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What’s in a Name?

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Last Updated on Thursday, 26 October 2017 16:34

Dawood … Salmaa … Mu‘aaz … - Each and every name is as unique as the individual bearing the name. But how are children named? Or rather, more importantly, how should a child be named?

Naming a child is normally a ‘once in a lifetime’ occurrence and is thus shown great importance. The matter is often debated and discussed for months on end before the child has even entered the world. While it is not necessary to spend months deliberating different names, what is necessary is that we give the child a good name, as he or she will bear this name for life, and also because the name of the child has an effect on the child. Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instructed the Ummah to give their children good names, and he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would himself change the name of a person who had been given an unsuitable name.

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Tahneek

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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 September 2017 11:07

Among the teachings of Islam is that one carry out the tahneek of the newborn child.

Tahneek is for one to soften a date (or any other sweet food) by chewing it until it becomes a paste (so that it is easy for the child to swallow) and to thereafter place it in the mouth of the newborn child. It is preferable that the one carrying out the tahneek be a pious person. There are many ahaadeeth which mention Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) performing tahneek for the children of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum).

The primary reason for one to carry out the tahneek is that it is the teaching of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Nevertheless, the practice of tahneek contains numerous physical and health benefits as well.

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First Impressions

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Last Updated on Thursday, 03 August 2017 15:10

The phrase ‘first impressions are lasting impressions’ is well known. Hence, when going to the home of one’s prospective in-laws for a proposal or when going for a job interview, a person ensures that he is on his very best behavior, as he wishes to create a positive impression that will hopefully remain a lasting impression.

Similarly, Islam teaches us that when a child is born, then the very first thing that should be done is to call out the azaan in his right ear and the iqaamah in his left ear. In this manner, the child’s very first impression is the impression of Islam and the greatness of Allah Ta‘ala.

Aside from being a teaching of Islam, this azaan and iqaamah in the ears of the newborn child contains numerous benefits. If the very first words that the child heard, when entering the world, were the words of the kalimah in the azaan, then it is hoped that the final words of the child, when leaving this world, will also be the words of the kalimah. An additional benefit is that of repelling Shaitaan. When the azaan is called out, Shaitaan is forced to flee. Hence, as soon as the child is born, we chase Shaitaan away and ensure that the child hears the invitation to Deen in the form of azaan.

Finally, the name of Allah Ta‘ala and the kalimah are such that they have a definite, positive effect on the person hearing them, even if he does not realize it. Thus, we strengthen the Deen of this newborn child with the kalimah and azaan, just as the doctors attempt to strengthen his immune system with vitamin injections, etc.

   

Du‘aa for the Parents and Newborn

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Last Updated on Thursday, 04 May 2017 11:45

Islam is a Deen that teaches us to love for others that which we love for ourselves. Hence, when our friends or relatives are blessed with a child, we should be happy for them and try to increase their joy. We should congratulate them on the blessing that they have received from Allah Ta‘ala and make du‘aa for them, as du‘aa is one of the greatest gifts that a person can give the next.

Furthermore, doing so will not only strengthen our ties and create love among us, but will also bring us barakah as when a person makes du‘aa for the next person, Allah Ta‘ala accepts that same du‘aa for the one who made it. Thus, a very effective method of making our children obedient and pious is to make du‘aa that Allah Ta‘ala grant others pious and obedient children.

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The Bitter Pill with Sweet Results

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 16:09

For everything in life, there is both a procedure and price. If a person wishes to build a house, he understands that the structure will cost him a substantial sum of money and that it will not spring up overnight. Similarly, if a person wishes to become a highly qualified specialist in the medical field, he will understand that he will first have to work his way through school, matriculate with good marks, gain admission into a university, pass through the various years, etc., before his aspiration can eventually be realized. This is the simple yet inescapable system that dominates in all facets of life.

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