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)
Photo courtesy: Turn T o Islam
Jazaka llah khair brother for bring this topic concerning the newborn baby. I just heard about this Aqeeqah only that I dint know how to perform it,and that of when a newbaby born, we make Adhan on the right ear as part of sunnah, I heard also that we make Iqama on the another side ear I dont know if this is true! Brother my question is should all these activities be done immediately after birth or there is a limited time to perform this?,and is there any difference between baby girl/boy when performing it?,and is it allowed for one to make this Aqeeqa to a newborn there is no any relationship exist?.Jazaka llah khair.
Thank you brother for your comment and questions
Brother, the Sunnah of Aqeeqah is true, for there are evidences of its existence during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). The prophet taught us many things; some are known and practiced while some are not known and not practiced, there are also some well known but not practiced. This depends on environmental status of the community. Just to say it in a clear view according to your questions:
1. Although some of the people of knowledge have differed over whether it is Sunnah or Fardh, most of them hold the view that it is Sunnat Mu’kkadah (compulsory). Imam Ahmad said, “He borrows and performs the ‘Aqeeqah sacrifice". Meaning that the person who does not have any money should borrow and perform it, and Allah will take care of his debt for him because he revived a Sunnah.” This statement from Imam Ahmad is evidence that the ’Aqeeqah is Sunnat Mu’kkadah (compulsory).
‘Aqeeqah of the newborn child is the sacrificial animal that is slaughtered in seeking nearness to Allah and thanking Him for the blessing of the newborn child. The Adhan, Tahneeq and head-shaving were also taught by the Prophet (pbuh) to prevent the baby from satanic attacks.
2. Adhan and Tahneeq and are performed when the baby is born as stated in the article, while Aqeeqah (slaughter), shaving and naming the newborn baby take place seven days after the birth.
3. This rite is to be performed for the new born baby whether it is a boy or a girl, however, this only differs on slaughter; TWO sheep are to be sacrificed for the boy and ONE for the girl. 'Aishah and Umm Kurz- (ra) reported from the Prophet (pbuh) who said: "For the boy two equal sheep and for the girl a single sheep). It is also stated in the hadeeth Ash-Shawkaanee as saying: "The conclusion is that the "Aqeeqah is a Sunnah from the Sunnahs of Islam and is not properly fulfilled unless two sheep are sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl." This is what is correct and witnessed to by the narrations established from Allah's Messenger (pbuh), it was the position of Ibn 'Abbaas and 'Aishah – (ra) – and the majority of the people of knowledge (Fuqahaa') such as Imam Ash-Shaafi'ee, Ahmad and others.
Jazakah llah khair brothers for your wise comments keep it up! This why we say that this site was born to educate, entertain and inform. Please come again! Inshallah.
Thanks bro for you encouragement…we are forward ever backward never, Insha-Allah