2102dummyChildren are a source of delight and an adornment in the world granted by Allâh to their parents, they give vigour to the hearts, joy to the souls, pleasure to the eyes. They are the fruit from whom good is to be hoped for. Especially when they frequently supplicate,

"Our Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small."

They are the ones in every nation upon whom hope for the future lies, they are the youth of tomorrow upon whose shoulders the call to Islaam will, Allah willing, be carried. Indeed Islaam has elevated the status of children and has laid down manners for their treatment and up-bringing, relating to each stage that they will pass through in this world. From these are the manners of how to welcome them in their arrival into this life.

Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a living example, educating and cultivating the Muslims upon the practices of Islaam, teaching them how to worship their Lord in the best possible ways. Sadly, a number of Muslims have strayed from his pure teachings and have substituted that which is gold for that which worthless. Let's not be of them, let's implement the manners which the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us with regards  to our new-borns.

Encouragement to have Children

The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Marry the loving and fertile, because through you I will compete with the nations for superiority in numbers." (Aboo Daawood)

And it is important that the parents bring up their children upon righteousness, so that the parents will benefit from them during their life, aswell as after their death. Allâh’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "A servant will have his rank raised and will say, 'O my Lord how has this come about for me?' He will say, 'Through your sons after their seeking forgiveness for you.'" (Ibn Maajah)

Know that what has preceded applies equally to both boys and girls; indeed, Islaam has encouraged the bringing up of girls and Allâh condemns those that become distressed at the news of the birth of a girl. The Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought to light the status of this gift from Allâh (the Almighty),

"Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood - he and I will come together on the Day of Resurrection (like this) - and he interlaced his two fingers." (Saheeh Muslim)

This means that they will be together in Paradise. Can there be a greater honour given for having daughters?!

Giving the good news of the Birth

The near of kin who are anxiously waiting should be informed so that they can stop worrying and congratulate the parents and supplicate for the baby. Allâh mentions this good news being conveyed to a number of His Prophets, from them Zakariyyaa of his son Yahya, {Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in a private room (saying), ‘Allâh gives you glad tidings of Yahya'}

Giving the Adhaan (Call to Prayer) in the ear of the newborn

The first practice to do is to make the adhaah in the ear of the baby, so that the first words that the baby hears is the name of Allaah (the Mighty and Glorious), and the Shahaadah.

It is to be given straight after the birth, or very soon afterwards as he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did so with his grandson al-Husayn, as is related by Abu Raafi' who said, "I saw the Prophet give the Adhâh for prayer in the ear of al-Husayn ibn Alî when his mother Fâtimah gave birth to him." (at-Tirmidhî)

It should be given with it's usual wording in a voice which is audible to the baby, not so loudly that it risks harm to the baby or alarms him/her.

Only the Adhân is to be given, not the Iqâamah, as there is no authentic evidence to support this. Giving the Adhaan only is also the reported practice of the Khalîfah (Caliph) 'Umar bin 'Abdul Azeez. This is closer to the Sunnah (the way of the Noble Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

As for which ear it should be given in, the sunnah has not specified. However the Messenger ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to love to do good actions starting from the right, so it would be more appropriate to give the Adhaan in the right ear.

The Tahneek

dates'Tahneek' means to soften a date and then rub the new-born's palate with it just after the birth or soon after. This is done by putting a piece of the softened date on the finger and rubbing it from left to right in the mouth of the baby. Ibn Hajr said,

"If one is unable to find a dry date, then a fresh date should be used, and if that isn't available then anything sweet." (Fath 9/588)

It is not essential to chew the date rather it may be softened in any hygienic way. The action of chewing, as reported in the Sunnah, was what the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did.

Tahneek is to be done by the father or mother of the child or anyone from the People of Knowledge whose supplication is hoped to be accepted, as was the practice of the Companions.

Imaam an-Nawawî says,

"Scholars unanimously agree regarding the desirableness of performing Tahneek upon the baby after it's birth." (Sharh Sahî h Muslim 4/122)

Aaishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reports,

"New-born children used to be brought to the Messenger of Allâh and he would supplicate blessings for them; (he would also) rub a chewed date upon their palate." (Saheeh Muslim)

Naming the child

Tpenpencilhe baby may be named on the day of it's birth or later on the seventh day or past the seventh day. This is what is clear from the study of all the evidences in the Sunnah.

It is the father or the mother who chooses the name of the baby. If they differ between themselves, then the father has the choice, he may name the baby himself or give his wife the right to choose. The fact that this is the right of the father is shown by the principle that the child is ascribed and attributed to the father, as Allâh (the Mighty and Glorious) says, {Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just in the sight of Allâh}

It is also allowed for the parents that they allow others to name their child, as our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to name some of the children of his Companions.

The name should carry a good and praiseworthy meaning as the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and your fathers names, so make your names good." (Aboo Daawood)

It is recommended to call oneself a servant of Allâh ('Abdullâh) or the servant of any of the names of Allâh (the Mighty and Glorious). Then it is recommended to name a child after a Prophet, due to the hadeeth, "Call yourselves by the names of the Prophets." (Aboo Daawood)

And the Hadeeth: "A son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather Ibraahîm." (Saheeh Muslim)

Then, after this, it is recommended to name the child after any pious person in the hope that it will become like him/her. The next recommended option is to name the child by any name which has good meaning.

It is forbidden to name a child with a name that denotes servitude to other than Allâh (the Mighty and Glorious), for example 'Abd an-Nabi (the slave of the Prophet), 'Abd ar-Rasool (the slave of the Messenger) etc, just as it is forbidden to name them with names that are particular to the unbelievers like George, Michael, Susan etc.

The names of tyrants and evil personalities should be avoided such as Fir'awn, Qaarûn, Abu Lahab etc. Likewise it is disliked to name the child with the names of the Surahs of the Qur'aan like 'Taa Haa' or 'Yaa Sîn' as is reported from Imaam Maalik and others. There is no authentic Hadeeth which ascribes the above two as being names of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

The 'Aqîqah

mosesbasked5After the seventh day of the arrival of the new-born, as a form of welcome for the babu and as a way to give thanks to the One who gave you this great blessing, it is prescribed to slaughter a sheep. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Every child is in pledge for it's 'Aqîqah which is sacrificed for it on its seventh day; it is named on it, and its head is shaved." (Aboo Daawûd)

If the new-born is a boy then two sheep are to be sacrificed, and if it is a girl then one sheep. This is the position of majority of the Companions and Scholars. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "For the boy two equal sheep, and for the girl, a single sheep." (Ibn Mâjah)

So it is permissible to sacrifice the male or female sheep or goat, and this is best. As for sacrificing other animals then there is a difference of opinion over it.

The sacrifice should be done by the father or a close relative, for our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) performed the 'Aqîqah for both of his grandsons. It is also obligatory to mention the name of Allâh over it while sacrificing, and if a close relative is performing the 'Aqîqah then he should add, 'This 'Aqîqah is the 'Aqîqah of so and so,' mentioning the name of the person on whose behalf he is performing the 'Aqîqah, as is reported in the hadîth related by al-Bayhaqî.

The meat of the sacrifice may be distributed cooked or uncooked, but it is preferred that it should be cooked as this leads to greater blessing, as mentioned by a group of scholars.

Shaving the baby's head

silvercoinsOn the seventh day after the birth, the baby's head should be shaved. When al-Hasan was born the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told his daughter, Faatimah (may Allah be pleased with her), “Shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver to the poor." (Musnad Imaam Ahmad)

The right side of the head should be shaved first, then the left as mentioned in the hadîth, "Shave, and he indicated to the right side of his head, and then the left." (Saheeh Muslim)

It is not permissible to shave a part of the head and leave a part, as this was prohibited by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as has been reported by Imaam al-Bukhârî in his Saheeh.

The strongest view seems to be that the baby girl's head should also be shaved, as it has been reported that Faatimah weighed the hair of her daughter, as has been mentioned in Imaam Maalik's Muwattaa', although the scholars differ over this, and Allâh knows best.

The shaving should be done after the sacrifice, and our pious predecessors liked to rub some perfume over the baby's head after the shaving. This must be done with caution, as the baby may react to many of the perfumes used now-a-days. One should consult some acquainted with this.

After this, it is prescribed to give the value of the baby's weight of hair in silver in charity. It is recommended to give this charity on the seventh day, although it is not necessary to do so, as the charity may be delayed.


It is prescribed that the boy be circumcised; it is recommended that the circumcision take place on the seventh day.

It is obligatory to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty.

Sleep Disturbances in Children

Sleep is a mercy from the Lord of the World. mosesbasked3Allaah (the Mighty and Glorious) says (interpretation of the meaning), {And We have made the night as a covering} (an-Naba’ [78]:10)

(i.e., as a covering for you. Hence the scholars agreed that sleeping at night is very important for physical health.)

A baby usually sleeps approximately 22 hours a day, but wakes up from time to time because s/he is hungry, sick or thirsty, or for some other need.

The hours of sleep are reduced until the child sleeps for 10 hours when he is six years old, and eight hours when he reaches his teens.

The child has to sleep for this number of hours so that he will grow up healthy and free from nervous tension.

Mistakes that are made with regards to this:

1. Delaying the child’s sleep causes nervous tension, especially when he has to be woken up for school and has not had enough sleep. This can lead to him not being able to focus in the classroon or even falling asleep in class.

2. Some families have a strict bedtime which is never changed for any reason whatsoever. The child has to sleep at eight, no matter what the circumstances. This is a mistake because if the child is having fun playing, then he is forced to go to sleep, this is a kind of abuse and a lack of respect for his personality. If the child goes to sleep tense, this will be reflected in his sleep, and he will have nightmares and will not be relaxed in his sleep.

3. Some fathers wake their child up to play with him or because they have bought a new toy for him, especially when the father has been at work all day and this is the only opportunity he has. This is a mistake, because you are interrupting your child’s sleep and it will be difficult for him to relax and go to back to sleep.

4. Some parents use scare tactics to make their children go to sleep. This is the worst mistake that parents can make.

5. Some mothers tell their children frightening stories which may scare them. This has negative effects on the child’s sleep, in the form of nightmares which disturb his sleep.

6. Some families encourage their children to drink liquids such as juice or water, etc., especially just before bedtime. This leads to the bedwetting, something most families complain of.

7. Closing the door on a child in a very dark room when he goes to sleep cultivates a fear of the dark in the child. It also makes him restless and unable to sleep well.

8. Some parents do not get the child used to sleeping alone from an early age. Some families allow the child to sleep with the parents or the mother until the age of six. This is a serious mistake, because it makes the child grow up dependent on others and restless. It is therefore advised that parents get their children used to sleeping alone from an early age and from the first year. In this way they will get used to sleeping alone and this will be healthy for the parent's relationship with each other.

Finally: we note that many of the problems which children are suffering from, such as bedwetting, fear of the dark, screaming in their sleep (“night terrors”), falling asleep in school, not being able to concentrate or not going to school at all… are all caused by disturbed sleep and restlessness. Therefore we advise parents to work on the above points.