Previously Asked Questions
Baby and Children Questions:

Most of your questions about this topic will be answered by reviewing the Explanatory Notes for Song 35.

> In some cultures, the baby's birth hair is weighed and silver (or gold)
> is given away for that weight. What is the ruling for that?

The popular opinion in the Maliki school is that this is mandub to do as this
is a recorded action of the some of the Companions of the Prophet (May Allah
bless him and give him peace).

Another valid opinion is the Maliki school is that this is disliked (probably
so that people don't start believing it's a strong sunnah or wajib).

  [QF: volume 1: page 1666: lines(24-27)]

> Footnote 2169 explains that a newborn baby's head should be shaved on the
> seventh day. can it be shaved at a later date? If so, when is the latest
> possible date to shave and still fulfill the sunnah?

The popular opinion in the Maliki school is that the seventh day is
significant in and by itself.  Thus, it is always mandub to shave the
baby's birth hair in an attempt to follow the Prophet (May Allah bless him
and give him peace), regardless of when it occurs, but shaving the baby's
birth hair is a stronger mandub on the seventh day.

   Refer to the Notes of Sources entries for verses 1375-1376 of the Guiding

> What is the validity  of a cultural belief that the parents should not eat
> the meat of the sacrificed for their newborn child?

We have no knowledge of the basis of this cultural belief in our din.  The
general rule is that sacrificial animals may be either eaten or given away in
charity.  However, it is not wajib to eat it nor to give any portion away in
charity.  In any case, one may not sell any part of the sacrificial animal for
personal profit.

   Footnotes 1139-1147 of the Guiding Helper Explanatory Notes and associated
   entries in the Notes of Sources.

> Footnote 2166 mentions the slaughtering after birth. What is the ruling on
> having a feast/aqiqah celebration? is it ok to simply sacrifice the animal and
> give it away in charity w/o having a celebration?

It is actually encouraged in the Maliki school to *not* have a large gathering
for the `aqiqah celebration.  One may hold a small feast with one's family
if one wants - or hold no feast at all.  It is not a significant mandub to
hold such a feast.  However, it is generally always mandub to feed people
food as the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) said:  "Feed
people food, and spread the salam..." [al-Bukhari]

   [QF: volume 1: page 166: line(s) 15]

> Is contraception makruh, if used for material reasons
> e.g. fear of not being to provide for baby, etc? what is the view
> regarding overpopulation and sustenance for numerous children?

In the Maliki school, "natural" methods of birth control
are mubah and not makruh as long as both the husband and
wife agree.

   [{QF; volume 1; book 11; chapter 6; section 2}]
   Guiding Helper Explanatory Notes, footnote(s):  2295

As for fear of not being able to provide for a baby, we put our
trust in Allah *after* the child is born or conceived as Allah

  And do not kill your children for fear of poverty.  We will
  provide for them and you also.  Indeed killing them is
  a big mistake.  [chapter 17, verse 31]

As for *before* it is born or conceived, it is permissible to
practice caution as laid out by some hadith of the Prophet
(May Allah bless him and give him peace) and the general
principle found in the verse:

   "And let those who do not find [means] for marriage restrain
    themselves. . . [al-Nur, 33]

As for overpopulation, it is a direct result of modern man tinkering
with the natural system of high infant mortality.  It is for this
reason (i.e., the low infant mortality rate brought about by modern
medicine and vaccines) that we have listed the rulings about
birth control in the Maliki school in prominent locations in the
Guiding Helper.

> It mentions in the guiding helper that urine/feces of a human
> is najas. is there any ruling that says the urine and/or feces of
> a baby is *not* najas. If so, up to what age?

The opinion we have narrated is the popular opinion in the Maliki
school given in [KH: volume 1: page 94: lines(s) I6-7].

But, yes, another valid opinion exists that states that the urine
of infants is pure up until the time that they start eating solid food.

However, this opinion does not include the "feces" of infants.

The *feces* of all humans regardless of age or gender is considered
impure in the Maliki school without much disagreement.

 [{QF: volume 1: book 2; chapter 5; section 1; summary}]

> Is it haram for a boy who has not reached puberty to wear gold and/or
> silk? (i.e. babies, toddlers, etc.)

Technically speaking, nothing is haram for children who have not
reached puberty.

But it *is* unlawful for the parent or guardian to accustom his/her
children to unlawful acts. For example, it is unlawful to
for a parent to give a baby vodka or wine in his baby bottle,
to teach the child to steal (pick-pocket), to teach the child
to kill other human beings, etc.

Thus, the parent may *not* make his male child wear a gold alloy
piece of jewelry or pure silk clothes. However, there is nothing
wrong in making the child wear "fake gold" (shiny yellow metallic
jewelry) or silver jewelry or smooth and shiny clothes made of
synthetic fiber. In other words, there are a lot more options
available than what is restricted and one may explore and be creative
in the permissible options instead of focusing on the things that
are clearly forbidden or on the borderline of being forbidden.

Footnote 2192 & 2193 of the Guiding Helper Explanatory Notes
Footnote 73 of the Guiding Helper Explanatory Notes
and associated entries in the Notes of Sources.

Now the Prophet(May Allah bless him and give him peace)
in his hadith said, "Clothes/jewelry (libas) of silk and gold
are forbidden for the *males* of my nation and are permissible
for the females of them."

[{Tirmidhi, clothing, silk and gold, hadith #1642}]

In the above sahih hadith, no age qualification is given for the

[As a side note, this is an issue of disagreement and many scholars
(primarily outside the Maliki school have allowed male children to
wear gold and silk (e.g., on `Id). Ref:  Sharh Muslim by al-Nawawi]

> I have a number of questions regarding custody:
> (1) When a person in the priority list doesn't live in the same area (within
> the 12 hours travel area), then the person next in the list will get the
> custody is this right?

Yes this is correct.

   Footnote 2318 of the Explanatory Notes and Associated Entries in the
   Notes of Sources.

> (2) What if the person in the list is a non-muslim who might influence
> the child negativelly either by influencing the child's commitment to the
> Deen or to leave the Deen. would such a person get the custody?

No.  2318.(b) also includes irresponsibility in din.  However, the
complication is when the mother is non-Muslim (e.g., Christian/Jewish)
and she gets divorced from her Muslim husband.  In such a case, normally
speaking, the children would be given to the father, but in the West
we would recommend that a cooperative agreement is reached between the
two as Ibn `Asim and the Maliki Scholars emphasize the role of the mother
in providing the *love* necessary to raise children which otherwise
the children would be deprived from.

   [QF: volume 1: page(s) 194: line(s) 15-16: {Book 11, Chapter 10, Issue
    2 in what makes one unqualified for child custody}]

> (3) In the case of a girl should she be placed in a familly where the man in a
> mahram. If this is the case then it seem reasonable that in some cases several
> persons can be jumped over

The chain order given is the order which tells us who has the first
*responsibility* to take care of the child.  If a person who is listed later
is willing to take care of the child, then he/she can take care of the child
as long as those who are listed before him/her are either unqualified or
*willfully* give up the custody of the child.

If the people who are listed first do not willfully give up custody, then
the case must be taken to an Islamic Judge or local imam for him to decide
to whom custody should be given.

[QF: volume 1: page(s) 194,195: line(s) 26,1: {Book 11, Chapter 10,
  Derivative Ruling 4 about whether child rearing is a responsibility
  for the person who has custody or not. }]

> (4) What are the rights of the person who have custody in modern western
> terms? Does this mean that the child lives with the person who has the custody
> and that he/she is responssible to decide on schooling, health care etc.? in
> all these cases does the father's opinion taken into consideration?

The father if present, Muslim, and qualified (as defined in footnote 2318.(b))
will still have the right to decide on major issues concerning the male child
before puberty and the female child before the first marriage.

If the father is dead, cannot easily be contacted, or is unqualified, then
he need not be asked for advice on such matters.

The father in all cases remain *financially* responsible for the child if
able to provide.

[QF: volume 1: page(s) 194,195: line(s) 26,1: {Book 11, Chapter 10,
  Derivative Ruling 4 about whether child rearing is a responsibility
  for the person who has custody or not. }]

> (5) Is it allowed for a person who has the custody to allow the child to live
> with one of the parents? Do the persons next in the list/or one of the parents
> have the right to object such a decision?

The rule is given above in that if *all* the *qualified* people who are listed
first have no qualms about giving the custody to a person listed later, then
there is no problem with the situation and no further action needs to be taken.

However, if someone who is qualified and listed first objects to giving custody
of the child to someone who is listed later (in the chain order given in lines
1479 to 1484 of the Guiding Helper, then the case must be taken to the local
Muslim judge or imam (if no judge has been appointed) to decide.

> (6) The role of the person who has the custody seems to me a bit ambiguous: is
> it a right or responssiblity (wajib)? and is it the child's right or the
> person's right?

As mentioned in footnote 2305, child care is a *responsibility* and a *right*
for the people listed in lines 1479 to 1484 of the Guiding Helper.

What this means is that if no one is willing to take care of the child, then
it is wajib for the person with the greatest precedence in the chain order
to take the child in to his/her home and provide care as if the child were
his/her own biological offspring.

What this also means is that if two or more people desire to take custody
of the same child, only the one who has higher precedence and is qualified
should be given custody.

> >(7) in footnote 2383 (GH version of 2001) seems to lack precision. It says:
> "However, he is responsible for paying half of the rent or payments for the
> residence in which the divorced woman is raising the children in (until she
> gets married again)." <-- it seems better for me to write until the woman
> loses the custody (death, re-mariage, un-capability to take responssibility )

Yes.  You understand correctly.

Also please note that this particular requirement of the husband giving payments
for the divorced woman’s residence has disagreement about it in the Maliki

 [QF: volume 1: page(s) 194,195: line(s) 25: {Book 11, Chapter 10,
  Derivative Ruling 3 about the rent of the residence in which the
  person who has custody is taking care of the child. }]

> (8) Is it allowed for the parents decide to make and arrangement regarding
> keeping the child 50% of the time by the two parents and decide together even
> if the mother remarries? (one can consider a case of a son or a daughter)

If the arrangement is to be other than the simple ordered chain mentioned in
the Explanatory Notes, then a qualified Muslim judge must be presented the
situation and he can authorize a more complicated custody set-up.

> (9) What if the man travels with the child to a remote place with the
> intention to get custody and psychologically harm the woman? How can one prove
> that the husband is a fasiq or otherwise non-elligible for custody when moving
> to a remote?

The Muslim judge is this situation is the safety valve for such extreme
situations.  The judge can issue a decree declaring the man unfit (as defined
in footnote 2318.(b)) to take care of the child.

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