Today I would like to talk about the issue of childbirth and the great reward that is attached to it.
Being blessed with a child is indeed a great bounty of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore utmost gratitude and contentment should be showed to Allah Ta’ala. While enjoying this great Ni’mah (bounty) from Allah and ensuring that all the child’s needs, physically and medically are fulfilled, the deeper and more essential dimension must not be forgotten; the teachings and requirements of Shari’ah.
The time before birth one should turn to Allah and make Dua for a safe delivery and normal child. The mother should engage herself in Zikr and Quran and seeking Allah’s help and blessings. The reward for a woman who bears the pains of childbirth is great, hence one should ask Allah for their full share of reward and do it mindfully and for the sake of Allah.
A common statement made by some sisters who are mothers is “I don’t get any time to do ‘Ibaadah”. This is a misconception, because we don’t realize that even the every day tasks that we do as Muslims become acts of ‘Ibaadah if they are accompanied with a good intention.
A mother is chosen by Allah for the creating and up bringing of the future worshippers of Allah, the future Ulama or Mujaahideen or teachers or leaders: the future Ummah. Mothers of The Prophets (Alyhimus Asalaam) and the great scholars and pious also went through the difficulties of childbirth to bear such great personalities. Similarly the intention at the time of delivery should be to bear such children who would become such great Muslims and assets to the Muslim Ummah. This will be a great investment for the mother. The temporary pain is insignificant in relation to the long term benefits in this world and the hereafter.
When a woman goes through the various difficulties of pregnancy and ultimately the pains of labour and delivery and has Sabr (patience) and Ihtisaab (hoping for the reward of Allah), it will all bring great reward that will be recorded in her good deeds.
Allah Ta’ala will reward the Muslim for everything that befalls him in this world. Even if a thorn pricks him, Allah will expiate thereby some of his sins and elevate his status, and the pains of labour and pregnancy are far greater than that.
At the time of delivery Surah Yaseen should be read and also many Durood upon Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alahi Wa Sallam).The following Aayaat may be read for ease in delivery, by the mother and whoever is with her;
Transliteration: Thumma assabeela yassarah (80:20)
“Then He eased the way for him”
Transliteration: Awa lam yara allatheena kafaroo anna assamawati wal-arda kanata ratqan fafataqnahuma waja’Alnaa minaalma-i kulla shay-in hayyin afalaa yu’minoon (21:30)
“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? “
Insha Allah next week I will talk about what should be done after the child is born and the sunnah actions that should take place.
After the child is born, the following Sunnats should be observed;
Adhan and iqamah
When the child is born Adhan and iqamah should be said in the child’s ears.
In the right ear of the new-born baby, the Adhan should be recited, and in the left ear, the Iqamah This is done immediately after the baby is bathed. However if there is a delay, it may be done before.
On the birth of Hadhrat Hasan to .Hadhrat Faatimah may Allah be pleased with them the Holy Prophet (sallallahu Alahi Wa Sallam) had said the Adhan in his ear.
Narrated ‘Ubaidullah bin Abi Rafi’:
That his father said: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say the Adhan in the ear of Al-Hasan bin ‘Ali – when he was born to Fatimah – the Adhan of Salat.” (at-Tirmidhi 1514)
Tahneek is the Sunnah of chewing date and applying a part of the chewed portion to the palate of the child so that it goes down the child’s mouth easily. If date is unavailable, one may apply any thing sweet, like honey to the child’s palate. The dental palate, the jaws and the mouth are made active. As a result, it is easy for the child to suck milk from the breast of its mother.
It is preferable for the Thaneek to be done by an Áalim or a pious
elder of the family. If not then by any Muslim.
Aisha (Radhiallahu Anhu) narrates that “the people used to bring their newborn children to the Prophet and he would bless them and perform the tahneek” (Sahih Muslim 2147)
Naming of the child.
Naming a child with a beautiful and honorable name is very important. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wa Sallam) always chose names with good and beautiful meanings.
It should be selected from the names of Ambiyaa like Yaqoob, Yusuf, Idris, Musa, Saleh, Muhammad, Ahmad etc. or should be adopted from the names of Sahabah and pious People like Umar, Ali, Usman, Khalid, Khadhija, Maryam, Sumayya etc.
Some Ahadeeth indicate that the child is to be named on the seventh day along with Aqeeqah. However, the Prophet also named children on the day of their birth, as proven by other narrations. There is no harm if the child is named before the seventh day, but if the naming has not been done, and then the child should be named on the seventh day.
To make Aqeeqa on the 7th day.
Aqeeqa is a form of Sadaqah whereby the child is safeguarded against
misfortunes. The practice of Aqeeqah is encouraged in Islam. This is understood from following Ahadith
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) carried out the Aqeeqah of Hasan (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and Husain (Radhiyallahu Anhu) by slaughtering one ram each.(Abu Dawood 2834)
Buraidah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) mentions, “prior to Islam when one of us had a newborn boy, he would slaughter one sheep and smear the head of the newborn with its blood. When Allah blessed us with Islam, we began slaughtering one sheep. Thereafter, we would shave the child’s hair and apply saffron”. .(Abu Dawood 2836)
Two sheep, or two goats are slaughtered in the case of a male while one goat or one sheep in the case of a female. If for some reason Aqeeqa was not made on the 7th day, then it should be done on the14th, 21st 28th or any day in multiples of 7 thereafter. For those who cannot afford two animals for the baby son, even one animal will be sufficient as Aqeeqah. If one has no means to sacrifice even this much, then there is no harm and he would not have to make up for it later.
Shaving the head
The hair on the head of the new-born, boy or girl, should be shaved on the seventh day. It is mustahib (desirable) to give silver in sadaqah to the poor and needy equal to the weight of his or her hair.
Narrated Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Al-Husain: That Ali bin Abi Talib said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) had the ‘Aqiqah for Al-Hasan with one sheep, and said: ‘O Fatimah! Shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver as charity.'” He said: “So I weighed it, and it was the weight of a Dirham or a bit of a Dirham.” (at-Tirmidhi 1519)
Circumcision of the boy should be done before he attains maturity. It is advisable to do it with aqeeqah. At this age he does not suffer much pain. The Noble Messenger had the aqeeqah and circumcision of Hasan and Husain performed on the seventh day after their birth.
By Rahil Mumtaz