In all communities around the world the birth of a child is considered a blessing and ceremonies are held to celebrate this event. Besides being a natural expression of joy, it also serves a special purpose, that is, making it known in a suitable and dignified manner, that the father has accepted the child as his own and that there is no doubt or suspicion concerning this matter. It shuts the door to any mischief that could arise in the future. As soon as your child is born, they are under attack from Satan.
The Prophet said:
“When any human being is born, Satan pinches the body with his two fingers, except ‘Isa, the son of Maryam, whom Satan tried to pinch but failed, for he touched the placenta instead”. (Sahih Bukhari 4:506)
This is why the child cries at birth; Satan never leaves his enemy without harming it. To protect the faith and Islam of the newborn baby, who is now under attack by mankind’s greatest enemy, the Messenger of Allah taught us about various things that we can do. Some are well known others not so well known.
Therefore, the following brief points are intended to remind all people of what the Prophet did when a child was born.
Saying the Adhan
Abu Raf’I relates that, “I saw the Prophet saying the adhan of salah in the ear of his grandson, Hasan, when the child was born to his daughter Fatima”.
This Hadeeth is found in Musnad Ahmad, and authenticated by Shaikh Abdul Qadit ‘Arnoot.
When a child was born to one of the families of the Sahaba (the Companions of the Prophet) they would take it to the Prophet so that he would bless it, and apply the pulp of a date, chewed by him, to its palate. This ‘tahneek’ as it is known in ‘Arabic’, was to keep the child safe from evil. Therefore, similarly when a child is born into a Muslim family, it should be taken to a virtuous, pious person, so that this person may supplicate for the child and perform the tahneek. Tahneek is among those Sunan whose practice has become rare.
Aisha (RA) narrates that “the people used to bring their newborn children to the Prophet and he would bless them and perform the tahneek”
(Sahih Muslim 1:560)
Aqeeqah & shaving the head
The Aqeeqah ceremony essentially consists of two acts: the shaving of the hair from the head of a newborn baby, and the sacrifice of an animal (these were also characteristic features of Millat-u-Ibrahim, the religion of the Prophet Ibrahim).
The hair on the child’s head is shaven and its weight in silver is given as charity. An animal is then sacrificed as a mark of celebration and distributed amongst friends, family, the poor and a portion is kept for ones own consumption.
Ali (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah slaughtered a goat on the occasion of Hasan’s birth, the son of Fatimha (RA) and Ali (RA) and said
“Oh Fatimah! Shave the head of Hasan and pay silver equal to the weight of the hair as charity”.
(Sahih Sunan at-Tirmithee 2:1226)
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