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Athaan for Newborn

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askmufti.co.za

Q: I have a question with regard to reciting the athaan and iqaama into the baby’s ear. In the moden day and according to my understanding, when a baby is born, the nurses wash the baby and thereafter take the baby to be examined before giving the baby to the parents. According to my understanding of Islam, it is recommended that the father or family elder give the athaan and iqaamah in the babies ear and to ghusl the baby as soon as the baby is born, but the way the hospital does things it seems that this process is either hard to accomplish or might only be done after an extended period of time. The one thing I was able to think of is to maybe request a Muslim nurse to be present and to ask her to give the baby a ghusl, but I am not sure if that is allowed in Islam. I also could not think of anything with regard to reciting the athaan and iqaamah to the baby.

So the question is what is the ruling for the best method as to when to recite athaan/iqaamah and when to ghusl the baby under these circumstances?

A: It is preferable for the athaan and iqaamah to be recited immediately upon birth, but after the child has been washed. Some hospitals allow the father to do this, for they understand that it is a religious practice. So the family should make a request to the nurses to be allowed to execute this task.

Furthermore, it is also permissible to give the athaan and iqaamah some time after birth, like two or three hours. By this time the nurses would have finished their tasks with the baby.

It is also permissible to ask a Muslim nurse to read the athaan and iqaamah, but my guess is that the nurse will refuse and would rather make accommodation for the father to do this.

This answer was collected from AskMufti.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Siraj Desai of Darul-Uloom Abubakr, South Africa.

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