What do scholars of Islām say regarding the ruling of sharī’ah concerning the way in which adhān should be given in a baby’s ear and the tahnīk [practice of chewing a date and rubbing it softly on the roof of the mouth of a new-born child] given to the child, should it be performed straight after saying the adhān or after finishing from the formalities of the hospital. Is it necessary for the person performing the tahnīk to be pious? Can the parents perform it?
Questioner: Rizwan from England
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
I have not come across anything mentioning the order between the adhān and tahnīk but I have read in one book that when Sayyidunā Husain (may Allāh be pleased with him) was born, our Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ recited adhān in his right ear and iqāmah in his left ear and gave tahnik to him by his blessed saliva. It is better to perform it in this way that first of all, adhān be recited in the the baby’s ear so that first of all the light of tawhīd can be entered into the baby’s ear through the adhān. It is better to recite adhān 4 times in the right ear and iqāmah 3 times in the left ear and then tahnīk should be given. However, it is not necessary that tahnīk be performed directly after reciting adhān. The tahnīk can be given after finishing from the formalities of the hospital but it is better that the first food given to the child should be that of tahnīk. It is better if a pious person or a scholar performs tahnīk to the baby and the child will receive the blessings of this, but a pious person or scholar is not compulsory for tahnīk. It can be performed by the parents as well.
The adhān should be given after the child’s birth as it is mentioned in Bahār-e-Sharī’at that when a child is born it is mustahabb (recommended) to recite adhān and iqāmah in the baby’s ear. Allāh Willing, calamities will be averted by this recital. It is better to recite adhān 4 times in the right ear and iqāmah 3 times in the left ear.
[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, part 15, pg 153]
Our Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ stated that, “When a baby is born in someone’s house and and one recites adhān in his right ear and iqāmah in his left ear, the illness of umm al-Sibyān [epilepsy of children] will be averted from the child.”
[Shu’ab al-Īmān, vol 6, pg 390, Hadīth 8619]
It is better if a pious man or scholar performs tahnīk as it is mentioned in Muslim Sharīf narrated by Sayyidah ‘A’ishah (may Allāh be pleased with her),
“أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُؤْتَى بِالصِّبْيَانِ فَيُبَرِّكُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَيُحَنِّكُهُمْ“
“That children would be brought to the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and he ﷺ would supplicate for blessings for them and would perform tahnīk.”
[Sahīh Muslim, pg 165, Hadīth 101]
The Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would chew something like a date and stick it to the top palate of the mouth of the child so that in this way the first thing to enter the stomach of the child would be the blessed saliva of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. There are other Hadīths which relate this same meaning which the practice of Muslims is based upon that they seek to have tahnīk of their children performed by righteous and pious Muslims.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi
Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0308] When should Tahneek be performed on a newborn child and can it be performed by the Parents?