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Birth & Death

Birth Rites

 

 

Birth & the Call to Prayer

 

  • The practice of regular prayer is the most fundamental practice in Islam and the Adhan is the call to prayer. It is heard by Muslims all over the world five times a day.
  • It is these very beautiful words that are the first to be heard by a baby born into a Muslim family. The Adhan is whispered by the father in his son or daughter's right ear soon after delivery. 

 

 

Circumcision

 

  • Islam encourages male circumcision with the sole purpose of facilitating cleanliness. Removing the foreskin ensures one is devoid of urine before performing prayers. It also acts to prevent disease and infections such as balanitis. 
  • The male child may be circumcised at any time which is convenient without ceremony; in Britain many GPs will offer private services and it is usually performed a few weeks after birth.
  • Although recommended it is not an obligation on those who become Muslim later on in life.

 

 

Aqeeqah

 

  • The aqeeqah is not an obligatory birth rite but is highly recommended and was practised at the time of the Prophet. When a child is born a sheep is slaughtered and family and friends are invited to a meal, in order to allow everyone to share in the happy event. Traditionally the child is also named and his/her head shaved at this time.

 

 

Parent-Child Relations

 

  • Among Muslims, children are very much loved and wanted, a precious gift and blessing from God. Many couples choose to have large families because they genuinely love and want several children.

 

 

Death Rites

 

 

Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that the present life is only a journey or preparation for the next realm of existence.


When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed, usually by a family member, wrapped in a clean white cloth and buried with a simple prayer, preferably the same day. Muslims consider this one of the final services they can do for their relatives and an opportunity to remember their own brief existence here on earth. The Prophet taught that three things can continue to help a person even after death;

 

  • charity which he had given
  • knowledge which he had taught and
  • prayers on their behalf by a righteous child



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