Muslims do not hold the concept that a human being is born in sin. Rather, a child is born a pure, spiritual being by God in heaven. The child is regarded as a gift that God has entrusted to the parents. The family is seen as the centre of society in Islam. There are no godparents as the whole family is seen such. Generally the responsibility of being a guardian descends in order of seniority of grandparents and aunts and uncles. Usually the father's parents have first responsibility.

When the baby is born, the very first sound it hears is a recital, by the Imam or father or male relative, of the declaration of faith. This is whispered into both ears. In this way the baby is spiritually prepared for growing up into the Islamic faith.

Then preparations are made for the name-giving ceremony. This is traditionally called a Doopmaal in the Western Cape and normally takes place on the seventh day after the birth.

Traditionally the baby is dressed up in all its finery which includes a medoura, a scarf embroidered with gold thread and decorated with fresh flowers such as rose buds, orchids and carnations. 

At the doopmaal (name-giving ceremony) prayers are said for the future protection of the baby and God's blessings are invoked. A little bit of the baby's hair is cut which symbolises the shaving of the baby's hair in earlier time. It is customary to pass sugar and dates around after prayers are said. This is to ensure a sweet future for the child. When the religious ceremony is complete a feast is held.

As both Mom and Dad are involved in karate & hiking, inviting their colleagues, friends and family proved to be rather extensive and we had over 300 guests coming to celebrate my name-giving ceremony.

Will you believe that I was quiet throughout the ceremony. Mom and Dad were praised at my “good” attitude. We also took the opportunity to do an Arwaag (Prayer) for Dad’s late parents.

Dad, Mom, Granny & my two chicha’s did an “Aqeeqah” soon after my birth - that is the sacrificing of a sheep and distributed one third to the poor and we used the rest for the meal.


Mom and Dad

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