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Monday, August 08, 2005

What to do when you have a baby

WHAT TO DO UPON BIRTH

According to Quran and Sunnah

Recite Adhan in Baby's Ear

Hadith - Sunan of Abu Dawud #5086, Narrated Abu Rafi'

I saw the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) uttering the call to prayer (Adhan) in the ear of al-Hasan ibn Ali when Fatimah gave birth to him.

Inviting Guests to Celebrate a Birth

Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners #1258

Bilal ibn Ka'b said, "Ibrahim ibn Adham, 'Abd al 'Aziz ibn Qarir, Musa ibn Yasar, and myself visited Yahya ibn Hassan at his village (in Palestine). He brought us food. Musa, who was fasting, did not eat. Yahya said, 'A man known as Abu Qarasifah from the tribe of Kinanah who had been one of the Companions of the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, led us in salah (prayer) for forty years in this mosque. It was his habit to fast one day and skip the next. A boy was born to my father on a day when Abu Qarasifah was fasting, and he invited Abu Qarasifah to attend the feast. So Abu Qarasifah broke his fast.' Then Ibrahim stood up and brushed Yahya off with his cloak*, and Musa broke his fast.

*this was done as a sign of respect for the man.

Sweetening the Mouth of the Newborn

Hadith - Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah

Anas said, "I went to the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, with 'Abd Allah ibn Abi Talhah on the day that he was born. The Prophet was wearing a cloak (outside) while he was seeing to a camel. So he said to me, 'Do you have any dates with you?' I said, 'Yes' and handed them to him. He moistened them with his tongue, opened the child's mouth, and placed the softened dates inside. When the boy showed that he liked them, the Prophet, upon him be peace, said, 'This is the love of the Ansar for their dates.' And then he named the boy 'Abd Allah."

Praying for the Newborn

Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners #1260

Mu'awiyah ibn Qurrah said, "When my son iIyas was born, I invited several of the Companions of the Prophet [to a feast] and fed them. Then they prayed (for me and my son). I said, 'You have prayed, and may Allah bless you for your prayers. Now, I am going to pray, so please say "Ameen [Amen]". Then I prayed long for my son's religion, his mind, and so on."

The Day of Aqeeqah

the Aqeeqah (slaughtering of sheep on behalf of the child).

The shaving of the child's head and paying its weight in gold or silver in charity.

Naming the child.

The child (male) circumcision.

Imam Malik said, "The aqiqa is not obligatory but it is desirable to do it"

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 26.5
Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Harith at-Taymi said, "I heard my father say that the aqiqa was desirable, even if it was only a sparrow."

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 26.2
Yahya related to me from Malik from Jafar ibn Muhammad that his father said, "Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, weighed the hair of Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum, and gave away in sadaqa (charity)an equivalent weight of silver."

Q. With regards to a new-born child's Aqeeqah, what number of animals should be slaughtered for a boy or girl?

Answer by Abu Ameena Bilal Philips:

The normal practice for the Aqeeqah is to slaughter 2 (goat or sheep) for a boy and 1 for a girl. However, in the case of Hasan and Hussain, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) slaughtered 1 for each of them. So it is permissible to sacrifice one or two for a boy.

One important point to remember, is that the Prophet (pbuh) stated that the sacrifice is primarily on behalf of the child, even though some individuals think that it is primarily for the family. The child benefits from the sacrifice, just as a parent prays on behalf of their child, for the child's benefit. The Prophet (pbuh) even sacrificed for himself because at the time of his birth nobody sacrificed for him. It is, therefore, permissible for Muslims to do so if it wasn't done for them at birth.

The secondary principle of sacrificing for the child, is that the parents are taking from their wealth and thanking Allah for giving them this child.

The normal practice of distributing the meat, is to give 1/3 to the poor and needy, 1/3 to neighbors and friends and 1/3 is kept by the family. But it is ultimately up to the parents to decide how it is distributed. As stated earlier, some of the meat should be given in charity, so that the blessings for this act are given to the child.

The Prophet (pbuh) recommended that the Aqeeqah be held on the 7th day after the birth of the child, but it may be done later if one does not have the opportunity. The Prophet (pbuh) said that the child is held in mortgage to the sacrifice, so that in making the sacrifice, it frees the child from something which is connected to the child, something similar to a debt. But exactly what it is, Allah knows.

Circumcision

Fiqh 1.21a

This prevents dirt from getting on one's penis, and also makes it easy to keep it clean. Many scholars say that it is obligatory.' The Shaf'iyyah maintain that it should be done on the seventh day.

Praising Allah for a Healthy Son or Daughter

Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners #1261

Kathir ibn 'Ubayd said, "Whenever a child was born among them, 'A'ishah would not ask if it were a boy or a girl. Instead she would ask, 'Is the child healthy (and without defect)?' If she was told, 'Yes,' she would say, 'Al-hamdulilah ar-Rabeel Alameen (All praise is for Allah, Lord of All the Worlds.'

Breastfeeding

The Noble Qur'an - Luqmaan 31:14

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Baqarah 2:233 regarding divorced couples...

The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother's food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child. And on the (father's) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them. And if you decide on a foster suckling-mother for your children, there is no sin on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you agreed (to give her) on reasonable basis. And fear Allâh and know that Allâh is All-Seer of what you do.


The child has the right to be fed breast milk (by the mother or foster-mother) for two full years, until weaned (eating solid foods). Even if the mother is to be executed for a crime, the baby's right comes first. Parents should not feed baby formula (powdered milk, etc.) to a child who has not yet been weaned as a substitution for breastmilk unless all other viable options are exhausted in an effort to provide obtaining breast milk (for instance: medical problems, death of the mother and unavailability of a wet-nurse).

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 41.5

Malik related to me from Yaqub ibn Zayd ibn Talha from his father Zayd ibn Talha that Abdullah ibn Abi Mulayka informed him that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and informed him that she had committed adultery and was pregnant. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to her, "Go away until you give birth." When she had given birth, she came to him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to her, "Go away until you have suckled and weaned the baby." When she had weaned the baby, she came to him. He said, "Go and entrust the baby to someone." She entrusted the baby to someone and then came to him. He gave the order and she was stoned.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1 of 10, p. 654, under section "No Darar (Harm) or Dirar (Revenge)":

"We should state that Ibn Jarir has explained this subject in detail in his Tafsir and that he also stated that suckling the child after the second year might harm the child's body and mind. Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that 'Alqamah asked a woman who was suckling her child after the second year ended, not to do that. (At-Tabari)".

The following excerpt is taken from The Fragile Vessels (Book Three- The Muslim Family) written by Muhammad Al-Jibaly, p. 92-96.

Breastfeeding the Children

A woman has the obligation of breast feeding her children for up to two complete years. Allah says: "Mothers should nurse their children two complete years-- for whosoever desires to complete the nursing term." (Al Baqarah 2:233)

A woman may not forsake this important obligation unless she has an ISLAMICALLY acceptable excuse, such as a genuine medial problem. Women who deny their children their nursing rights are liable to punishment in the grave and in the Hereafter.

Abu Umamah al-Bahili reported that Allah's Messenger (saw) said:

"While I was sleeping, two men (angels) came to me, held my upper arms, and took me to a rough mountain. They said," Climb." I said," I cannot climb it."

They said, " We will make it easy for you."

He continued: " So I ascended until I reached a high place in the mountain. I heard fierce cries and asked, " What are those cries?" The replied, " That is the howling of the people of the Fire."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw some people who were suspended by their Achilles' tendons, their cheeks cut and gushing blood. I asked, "Who are those?" The replied, "Those are the ones who break their fast when it is not permissible."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw people whowere awfully swollen, and had the most foul stench and the most hideous appearance. I asked," Who are those?" He replied,"Those are the dead of the kuffar (on the battlefield)."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw some people who were awfully swollen, and had the most foul stench--their stench was like that of gutters. I asked," Who are those?" The replied," Those are the male and female adulterers."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw some women with snakes biting at their breasts. I asked," Who are those?" The replied, " Those are the women who deny their children their milk."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw boys playing between two rivers. I asked," who are those?" The replied, " Those are the believers' offspring (who die before puberty.)

Recorded by Ibn Khuzaymah (no.1986), Ibn Hibban and others. Verified to be authentic by Sheikh Albani (Sahih ut-Targhib no.991)

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