Good morning everybody!
Last night I was talking to my friend who is expecting her second baby. She sounded tired, exhausted and waiting for the majical moment to come!
I hope she gives birth to her baby son safely and soon because she feels that she'll explode and she is soooo anxious to see him!!
Anyways, after talking to my friend, I thought of telling you a little bit about protocols of receiving a baby in the UAE.
The mother founds out she is pregnant and shares this very happy news with ONLY her husband, parents and parents in law. Some women only tell their husbands until they completed their first trimester or the first three months of their pregnancy. After that, they tell their relatives and friends.
Before the Due Date, or before giving birth to the cute little bundle of joy, the parents to be organizes something called "Tawzee'at", which means presents to distribute or offer to visitors who will visit the mother in the hospital.
After birth, people tend to send text messages to all of their relatives and friends announcing the arrival of their new baby. Indeed, long time ago there was nothing called a text message ^_^ it is a new trend.
The text message can be a simple line or a very unique poetry with the name of the baby (knowing that poetry is very very important in the Arab Gulf area and it is highly valued), or the picture of the new baby himself/herself.
When people know this happy news, they visit the mother in the hospital. her family and friends gather and share this happy moment with the new parents.
Of course her room should include:
Arabic coffee, tea, dates, choclates, sweets and all kinds of stuff to show good hospitality.
one of the things that Muslim Arabs do is let someone from the baby's relatives (The father, the grandfather, the uncle, etc.) to whisper the Adhan (Islamic call for prayer) in the right ear of the newborn and the Iqamah in the left ear directly after birth.
I have explained in one of my posts what is the Adhan and what is the Iqamah. but I am going to explain them again.
Adhan is a call to prayer. It's longer and played loud so that people can hear it in their homes. Iqamah is a shorter “call to prayer” that is made immediately prior to each of the five daily Islamic prayers, to let people know that the prayer is about to begin. It is performed by one male in congregation.
The words of the “iqamah” are similar to those of the Adhan, but it is said more quickly: “Allah is Great; Allah is Great; I bear witness that nothing is worthy of worship except Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; Come to Prayer; Come to Success; Prayer has begun; Prayer has begun; Allah is Great; Allah is Great; There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah.”
The length of time between Adhan and Iqamah differs from place to place. In some countries it's 10-15 minutes (to give people time to come to the mosque).
You might ask, why do Muslims whisper the Adhan and Iqamah in the ears of a newborn?
If you have noticed, When Muslims hear the Adhan, they prepare themselves for prayer, and when they hear the Iqamah, they start praying.
But, whispering the Adhan and Iqamah in the ears of a newborn occurs or happens without performing prayer. So, you might ask, why? and I'll tell you that when a Muslim person dies, people perfom prayer without saying an Adhan or Iqamah.
The whole meaning of this explanation is for us to realise and know for sure that life is short, and we should live it in a good way that will make us enter heaven Insha'Allah.
After two or three days in the hospital (according to the mother's health condition), the newly mum goes back home, not with her husband, but to her parent's house. She stays with her parents for 40 days, where she can be taken care of and receives help with her new baby. After the 40 days, she goes back home with her husband.
When the baby is seven days old (after a week of giving birth), the family organizes a kind of celebration called "Aqiqa", which means sacrificing or slaughtering one or two or more sheeps or goats in honor of the new baby. They then invite their relatives and friends, eat, celebrate and enjoy the moments together. Some parents shave their babies' hair and others don't.
Also, if the baby is a boy, he should be circumcised after a week from birth. If he did not get circumcised when he is a week old, then he should be as soon as possible or before reaching the age of puberty. But the sooner the better.
When the baby is 40 days old, the parents and the family tend to have a similar celebration called "Tuloo", when they distribute presents and sweets to their relatives and friends.
Last but not least:
When the baby grows up a little bit and takes his/her first step then start walking, parents enjoy this happy moment in a celebration called "Nuthoor". My friend for instance, celebrated her son's Nuthoor by inviting family members and friends with their kids, filled her backyard with balloons, brought a clown, a face painter, a pop corn machine, a bouncy castle and of course dinner and it was AMAZING!
Having a baby is one of the happiest things ever...I wish every woman can feel its joy because it is a blessing from Allah.