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The Sunnah of Tahneek

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  • The Sunnah of Tahneek

    Muslim Students' Association at UH


    (Rubbing a softened date upon the child's palate)


    The tahneek is another noble practice from Islam with which the newborn is greeted upon entering into the first moments of this life, before any other type of food enters his stomach.

    (A) Its Description and What is Used

    The tahneek here means softening a date and then rubbing the palate of the new-born with it just after the birth or soon after that. This is done by putting a piece of the date upon a finger and then entering the finger into the baby's mouth and rubbing it right and left.

    This is how it is done, with regard to what is used - then it is done with a (dried) date. Ibn Hajr said: "If one is not able to find a (dried) date, then a fresh date should be used, and if that is not available, then anything sweet."1

    It is not essential to chew the date before the tahneek, rather it may be softened in any way - since chewing the date before rubbing it in the baby's mouth as occurs in the ahaadeeth was something particular to the Messenger (peace be upon him) i.e. due to the blessing placed in his (peace be upon him) saliva. Therefore, it is sufficient to soften the date without chewing it, and then to rub it upon the child's palate.

    This action is to be done by the child's father or mother, or one of the people of knowledge and excellence2 whose supplication, it is hoped would be accepted. So he should perform tahneek and supplicate for blessings for the child - as was the practice of the Companions along with the Messenger (peace be upon him) all of this is allowed."3

    (B) Its Wisdom and its being a Prescribed Practice

    The tahneek is a recommended Sunnah, an-Nawawee said:

    "Scholars are agreed upon the recommendation of performing tahneek upon the baby after its birth".4 The Messenger performed tahneek upon a number of the children of his Companions, as is reported by 'Aa-ishah who said: "New-born children used to be brought to Allah's Messenger and he would supplicate for blessings for them, and rub a chewed date upon their palate".5

    And al-Bukhaaree and Muslim report from Aboo Moosaa who said: "A boy was born to me and so I came to the Prophet. (peace be upon him) . He called him Ibraaheem and rubbed his palate with a chewed date and supplicated for blessing for him and handed him to me".6

    And al-Bukaaree and Muslim report a hadeeth of Anas concerning his maternal brother - in which Aboo Talhah said to him: "Carry him to the Prophet" and he sent some dates along with him. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) took him and said: "Is there anything with him2". He said: "Yes, some dates." So Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) took and chewed them, then took them from his mouth and then placed them in the baby's mouth, rubbing his palate with them and he named him 'Abdullaah."7 And in another narration: "So the baby began to lick it, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The Ansaar have a love of dates"8

    (C) The Wisdom of Tahneek and its Benefits

    There are many benefits of the tahneek, both medical and non-medical. Some of these were perceived by the scholars and many were not and there follows some of these points of wisdom:

    (1) In performing the tahneek, one is following the Sunnah of the beloved Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) , and a revival of his Sunnah which he used to perform with his Companions - and this is more than sufficient wisdom in itself.

    (2) It is, furthermore, a Prophetic miracle and protects the child from a danger which has only recently become apparent to the medical profession. This is that new-born babies may die if their blood-sugar level is too low, and after the birth the baby's nutrition from its mother is cut off, so his body turns to whatever he has stored up whilst he was in his mother's womb - until his mother is able to breast-feed him. It is at this time that the child's organs are most active, so whatever stores it has may quickly be exhausted causing the blood-sugar level to drop and resulting in danger. We, therefore, find that rubbing the child's palate with a crushed date - which contains a large percentage of sugar - provides him with sugar which can pass into his system quickly and will be a protection for him from that deficiency should it occur. So how far above and free from any deficiency is Allah, the Most Wise!9

    (3) The tahneek also exercises the muscles of the mouth and helps with the circulation of blood in the mouth - which is brought about by rubbing the date upon the palate, and by the movement of the jaws when he chews and licks - this also helps the baby to be able to suck and take the mother's milk."10

    (4) Furthermore, as is well-known, the date has a number of different benefits for health - so performing tahneek as done by the Messenger-will produce a number of such benefits helping the body and health of the child.



    1. 'Fathul-Baaree' (9/588)

    2. [E.T. i.e. Scholars of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah as understood and practiced by the Companions and those who followed their way after them - not those claimants to (hidden) knowledge today who are ignorant of this, whose only currency is fables and superstition.]

    3. [ refer to point No. 5 of the section 'Mistakes made in welcoming the new-born child'.]

    4. an-Nawawee's Sharh of Saheeh Muslim, 4/122.

    5. Reported by Muslim and Aboo Daawood as has preceded

    6. al-Bukhaaree [E.T. 7/272/376] and Muslim [E.T. 3/1173/5343]

    7. Reported by al-Bukhaaree [E.T. 7/273/No.379] and Muslim [E.T. 3/1172/N0.5341]

    8. Reported by Muslim [E.T. 3/1172/No. 5340] and Aboo Daawood [E.T. 3/1377/No.4933]

    9. From the words of Dr. Faarooq Musaahil (adapted slightly) in 'al-Ummah' magazine (No. 50, p. 55)

    10. Refer to 'Tarbiyyatul-Awlaad fil-lslaam' of 'Abdullaah Naasih 'Alwaan (Vol. i, P. 71)

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    .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
    نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
    دولة الإسلامية باقية

  • #2
    The Sunnah of Tahneek

    The Sunnah of Tahneek

    The words of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallamsallallahu alayhi wasallamsallallahu alayhi wasallamsallallahu alayhi wasallamsallallahu alayhi wasallam) is recorded in the collections of his sayings and reports about him, of which the most revered are the two Saheeh collections of Bukhari and Muslim: Abu Buradah reported from Abu Moosa (radhiallahu anhu), who said:

    This was the prescription of Allah, the Creator, for Maryam (alayhas salaam) at the time of the birth of Eesa (alayhis salaam

    Source: Riyadhul Jannah (UK)
    smiles warm & shinin like d sun upon our faces :)
    hope is rich and green like d trees of an oasis :D
    d colours of ISLAM bloom in so many places :inlove:
    so many different colours of ISLAM ;)
    :love: :love:


    • #3
      MashAllah this is a nice post! thank you
      Please Re-update your Signature


      • #4
        Re: The Tahneek

        Is it sunnah to shave the hair of a newborn girl?
        ar - en - ur
        Regarding answer to ?14248 how did the sheik come to the verdict it is not sunnah to shave girls hair,dont girls have the harm in thier hair as well,is there difference of opinion.

        Praise be to Allaah.Al-Tirmidhi (1522) narrated that Samurah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The boy is in pledge for his ‘aqeeqah which should be slaughtered on his behalf on the seventh day, and he should be named and his head shaved.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, and it indicates that it is mustahabb to shave the hair of the newborn.
        The fuqaha’ differed with regard to shaving the head of a female newborn. The Maalikis and Shaafa’is are of the view that it should be shaved as the male’s head is shaved. The Hanbalis are of the view that it should not be shaved.
        The Shaafa’is quoted as evidence for shaving the head of a female the mursal report narrated by Maalik, al-Bayhaqi and others from Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn who said: Faatimah the daughter of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) weighed the hair of Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab and Umm Kalthoom, and gave the equivalent weight in silver in charity. Al-Bayhaqi also narrated it in a marfoo’ report from ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told Faatimah to give charity equal to the weight in silver of the hair of al-Husayn. Al-Nawawi said: There is some weakness in its isnaad.
        The argument of the Hanbalis is based on the fact that in principle women are not allowed to shave their heads, and there is no report concerning shaving the newborn except in the case of a boy.
        Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (1/104): It is proven in the reports that it is makrooh for a woman to shave her head unnecessarily. Abu Moosa said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) disavowed himself of women who raise their voices and shave their heads (at times of loss). Agreed upon.
        Al-Khallaal narrated with his isnaad from Qataadah that ‘Ikrimah said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade women to shave their heads, and al-Hasan said: It is mutilation – i.e., changing the creation of Allaah.
        Because there is no saheeh hadeeth which speaks of shaving the head of a newborn female, the principle remains, which is that it is forbidden to shave the head.
        See: Sharh al-Khurashi ‘ala Mukhtasar Khaleel (3/48); al-Majmoo’ (8/406); Kishshaaf al-Qinaa’ (3/29).
        With regard to the command to remove the harm that is mentioned in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “With the boy there is his ‘aqeeqah so shed blood on his behalf and remove the harm from him” (narrated by al-Bukhaari (5471), the phrase “remove the harm” may be interpreted in different ways. It was said that what is meant is shaving the head, or removing any dirt that is on it, such as blood etc. So it may be understood that it means it is mustahabb to wash it.
        Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (9/593): In the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas that is narrated by al-Tabaraani it says: “Remove the harm from him and shave his head.” So he added the idea of shaving the head after saying remove the harm. Therefore we should interpret the word adha (harm) as referring to something more general in meaning than shaving the head. This is supported by the fact in that some versions of the hadeeth of ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb it says: “and wipe the dirt from him”. Narrated by Abu’l-Shaykh. End quote.
        Whatever the case, the hadeeth refers to boys only (ghulaam) and this supports the view of the Hanbalis.
        And Allaah knows best.
        .لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض
        نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد
        دولة الإسلامية باقية



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