Chapter 3: The Birth of a Child


1. Labour and Delivery: Some Things to be Aware Of
  • Be conscious of the a’wrah (the private areas according to Islamic law).
    • What is a woman’s a’wrah?We take the definition of a woman’s awrah from Soorah Nur, Ayah 31:

      وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ

      And to not expose their beauty except that which [necessarily] appears.

      Based on this ayah, what is apparent during the Prophet’s ﷺtime included the head and neck, the arms (not including the shoulder and armpit), and the shins (below the knee) and feet. Everything else is considered her a’wrah.
      (NOTE: This is in front of a woman’s mahrams as well as other women. In front of her husband, there is no a’wrah. In front of strangers, everything except her hands and face are considered her a’wrah.)

    • Exposing the a’wrah is haraam (forbidden) except in cases of necessity. Jabir ibn Sakhr رضي الله عنه   said that the Prophet ﷺ said:

      انا نهينا ان ترى عوراتنا
      Indeed we were forbidden from exposing our private areas. [Al-Hakim; Al-Albaani: saheeh]

      Therefore, a woman should reveal only what is necessary from her a’wrah, only when it is necessary. If it can be minimized without compromising her or the baby’s health, that is the best option.

    • Even in front of other women, a woman’s a’wrah should be covered.Mu’awiyah bin Hayada رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet ﷺ said:

      احفظ عورتك إلا من زوجتك او ما ملكت يمينك. ان استطعت الا يرينها فلا يرينها. الله أحق أن يستحيل منه من الناس
      Guard your private areas except from your spouses or your slaves. If you are able to not reveal it, then don’t reveal it (to those of the same gender). Allah سبحانه وتعالى is more deserving for you to be shy from him than the people (meaning when you are alone). [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, ibn Majah]

      • A woman should try to have only female doctors, nurses, midwives, etc present during these moments, preferably Muslim. Men should only be allowed in cases of necessity (emergency, no females at all, etc).
      • Similarly, having friends and family observe the birth is recommended to be very limited, and only if it is necessary for the mother’s comfort. Even if they are women, her a’wrah should be exposed to as few people as possible.
      • It goes without saying then that videotaping the birth is a very unIslaamic practice. The a’wrah of any person should not be preserved in such a manner.

 

  • The time of nifaas begins from the when any blood or mucous membrane discharge is seen. If contractions begin and any blood or mucous is discharged, even if delivery occurs two days later, this is still considered nifaas.

Salaah, fasting, etc are no longer obligatory upon the woman.

  • There are no dua’ in the saheeh (authentic) sunnah that are to be recited specifically at the time of labour.

However, Sh. ibn Uthaymeen said that as it is a moment of distress, a woman in labour is advised to make lots of dua’ in general. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in Soorah Naml, Ayah 62:

أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ

Is He (Allah) not the one who responds to the distressed when he calls upon Him.

  • There are no saheeh (authentic) hadeeth indicating that eating dates during labour is a practice from the sunnah.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى  told Maryam in the Quran to eat fresh dates during her labour, but there are no authentic hadith of the Prophet ﷺ generalizing this to all women. However, traditional medicine as well as science have provided evidence that it has benefits, so from this perspective it is a healthy food.

2. The baby's first cry: an important reminder and a condition.
  • The cries of a baby when it enters this world is a reminder of Shaitaan’s presence and his constant struggle to lead the believers astray.

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet ﷺ said:

ما من مولود يولد الا نخسه الشيطان ، فيستهل صارخا من نخسة الشيطان ،الا ابن مريم وامه

There is no newborn born except that Shaitaan pokes him, so he starts of crying from Shaitaan’s poke. Except the son of Maryam and his mother.

He (Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه ) added, Recite if you wish:

إِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

I seek refuge for her in You, and her descendants, from Shaitaan, the Expelled. [Soorah Aal-Imraan, Ayah 36]

  • The cry of the newborn child is the only condition for inheritance. Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet ﷺ said:

    اذا استهل المولود، ورث
    As soon as the newborn cries, it inherits. [Abu Dawud, Al-Bayhaqi; Al-Albaani: saheeh]

    The cry, even if for just a second, means the baby can receive inheritance or bequethals, and it can be inherited from.

    • The only exception to this is a child conceived through zina. Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “it neither inherits nor is inherited from.” [Tirmidhi; Al-Albaani: saheeh]
 3. The news of the birth of a child is a joyous moment for the family and the Muslims.
  • It is recommended that the birth be announced to all who would rejoice at the news, such as the family and friends. In the Quran, Allah سبحانه وتعالى speaks many times of giving the good news of the blessing of a child to His Prophets عليهم السلام.

He سبحانه وتعالى said in regards to Ibraheem  عليه السلام, in Soorah Saafaat, Ayah 101:

فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ

So we gave him good-tidings of a forbearing boy.

 

  • It is recommended to congratulate the parents with words that are in accordance with our Islaamic beliefs.One example mentioned by the scholars of past is this dua:

    بارك الله لك في الموهوب لك و شكرت الواهب و بلغ أشده و رزقت بره
    May Allah bless you in what He has gifted you. May you be thankful to Him. May the child reach maturity, and may the child be of the righteous.

    This was mentioned by Hassan Al-Basri to a man, who congratulated a new father saying, ‘May you be pleased with your newborn knight.’ Hassan Al-Basri said, ‘How do you know if it will be a knight or a donkey.’ Then he told the men these words of congratulations instead.

  • Giving presents on any occasion is from the Sunnah, much less a happy time like a birth.

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

تهادوا، تحابوا

Exchange presents; it’ll make you love each other. [Al-Bayhaqi]

 4. Calling the adhan or iqaamah the newborn's ears is not from the established Sunnah.
  • There is no saheeh (authentic) record of this practice in the Sunnah.
  • The practice is based on 3 Hadiths: one is a weak narration and the other two are fabricated.
    • Al-Albaani said it cannot be promoted as a Sunnah since there is no proof. In the book Our Precious Sprouts, Sh. al-Jibaly says it is a bid’ah that we should avoid.
 5. We should hasten to be grateful to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for the blessing of the newborn and to thank Him and show our gratitude.
  • This is the way of the Prophets عليهم السلام.
    • Allah سبحانه وتعالى says about Prophet Ibraheem عليه السلام, in Soorah Nahl, Ayah 121:

      شَاكِرًا لِّأَنْعُمِهِ

      He (Ibraheem) was grateful for His Favours.

    • And about Prophet Nuh عليه السلام, in Soorah Israa, Ayah 3:

إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا

Indeed, he was a grateful servant.

  • Being grateful to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for His bounties is the way of the believers.
    • Allah سبحانه وتعالى commanded us to be grateful to Him. He says in Soorah Baqarah, Ayah 172:

      وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

      And be grateful to Allah if it is Him that you worship.

    • He سبحانه وتعالى also tells us that those who are ungrateful will be punished, in Soorah Ibraheem, ayah 7:

      وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ

      And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: If you are grateful i will surely increase you (in favour), but if you deny, indeed my punishment is severe.

    • Allah سبحانه وتعالى reminds us that children are from amongst those bounties that he grants His slaves, in Soorah Shu’arah, Ayah 132-134.

وَاتَّقُوا الَّذِي أَمَدَّكُم بِمَا تَعْلَمُونَ۞ أَمَدَّكُم بِأَنْعَامٍ وَبَنِينَ۞ وَجَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ

 And fear He that provided you with that which you know. Provided you with grazing livestock and children. And gardens and spring.

  • The gender of the newborn baby is from Allah سبحانه وتعالى; we must be grateful whether the baby is male or female. He says in Soorah Shoorah, Ayah 49-50:

    يَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ الذُّكُورَ

    He gives to whom He wills female, and He gives to whom He wishes male.  

    • Being unhappy or disliking the birth of a girl is condemned by Allah. It is a trait of jahiliyyah (ignorance).Allah  سبحانه وتعالى says in Soorah Nahl, Ayah 58-59:

      وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِالْأُنثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ۞ يَتَوَارَىٰ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ ۚ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَىٰ هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ۞

      And when one of them is informed of the birth of a female, his face becomes dark and he suppresses grief. He hides himself from the people because of the ill which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.

    • The Prophet ﷺ mentioned many, many merits to show the blessing of a daughter and to erase the attitude towards favouring boys.

Anas رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

من عال جاريتين حتى تبلغا يوم القيامه انا و هو هكذا
Whoever raises two girls until they reach maturity he will be with me on the day of judgement like this (indicating to the closeness of his index and middle finger). [Muslim]