Islamic Rulings for New Born Babies >> 7. Other Baby Issues

Islamic Rulings for New Born Babies

7. Other Baby Issues

a) Tahaarah issues

All human urine with the exception of the urine of a male baby who is exclusively breastfed is najis. The urine of a breastfed male baby can be sprayed with water without thorough washing:

Umm Qays bint Mihsan (RA) reported that she handed to the Prophet (SAW) a young male baby of hers that had not eaten food (i.e. he was still breastfeeding). The baby urinated over the Prophet’s (SAW) clothes. The Prophet (SAW) asked for some water and sprayed it over without washing it. [1]

Aishah reported that a male baby was brought to the Prophet (SAW) to make tahneek for him. The boy urinated over the Prophet’s (SAW) garment. The Prophet (SAW) sprayed water over his garment without full washing it. [2]

It is important to note that urine of a male baby is taahir (clean) only while his main nourishment comes from breastfeeding, even though he may be eating other supportive foods. Only when breastfeeding is a small portion of his diet does his urine become najis.

b) Carrying babies during the prayer

It is permissible to carry children while praying even when the condition of their clothes is not known:

Abu Qataadah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) once led the people in prayer while carrying upon his shoulder his granddaughter Umaamah bint Zaynab (from Abu al-As Bin ar-Rabi). When he stood he held her and when he prostrated he set her down. [3]

c) Bringing babies into the masjid

It is permissible to bring babies into the masjid:

Abu Qatadah (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said,

“Indeed, I start the prayer intending to extend it. Then I hear a baby’s cry, and I shorten my prayer because I know its mother’s concern for its crying.” [4]

d) Touching a baby’s private parts

There is no evidence that touching a baby’s private parts when cleaning, changing nappies etc. invalidates wudu.

e) Piercing the ears

It is permissible to pierce the earlobes of female children. Muslim women at the time of the Prophet (SAW) wore earrings:

Ibn Abbas reported that he saw the Prophet (SAW) pray the two rakaat on the day of Eid, then walk with Bilaal (RA) to where the women sat. He admonished them and urged them to give sadaqah. They responded by giving their rings, earrings and other jewellery items. [5]

It should be noted that only one is permitted in each ear. No other parts of the body (nose, navel, tongue etc) may be pierced as this involves imitation of the kuffar. Males may not pierce their ears or wear earrings as this is a strictly feminine adornment in Islam.

f) Kissing children and showing mercy to them

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) kissed al-Hasan bin Ali (RA) in the presence of al-Aqra bin Habis at-Tamimi. Al-Aqra commented, “Indeed, I have ten children and have never kissed any of them.” Allah’s Messenger (SAW) looked at him and said, “He who does not show mercy, no mercy will be shown to him by Allah.” [6]

Aishah (RA) reported that some Bedouins who visited Allah’s Messenger (SAW) asked his companions,

“Do you kiss your children?” The companions replied, “Yes!” The bedouins said, “By Allah, we never kiss them.” So the Prophet (SAW) said: “What can I do for you if Allah has removed mercy from your hearts.” [7]

g) Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has been ordained by Allah (SWT) in the Qur’an:

Allah (SWT) says,

{We have enjoined upon the human being to treat his parents kindly. His mother bore him with weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is two years.} (Qur’an 31:14)

Allah (SWT) also says,

{We have enjoined upon the human being to treat his parents kindly. His mother bore him with hardship and delivered with hardship. And his gestation and weaning period is thirty months.} (Qur’an 46:115)

Allah (SWT) also mentions in the Noble Qur’an,

{Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wants to complete the nursing period. Upon their father is their mother’s provision and clothing according to what is reasonable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. No mother should be harmed through her child, nor should a father be. And upon the heir (of the father) is a similar obligation (if the father dies). And if they both (parents) desire weaning through mutual consent and consultation, there is no blame on either of them. And if you wish to have your children breast-fed by a substitute, there is no blame upon you as long as you give payment according to what is reasonable. And revere Allah and know that Allah is seeing of what you do.} (Qur’an 2:233)

Islam also partially gives to the relationships resulting from breastfeeding a status similar to that of blood relationships:

Aishah, Ibn Abbas, and Ali (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said,

“Indeed, Allah has prohibited marriage among suckling relatives, as he has prohibited it among birth (or blood relatives).” [8]

It is permitted to have intercourse with a nursing woman. The Prophet (SAW) did not consider it necessary or useful to practice early withdrawal as a measure of birth control:

Juthamah bint Wahb (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said,

“I was about to prohibit having intercourse with a nursing woman, but then realised that the Romans and Persians do it and it does not harm their children.” [9]


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

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

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

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

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

[6] Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim.

[7] Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim.

[8] Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.  Review Irwa ul-Ghalil no. 1876 for various narrations of this hadeeth.

[9] Recorded by Muslim and others.

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