Being blessed with a child is one of the greatest blessings of Allah(SWT). The feeling of holding your baby for the first time is ineffable. Your baby’s tiny little hand, holding your finger takes away all the hassle of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Amidst all these happy emotions one must not forget the Sunnahs of welcoming a newborn.
Islam has laid down manners for the treatment of the children in every stage of their lives. And as parents, it is our responsibility to follow the Islamic way of upbringing the baby right from his birth. Our beloved Prophet Muhammed صلى الله عليه وسلم has guided us regarding the sunnahs of welcoming a baby into this world. It is mandatory for a believer to perform these sunnahs after the birth of the baby.
Sunnahs of Welcoming A Newborn
1.Calling Adhaan in the Ear of Newborn:
The first thing to do after a child is born is to recite Adhaan in his right ear and iqaamah in the left ear so that the first words he hears will be the words of Tawheed.
It is the sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. Narrated by Abu Raafi’ who said:
“I saw the Prophet (SAW) call the Adhaan in the ear of Al-Hasan Ibn ‘Ali when his mother Fatimah gave birth to him”Tirmidhi
Tahneek is putting something sweet such as dates on the palate of the newborn before the first milk feed. It is mustahab to do Tahneek for the baby and pray to Allah to bless him.
Aisha (RA) reported that,
“New-born children used to be brought to the Messenger of Allah and he would supplicate for blessings for them, and rub a chewed date upon their palate.”Muslim
The science has now proved that a dose of sugar rubbed into the cheek is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage.
In India, elders offer honey instead of dates as Tahneek. It is not a good practice as honey is not safe for children until one year. Avoid this and follow the sunnah with the dates like our Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم.
3. Naming the Newborn Child:
Deciding a name for the baby is the most difficult task for parents! The effect of the name is shown on one’s personality so it is advisable to name your baby with an honorable and meaningful name.
In the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty says about the naming of a child in these words,
“Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah…” .(Quran, 33: 5)
According to a hadith, the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
“On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and your fathers’ names, so make your names good.”(Abu Dawood)
So try naming the baby in the light of Islam. Also, it is not a good practice to delay the naming of a newborn for more than 7 days.
Aqeeqah is a form of Sadaqah for the newborn. When a child is born Aqeeqah must be given by the parents/guardian as a gesture of thanks to Allah (SWT). It is a sacrifice that brings the child closer to Allah SWT soon after he comes into this world.
Aqeeqah is a sacrifice by which the newborn is ransomed just as Allah SWT ransomed Ismaa’eel with the sheep. (Tuhfat al-Mawdood, p. 69).
Two sheeps should be sacrificed it its a boy and one sheep if it’s a girl. The sheep should meet the same conditions as a sheep for sacrifice. The sheep should be slaughtered on the seventh day, but if there is a delay it may be slaughtered at any time, and there is no sin in delaying it, although it is preferable to do it as soon as possible.
Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
“Every child is in pledge for its ‘Aqeeqah which is sacrificed for it on its seventh day, and it is named on it, and its head is shaved”Abu Dawood, 2838
4. Shaving the Newborn’s Head:
It is sunnah to shave the newborn’s head on the 7th day, along with Aqeeqah. It is also prescribed to give gold or silver equal to the weight of hair in charity.
When Al-Hasan (RA) was born, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم told his daughter, Fatima (RA),
“Shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver to the poor.”Ahmed
It is mandatory to circumcise the boys and it is related to purity which is essential for prayers. The circumcision should take place on the seventh day, but it is obligatory to circumcise before the boy reaches maturity.
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
“Five things are related to the Fitrah: circumcision, removing the pubic hairs, plucking the armpit hairs, cutting the nails, and trimming the moustache.”(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5550; Muslim, 257)
These were some Sunnahs of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم related to the newborn that every Muslim parent should perform. The practice of these Sunnahs ensures health as well as the proper upbringing of the child in an Islamic way. May Allah Almighty guide every parent to perform these actions of sunnah. Aameen!