Islamic Rulings for New Born Babies >> 6. Other Newborn Sunnahs

Islamic Rulings for New Born Babies

6. Other Newborn Sunnahs

a) Tahneek

Tahneek is to chew some food and insert it into the baby’s mouth. Usually dates are chewed and rubbed into the baby’s upper jaw or palate. It is recommended to perform Tahneek soon after birth:

Anas (RA) and Sahl bin Sa’d (RA) reported,

“Newborns were occasionally brought to Allah’s Messenger (SAW). He would invoke Allah’s blessings over them and perform Tahneek for them.” [1]

Abu Musa al-Ashari (RA) reported,

“A baby boy was born to me. I took him to the Prophet (SAW) who named him Ibraheem, chewed on a date and made him suck it, invoked blessings for him and then gave him back to me.” [2]

Asma bint Abi Bakr (RA) reported,

“I conceived Abdullah bin az-Zubayr (RA) in Makkah.  I migrated to al-Madinah near the end of my pregnancy and gave birth to Abdullah in Quba.  After the delivery, I took my baby to Allah’s Messenger (SAW) who put him on his lap, called for a date, chewed it, spat into the baby’s mouth, rubbed the date inside his mouth and supplicated and invoked blessings for him.  Thus the first thing to enter Abdullah’s body was the saliva of Allah’s Messenger (SAW).  He was the first child born for the muhajiroon in al-Madinah.  And the Muslims were extremely pleased with his birth because they were previously told the Jews had cast a spell on them so that they would no have any children.” [3]

b) Shaving the head and giving charity

It is required to shave a newborn’s head on the seventh day, and give sadaqah equal to its weight in silver:

Abu Rafi (RA) and Ali (RA) reported that when Fatimah (RA) gave birth to al-Hasan and later on al-Husayn, Allah’s Messenger told her,

“O Fatimah, shave his head and give charity equal to his hair’s weight in silver.” Ali (RA) added: “We weighed the hair and found its weight to be a dirham or less.” [4]

Salman Bin Amir ad-Dabbi reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said,

“An aqeeqah is prescribed for every child. So, shed blood on its behalf, and remove the filth off it.” [5]

The obligation of shaving the head applies to both girls and boys. The whole head should be shaved:

Ibn Umar (RA) reported,

“Allah’s Messenger prohibited qaz which is to shave part of the head and leave the rest unshaved.” [6]

The value of the hair in charity is small and more symbolic than real. Those who cannot afford paying this amount are exempt from this. It is recommended to give the charity on the seventh day as it is linked to the shaving of the hair.

c) Calling Athaan and Iqaamah

There is no reliable evidence for calling the Athaan and Iqaamah in the baby’s ears after birth, and this practice should be avoided. This is based on weak and fabricated hadeeths.


References

[1] Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim.

[2] Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim.

[3] Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim.

[4] Recorded by Ahmad, al-Bayhaqi and others.  Verified to be hasan by al-Albani (Irwa ul-Ghalil no. 1175).

[5] Recorded by at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasai and others.  Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih al-Jami’ no. 4253 and 5877, and Irwa ul-Ghalil no. 1171).

[6] Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.

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