Ethnicity Online

Cultural Awareness in Healthcare

Muslims: Birth, Babies And Motherhood

The birth of a new child is a time of great rejoicing in the Muslim community as they are a sign of favour from Allah. Children are often referred to in Islam as 'wealth'.

after the birth

Wash babies immediately after birth to remove all impurities. The first sound that a baby hears ought to be its father (or male relative) whispering the call to prayer or adhan into the right ear and then the left ear. This helps the baby to understand its duty to Allah from the very start of its independent life.

Traditionally, if a baby cries during the necessary post-birth health checks, it is comforted by placing a date in its mouth to suck on. The sweetness of the date welcomes the child to the sweetness of leading a good life. Honey may also be used to welcome the child, whether it cries or not. Some Muslims believe that it is an honour to be the one to place honey or dates onto the child's tongue because some of their qualities are transferred to the child. This person may then be regarded as equivalent to a 'godparent' to the child.