Most people think that a marriage life without the presence of children is such an incompleteness. It is like a big hole in the middle of this earth, as they will maintain the existence of the parents’ genes and take care of them when they are getting older. Thus, it can be said that children are precious gift from Allah, and their presence is very much awaited by parents-to-be.
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَٰجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّٰتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَٱجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا“And those who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.’” (Al-Furqan: 74)
When a newborn baby is coming, parents have a lot of choices to do to celebrate it as the symbol of their gratefulness. They may hold a party or upload the portrait of their babies in social media, things which can show their happiness. However, as Muslims, Al-Qur’an and hadith have to be the foundations in everything we do. There are excellent Islamic rules for newborn baby explained in it.
Adhan given at newborn is a common thing practiced to welcome a little human who has just come to this world. On one hand, this is included as one of newborn baby rights in Islam. Even though most Muslims may consider it as necessity, actually adhan recited to newborn is sunnah. Allah does not mention it in Al-Qur’an, but Rasulullah (pbuh) practiced it.
As a matter of fact, there are two opposite opinions of the law of reciting adhan at newborn. The first one, it is not recommended in Islam since a hadith discussing it is in the grade of da’if. This hadith was judged as da’if because one of its narrators was considered weak by some hadith authorities.
On the other hand, there is also a hassan hadith about giving adhan to newborn baby. This becomes the foundation of the second opinion that reciting adhan at newborn is sunnah or recommended.
عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي رَافِعٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَذَّنَ فِي أُذُنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ – حِينَ وَلَدَتْهُ فَاطِمَةُ – بِالصَّلاَةِ .“Narrated Abu Rafi’, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) uttering the call to prayer (adhan) in the ear of al-Hasan ibn Ali when Fatimah gave birth to him.’” (Sunan Abi Dawood)
The above hadith clearly shows that adhan given at newborn was implemented for the first time by Rasulullah (pbuh) to his beloved grandson, al-Hasan ibn Ali. As we have known, what Rasulullah did and said are the source of sunnah for Muslims, and at the same time there is importance of sunnah in Muslim life.
Everything ruled and ordered in Islam must contain goodness. In this case, specifically, there are three reasons why is adhan given at newborn.
- Symbol of Tawheed
Islam as a deen is the first thing parents should instil to their children. It is the principle of life. By reciting adhan to a newborn baby, parents have done their early responsibility to introduce the existence of Allah as the one to worship.
قُولُوٓا۟ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰٓ إِبْرَٰهِۦمَ وَإِسْمَٰعِيلَ وَإِسْحَٰقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَٱلْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ ٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُۥ مُسْلِمُونَ“Say, [O believers], ‘We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Ya’qub and the Descendants and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.’” (Al-Baqarah: 136)
The adhan is the explicit statement and reminder as well that the baby has entered Islam. Therefore, it also contains a hope of the parents and graceful dua for a newborn baby that he will be a good human who worships Allah in the best way.
- Welcoming Baby with Good Words
In adhan, there lies pray and praise for Allah and His prophet. These good words are worth to be the very first knowledge for the baby. Even though the baby looks like such an innocent human being, the sound or the words he hears are unconsciously internalized in his memory.
What a wonderful thing if the first words the baby hears are about the majesty and greatness of Allah, his Creator. These words will have great effect on the mind and spirit of the newborn baby. For the memory registered in early childhood is long-term memory and can create a habit, certainly it is hoped that the baby will always choose the straight path in his life.
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَٰقَ بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ وَبِٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَٱلْيَتَٰمَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَٰكِينِ وَقُولُوا۟ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مُّعْرِضُونَ“And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], ‘Do not worship except Allah, and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah.’ Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing.” (Al-Baqarah: 83)
- Protecting Newborn from Devil
A normal newborn baby must cry when he sees this world for the first time. This is a sign that he is touched by devil. Reciting adhan is the way to make the devil run away from the newborn.
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، جَمِيعًا عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، بِهَذَا الإِسْنَادِ وَقَالاَ ” يَمَسُّهُ حِينَ يُولَدُ فَيَسْتَهِلُّ صَارِخًا مِنْ مَسَّةِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِيَّاهُ ” . وَفِي حَدِيثِ شُعَيْبٍ ” مِنْ مَسِّ الشَّيْطَانِ ” .“Narrated Zuhri, ‘The newborn child is touched by the satan (when he comes in the world) and he starts crying because of the touch of satan.’” (Muslim)
In addition, the recitation of adhan in the ear of the newborn is to ensure that the call to true faith comes first before the whispering to evil. In other words, it is done as the effort to save the newborn, since there is order in Qur’an verses to protect ourselves from djinn.
Adhan is one of the symbols in Islam which contains a lot of virtues. Besides its main function as the call for the prayer, adhan is a reminder of the oneness of Allah, the incredibility of Rasulullah (pbuh), and our duty as worshippers. It is great to hear the good words of adhan in the first time we see this world, and in the last time we see this world also.