What things (obligations) should be observed on arrival of newborn in Islam?

Question: What are the obligations of parents on the arrival of the new born? Please tell the steps.

Answer:

On arrival of the new born, the following are some of the things that should be observed:

1) It is mustahabb to do tahneek for the baby and to pray for him.

It was reported that Abu Moosa said: “I had a baby boy, and I brought him to the Prophet (Sallahu alahi wassalam). He named him Ibraaheem, did Tahneek with some dates and prayed for Allaah to bless him, then he gave him back to me.” (Bukhaari & Muslim).

Tahneek means putting something sweet, such as dates or honey, in the child’s mouth when he is first born.

2) It is permissible to name the child on the first day or on the seventh.

It was reported that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (Sallahu alahi wassalam) said: “A boy was born to me this night and I have named him with the name of my father Ibraaheem.” (Muslim).

It was reported that Aaishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: the Messenger of Allaah (Sallahu alahi wassalam) did aqeeqah for al-Hasan and al-Husayn on the seventh day, and gave them their names. (Al-Haakim, 4/264).

3) Doing Aqeeqah for the new born on seventh day

It was reported that Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (Sallahu alahi wassalam) said: “A boy is ransomed by his aqeeqah. Sacrifice should be made for him on the seventh day, he should be given a name and his head should be shaved.” (At-Tirmidhi; al-Nasaai & Abu Dawood).

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Among the benefits of aqeeqah are: It is a sacrifice by means of which the child is brought close to Allaah soon after he comes into this world, It is a ransom for the newborn his aqeeqah ransoms him so that he can intercede for his parents, It is a sacrifice by which the newborn is ransomed just as Allaah ransomed Ismaa’eel with the ram. (Tuhfat al-Mawdood, p. 69).

Note: It is important to know whether while calculating seventh day for aqeeqah, does the day of birth count as first day or not. According to the majority of scholars, the day of birth is also counted while calculating the seventh day. If the baby is born during the day, then that day is counted as first day. If the baby is born at night, then next day would be the first day because after sunset new date starts.

4) It is sunnah to give adhan in right ear of the newborn.

5) Shaving the child’s head then anointing the child’s head with saffron is very beneficial. Then it is prescribed to give in charity gold or silver equal in weight to the hair. This does not have to be done by actually weighing the hair; if it is too difficult to do that, it is sufficient to estimate the weight and give paper currency equivalent to the price of that amount of gold or silver.

6) Circumcision is part of the Sunan al-Fitrah (practices related to the pure and natural inclinations of man). It is obligatory in the case of boys because it is connected to matters of purity which are essential conditions of prayer.

It was reported from Salmaan ibn Aamir that the Prophet (Sallahu alahi wassalam) said: “For the boy there should be an aqeeqah. Slaughter (an animal) for him and remove the harmful thing [i.e., the foreskin] from him.” (at-Tirmidhi; al-Nasaai; Abu Dawood; Ibn Maajah).

The above are the basic actions to be performed when the new born arrives.

Wallahualam,

(Abu Isaam Imran Ali)

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