair.
3 Verily, I have set my face towards Him who created the Heavens and the Earth, upright and I am not to the poly-theists.
4 Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice and my living and my dying are all for Allaah, Lord of the Worlds
The birth of the child
5 He hath no Partner and to this I am commanded and I am first of those who surrender unto Him i.e. Muslim.
6 Allaah (we asked) from Thee and for Thee
7 The animal should then be killed with the words:
BIS-MIL-LAA-HI AL-LAA-HU AKBAR
(In the name of Allaah, Allaah is the Greatest).
If a person does not remember the Du’aas (Prayer) of Aqeeqah, it is correct that he kill or slaughter the animal with the intention of Aqeeqah and the recital of only
‘BIS-MIL-LAA-HI AL-LAA-HU AKBAR’.
PROPER ISLAMIC ZABAH (KILL OR SLAUGHTER):
The method of slaughtering an animal is the following:
First turn the animal’s face towards the Qiblah and take a sharp knife in your hand and place it on its throat, and while uttering: BIS-MIL-LAA-HI LA-LAA-HU AKBAR, (In the name of Allaah, Allaah is the Greatest), cut the throat in such a way that the four veins are cut.
1. One is the throat, i.e. through which food and water go into the stomach, and
2. Second is the two external jugular veins, i.e. two main veins which are on the right and left side of the wind pipe.
3. Third is the wind pipe, i.e. through which the breath is taken.
If three of the above four are cut, then slaughter is permissible, and to eat its mean is legal (Halaal).
If only two veins are cut, then the animal is supposed to be dead. To eat its meat is not legal (Haraam) according to the Shariah (Divine Law).
If at the time of slaughter, Bis-mil-laa-hi allaahu Akbar is not uttered intentionally, then the animal is supposed to be dead, and its meat is forbidden (Haraam). If the person (Muslim) who slaughters, forget to say Bis-mil-laa-hi Allaahu Akbar, there is no objection, the meat is permissible (Halaal).
An animal slaughtered by a Muslim is lawful (Halaal) at all times, irrespective of whether the person is male or female, whether the person is Paak (pure) or Naa-Paak (not pure), i.e. in a state of purity or not. Every way his or her slaughtering is legal (Halaal), but to eat the meat slaughtered by a Kaafir (infidel) is unlawful (Haraam).