Muslim birth rites
Muslims have some very simple rites for welcoming a child.
The Muslim call to prayer or adhaan ("God is great, there is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer.") are the first words a newborn Muslim baby should hear. They are whispered into the right ear of the child by his or her father.
The baby's first taste should be something sweet, so parents may chew a piece of date and rub the juice along the baby's gums. It was a practice carried out by the Prophet Muhammadand is believed to help tiny digestive systems to kick in.
There are a number of events that take place on or after the seventh day.
After seven days the baby's head is shaved (a tradition also carried out by Hindus). This is to show that the child is the servant of Allah. Although Hindus may take the baby's hair to India and scatter it in the holy river Ganges, Muslims weigh it and give the equivalent weight in silver to charity.
Ideally, Muslim baby boys are circumcised when they are seven days old although it can take place any time before puberty. It is also tradition to choose a name for the baby on the seventh day.
The aqeeqah is also traditionally carried out on the seventh day. This is a celebration which involves the slaughter of sheep. Sheep are sacrificed (in Britain the meat is ordered at the butchers) and the meat is distributed to relatives and neighbours and also given to the poor.