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Muslim Birth Ceremonies

Length - 06:30
Published - Sep 2015
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Muslim Birth Ceremonies – Omaima has a new baby cousin called Jenna and is looking forward to babysitting duties. Before Jenna was born, Omaima went to visit parents-to-be Hawra and Mustafa to talk about their plans for the birth and the various traditions that Muslim families follow when a baby is born.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:



Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices –Practices - Worship - Islam - Shahadah: declaration of faith and its place in Muslim practice.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices –Key beliefs - Authority - Islam - Risalah (Prophethood) including the role and importance of Muhammad



Area of Study 3 - Section 3: Living the Muslim Life - Islam - Shahadah as one of the Five Pillars: the nature, role and significance of Shahadah for Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, including reference to Surah 3: 17–21; why reciting Shahadah is important for Muslims, and its place in Muslim practice today.
Area of Study 1 - Section 1: Muslim Beliefs - Islam -RiSalah: the nature and importance of prophethood for Muslims, what the role of Muhannad teaches Muslims.



Component Group 1–Practices - Islam - The meaning of the Five Pillars: • Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith

Public acts of worship - The place of Shahadah in Muslim practice, including the first words uttered to a new born, for converting to the faith and said by/to the dying •Shahada has the only ‘non-action’ pillar



2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A Islam - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam -Prayer/ Salat  Adhan call to prayer, praying at mosque and Friday Jummah prayer (Qur'an 15:9899, 29:45)  Praying at home, private prayer (Du'ah)  The preparations and intention for prayer: wudu and niyyah  The significance and symbolism of the different prayer positions that make a rakat (sequence of prayer) Obligatory Acts  Shahadah: the Muslim profession of faith in Allah and the prophet Muhammad; occasions when the Shahadah is recited, e.g. aqiqah ceremony, conversion to Islam  Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit others, what zakat tax may be used for, and additional charity (saddaqah)  Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan. How and why Muslims fast during Ramadan and rules about halal and haram diet (Qur'an 2:183)



Component 3 (Route A): Study of a World Faith: Option 3: Islam:Practices: The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam: practices in Britain and elsewhere: Shahadah: the Muslim statement of faith: Qur'an 3:18

Muslim Birth Ceremonies

Omaima  I'm Omaima, and this is my beautiful new cousin, Jenna. She was born just a few weeks ago, so I'm still a little bit nervous when I hold her. She's so tiny and fragile. In a Muslim family like ours, how we begin our lives is important. We believe that we are born Muslims and we don't become Muslims later on in life. Before Jenna was born, I went to speak to her mum and dad about their plans for her birth.

Omaima  Hi, how are you?

Hawra     How are you?

Mustafa  I've really enjoyed married life. It's been a great opportunity to share all my thoughts, my ideas, uh, get a lot of support from my wife, but I'm now looking forward to the next stage of our married life and really bringing up a child. Teaching the baby things and caring for the baby, introducing them to our friends, and, and our extended family, and, and you know, I think that's going to be a really, sort of, special time.

Omaima  What's the first thing you do to welcome the baby to Islam?

Hawra     When the baby is ready the first thing that we will do is to read the call for prayer in Arabic. It's adhan and iqamah .Adhan is the first part of the call for prayers, is recited in the right ear of the baby, and the iqamah is recited in the left ear of the baby.

Mustafa  (Mustafa recites call to prayer in Arabic.)

Mustafa  We start off with reciting that God is great. Allahu akbar. We recite it four times and then we declare that there is no God but Allah. So, Ash-hadu an-la ilaha illa Allah, which is recited twice.

Hawra     It can be read by anyone, but generally the dad is there, so he will be the first one to read. It's seen as a blessing for them and for the baby, uh, so people like being there.

Omaima  Do you know what you're going to call the baby?

Hawra     We have got a few names in mind, uh, and then we will decide on the day, I think. Uh, but in Islam, it's recommended to call the babies after the names of the 99 names of God. One of the 99 names is, uh, Raheem, and Raheem means, uh, merciful. There is a prophetic saying that says, uh, I think about 50% of a name of a child does affect the personality. So by giving them beautiful name like merciful, you would hope that child would be merciful to others when they grow up.

Hawra     There are lots of other traditions in Islam when the baby is born. Um, one of them is tahneek, putting something sweet in the mouth of the baby, be a bit of date or a bit of honey, and this means this baby would grow into, uh, someone with a sweet nature.

Omaima  What other things do people do when the baby is born?

Mustafa  If the baby is a boy, we will be, uh, going through a tradition that we have, which started from the prophet Abraham or Ibrahim, who was, uh, one of the messengers and the prophets of God. And, he, he circumcised his son, and that ever since, uh, our traditions is that we've continued this, um, this practice. And so, what we'll be organising is inviting a doctor to remove the foreskin of the penis, and this sort of resembles and signifies purity. Some people do it after three months, some people do it after six months. But usually it's between the first three years of the birth of the child.

Hawra     One of the traditions that, uh, Muslims practice when the baby is born is the aqiqah, which is done on the seventh day. Um, it's basically introducing the baby to the whole family, bringing everyone together, sharing a big meal. Traditionally, people slaughter an animal, but, uh, I wiil be just ordering some food from the restaurant, the easy way.

Mustafa  So I'm really delighted to have all our friends and family here with us today to share with you the joyful occasion that we have been very lucky that Jenna has blessed our lives.

Guest      Okay. Question number six. In the Holy Quran, Ayatul Mubahala was found in Surah Al-baqara. True or false?

Mustafa  So one part, of the aqiqah is to shave the hair of the baby and weigh it and find out the value of that weight in gold and its worth. And then it's seen as a really important blessing to give that to charity. And, so that's something that we would like to do. I'm not sure if Laura will let me shave the hair, the baby. As it's winter and it's going to be cold.

Omaima  We've had a really great day celebrating Jenna today. The food was amazing. The quiz was really good. My team nearly won, but most importantly, it was really nice to spend my time with my friends and family.

Omaima  Jenna has been given an amazing welcome to the world. Hawra, Mustafa and the whole family have done everything they could to make sure she is loved and looked after and brought up as a Muslim. I'm looking forward to babysitting her, just maybe not changing the nappies.