Having an addition to the family is the most amazing feeling in this world. This little bundle of joy entering the world brings with it excitement, laughter and celebration! The Prophet (SAWS) showed the same sentiments at the birth of a baby and advised his companions to do so as well. Celebrating the birth of a baby is the first step in embracing parenthood and its responsibilities. It does well to remind the parents of their roles and how the child’s upbringing and tarbiyah has become a major part of their focus. The best way to welcome a baby is to perform the Sunnah Acts after the birth of a newborn. Doing so, will begin your little ones entrance with the favour and blessing of Allah and will have an effect on your child and household later on in life as well.

Sunnah Acts to Perform After the birth of a newborn:

The Sunnah Acts to Perform after the birth of a newborn display the beauty, elegance and simplicity of Islam. Let’s talk about them one by one.

1. Congratulate the new parents:

Islam teaches its followers to share in other people’s happiness. The birth of a baby is an extremely emotional moment for the parents. One should greet and offer the parents well wishes. It increases the joy of the family and promotes love between two individuals.

Allah (SWT) has used the word ‘give glad tidings’ in the Quran whenever it mentions informing a Prophet of the arrival of a child.

“And his (Prophet Ibrahim AS) wife was standing and she laughed, then We gave her glad tidings of Ishaaq AS (Isaac) and after Isaac, of Yaqub AS (Jacob).”

Surah Hud : 71

“O Zakariyyah! Verily We give you glad tidings of a boy whose name is Yahya, We have not assigned this name before.”

Surah Maryam : 7

When the Prophet (SAWS) was born, his Uncle Abu Lahab was congratulated by his slave girl, Thuwaibah RA. Abu Lahab was deeply affected by receiving this glad news about his nephew that he immediately freed Thuwaibah RA.
This action also relieved a little bit of his punishment after he died. Abbas RA reports that he saw Abu Lahab in a very bad state after he died. Abu Lahab told him that he faces severe punishment and agony everyday except for one day in which his torment is relieved a little due to his actions at the time of the birth of the Prophet SAWS. (Bukhari)

2. Recite The Adhaan And Iqamah in the Baby’s Ear:

One of the Sunnah Acts to Perform After the birth of a newborn is to recite the Adhaan in the right ear and the Iqamah in the left ear. This should be done as soon as the child is born so the first words to enter the childs ear are the words of Allah. Hearing the Kalimah at the very beginning also defines the duty of the child as a Muslim and is a sort of a reminder to uphold the commandments of Islam. The baby might not feel it but it has its affect. This is the Fitrah which Allah (SWT) has created all human beings on. The Fitrah of Islam.

The Prophet (SAWS) also recited the Adhaan in the right ear and Iqamah in the left ear of his grandson, Hasan RA after he was born. This action of the Prophet shows the emphasis of guiding the child towards the right path even at the time of birth.

3. Sunnah Act of Performing Tahneek After The Birth of a Newborn:

Tahneek means chewing on a date and spreading a little bit of it on the palate of the baby. The Prophet SAWS used dates for Tahneek but it can be done with any safe sweet substance if dates are not available.

Abu Musa Ashari relates that “I got a son. I took him to the Prophet SAWS. The Prophet SAWS named him Ibrahim, did his Tahneek and prayed for him.”

It is best if Tahneek is done by a pious and righteous fellow so the baby can obtain prayers and Barakah.

4. Shaving The Baby’s Head:

It is desirable to shave the hair on the baby’s head on the seventh day of birth and give away the amount of silver equal to the weight of the baby’s hair to charity. The Prophet SAWS ordered his daughter, Fatima RA to do the same with his grandchildren when they were born. Fatima RA shaved all her children’s hair, weighed it and gave the amount of silver equal to it to charity. The weight of her children’s hair was equal to roughly one dirham or less.
The benefit of this act is that it promotes helping out the poor and needy. It also signifies the importance of keeping everyone in mind at times of happiness like these.

5. Sunnah Act of Naming The Newborn After Birth:

Deciding a name for the newborn is another way of celebrating the separate identity of the child. Islam has encouraged the parents to be wise while choosing a name. The name reflects and shapes the personality of the child so it’s important to consider the meaning and characteristics of the name. It is narrated in a Hadith that the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said,

“You will be called by your and your fathers name on the Day of Judgement, therefore choose good names”

The Prophet SAWS changed many names of children which were based on wrong meanings and gave them nice and good names. The Prophet SAWS himself named his children based on beautiful personalities and meanings.

6. Perform The Aqeeqah of the Baby:

Aqeeqah refers to sacrificing a goat on the child’s behalf on the seventh day of his birth. It is Sunnah to offer two goats for sacrifice in case of a boy and one for a girl.

The Prophet SAWS said,

“Every child is in pledge for his Aqeeqah, which should be sacrificed for him on the seventh day and his head should be shaved and he should be given a name.”

(Tirmidhi)

Aishah RA narrated that the Messenger of Allah SAWS commanded them to sacrifice two similar sheep for a boy and one for a girl. (Tirmidhi)

The Prophet SAWS performed Aqeeqah of his grandsons as well. The meat obtained from Aqeeqah can be used for any purpose. It can be donated, kept or distributed to family and friends.