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birth Rites


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A hadith holds that a child is born Muslim; it is the child's parents who make him or her a Jew or Christian, and so there is no need for a rite of initiation such as baptism or circumcision. Consequently the relatively few Islamic birth rites are recommended rather than juridically obligatory. In customary practice, often an animal is sacrificed (one for a girl, two for a boy) and the child is named; any name is acceptable unless it is particularly “heathen.” Popular culture stipulates male circumcision and, more rarely, female circumcision. It also includes many other rituals connected with childhood and birth, but most of these have no foundation in normative Islamic sources.

See also Aqiqah; Circumcision

Subjects: Hinduism — Islam.


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