Muslim Birth Values and Traditions
Each culture and religion has its own customs and traditions for the birth of a child. During and after the birth of a Muslim child, there are certain rituals the mother and father must perform. Some of these traditions are culturally inspired, and others are performed according to passages in the Quran that give appropriate actions after childbirth. (Lee, 2012). Special values and practices specific to Muslims during pregnancy, delivery, newborn care and feeding, and postpartum care are important considerations for health care professionals.
Like people of most cultures, the news of pregnancy brings great joy to Muslim families. Along with her happiness, a woman carrying a baby acquires special values including higher levels of taqwa (consciousness of Allah), and undoubting trust in Him. (Dakir, 2012). It is traditional for a mother to begin reading the Quran to her unborn child following the first few months of pregnancy when the fetus is known to hear sounds from outside the mother’s body. Muslim women capitalize on this time with their child, dedicating time to read passages from the Quran. The goal of this dedicated time is to divide the passages of the Quran so that the baby hears it in its entirety before delivery. (Lee, 2012). During her pregnancy, a woman will also begin to discuss names with her husband and family, traditionally following a naming system. For example, if the father’s name is “Abdul Rashid Rahman, the infant’s given name would be Rashid Rahman.” (Gatrad, 2011).
If a fetal death occurs, or if a baby is very ill, parents or other family members of the baby may wish to give the baby Holy Water, known as Zam Zam. Following death, the baby’s face should be turned towards Mecca, or to the right, and the arms and legs to be straightened. The eyes and mouth of the baby should be closed. (Sheikh, 2011). It is customary for the baby to be cleaned and wrapped in a...