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Sunnah of putting dates for new-born and science

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seekshidayath View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 January 2009 at 10:35pm
As Salamu Alaikum
It is a long-established custom among Muslim parents to put a piece of a well-chewed date {or other available sweet fruit} in the mouth of a new born baby. Muslims do this following the practice of the Prophet Muhammad{ Peace be upon him}, believing him to be, as the Qur'an says. sent as a healing and a mercy to mankind. We may infer from the way this custom originated that there is a virtue in it . There is - complimentary to the virtue and pleasure of following the sunnah {practice of Prophet} - placing a "sugary substance" inside the mouth of a new-born baby dramatically reduces pain sensation and heart rate. An intresting scientific medical study , published in the British Medical Journal {No 6993, 10 June 1995}, proved beyond any doubt the benefit of giving a new-born child sugar, in prder to reduce the feeling of any painful procedure like heel pricking for a blood sample or before circumcision.

The study entitled 'The analgesic {pain killing} effect of sucrose in full term infants : a randomised controlled trial", was done by Nora Haourari, Christopher Wood, Gillian Griffiths and Malcolm Levene in the post-natal ward in the Leeds General Infirmary in England. 60  healthy infants of gestational age 37-42 weeks and post-natal age of 1-6 days, were randomized to receive 2ml of one of the four solutions : 12.5% sucrose, 25% sucrose, 50% sucrose and sterile water {control}

The  first group of 30 babies received sugar syrup before a routine blood test {heel pricking which is usually painful} done to detech jaundice. The other 30 babies were given only sterile 

water as control group. Placing 2ml of a 25% or 50% sucrose solution on the tongue before pricking the heel significantly  reduced the crying time, compared to babies who got water. Also, their heart rate returned to normal more quickly. The stronger sugar solution had the greater efffect, crying being reduced further with the increasing concentration of sucrose. From which we may conclude that sucrose {sugar} placed on the tongue may be useful and safe form of analgesia for use with newborn infants.

Blass and Hoffmeyer also showed that 12% solution of inter-oral sucrose significantly reduced the duration of crying in new-born babies subjected to heel pricking or circumcision. This study was reported in The Independent newspaper {Friday 9 June 1995} as well as in the British Medical Journal article.

The practice of Muhammad { peace be upon him} is recorded in the collection of his sayings and reports, of which the most revered are the two Sahih collections of Bukhari and Muslim : Abu Buradah reported from Abu Musa , who said : "I had a new-born baby ; I took him to the Prophet Muhammad {peace be upon him}. The prophet chewed a date then he took it and rubbed the inside of the baby's mouth with it. There are many other such reported incidents.

The date contains a very high percentage of sugar {70-80 %}; it has both fructose and glucose which have high calorific values, it is easily and quickly digestable, and very helpful to the brain.

The date contains 2.2% protein , vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2 adnicotruic acid {against Pellagra};

have high calorificvalues, it is easily and quickly digestable, and very helpful to the brain. It has traces of minerals needed for a body such as potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper. Potassium , of  which percentage is very high, has beed found to be very effective for cases of haemorrhage , such as the occasions of birth or circumcision.

We may note that the Sunnah also commends dates for the breaking of fast in the holy month of Ramdhan. Dates shud be eaten , if available, before the sun-set prayer - this is medically and nutritionally the best way and the Sunnah.

The great worth of dates is also indicated in a famous and beautiful passage of Qura'n, Surah Maryam

"And shake towards you the trunk of the palm-tree and it will drop on you fresh ripe dates. So eat and drink and be comforted.

This was the prescription of God, the Creator, for the blessed Virgin Mary at the time of birth of

Jesus, the blessed Prophet of God. It was a prescription to make it easy and comfortable. As in the example we have briefly recorded , we believe further research will confirm for those who still dount the full worth and truth, the wisdom, of the teachings of Quran and sunnah.

"We shall show then our signs of the furthest horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not sufficient thatt your Lord is witness over all things " {Quran 41 : 53}

As the authors of the medical study referred to intend trying new sugary or sweet substances , we shall recommend that they try dates for the newborn for relief of pain.

Source : Islamic Voice Magazine

Edited by seekshidayath - 26 January 2009 at 10:37pm
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ´┐ŻAll the descendants of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who repent."
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seeknowledge View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seeknowledge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2009 at 9:16am
Good explanation. I always wondered why my mother insisted me to give honey and say adhan in his ear on very first day of new born. It makes lot more sense now. As muslims we should find reasons for things we do and substantiate with some sort of proof that following a custom is indeed beneficial
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Chrysalis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chrysalis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2009 at 10:58am
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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