In all communities around the world the birth of a child is considered a blessing and ceremonies are held to celebrate this event. Besides being a natural expression of joy, it also serves a special purpose, that is, making it known in a suitable and dignified manner. As soon as your child is born, they are under attack from Satan. The Prophet said,
"When any human being is born, Satan pinches the body with his two fingers, except 'Isa, the son of Maryam, whom Satan tried to pinch but failed, for he touched the placenta instead".
Sahih Bukhari 4:506
This is why the child cries at birth; Satan never leaves his enemy without harming it. To protect the faith and Islam of the newborn baby, who is now under attack by mankind's greatest enemy, the Messenger of Allah taught us about various things that we can do. Some are well known others not so well known.
The following brief points are intended to remind all people of what the Prophet did when a child was born.
When a child was born to one of the families of the Sahaba (the Companions of the Prophet) they would take it to the Prophet so that he would bless it, and apply the pulp of a date, chewed by him, to its palate. This 'tahneek' as it is known in 'Arabic', was to keep the child safe from evil. Therefore, similarly when a child is born into a Muslim family, it should be taken to a virtuous, pious person, so that this person may supplicate for the child and perform the tahneek. Tahneek is among those Sunan whose practice has become rare.
Aisha (RA) narrates that "the people used to bring their newborn children to the Prophet and he would bless them and perform the tahneek"
Sahih Muslim 1:560
Aqeeqah & shaving the head
The Aqeeqah ceremony essentially consists the sacrifice of an animal. An animal is then sacrificed as a mark of celebration and distributed amongst friends, family, the poor and a portion is kept for ones own consumption.
Ali (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah slaughtered a goat on the occasion of Hasan's birth, the son of Fatimha (RA) and Ali (RA) .
Sahih Sunan at-Tirmithee 2:1226
It is reported by Abdullah bin al-As that the Prophet said, "To whomsoever a child is born and he wants to perform a sacrifice of Aqeeqah on behalf of it, he should sacrifice two goats for a boy and one goat for a girl".
Sunan Abu Dawood 2:2836
we had already sent money to Algeria for the Aquiqah during the week Itty Bitty was born. I always try to do something here at home to mark such ceremonial functions, so that the children can feel part of celebrating and see the celebrations of Islam. I hosted a little tea party, sadly I never got hardly any pictures, just some of the cup cakes and bunting.