Is there a particular dua’ when congratulating someone upon the birth of a child?
It is recommended (mustahab) to congratulate the parents and family upon the birth of a child, and to supplicate (dua) for them and the child; since this adds to their happiness and creates an atmosphere of love and unity. The Holy Qur’an refers to glad tidings (bishara) given to Sayyiduna Ibrahim and Sayyiduna Zakariyya (peace be upon them both).
1) Allah Most High says regarding Sayyiduna Ibrahim (peace be upon him), “So We gave him [Ibrahim] the good news of a forbearing boy.” (Qur’an 37:101)
2) In reference to Sayyiduna Zakariyya (peace be upon him), Allah Most High says, “O Zakariyya, We give you the good news of a boy whose name is Yahya…” (Qur’an 19:7)
The above verses refer to Allah Most High giving glad tidings (bishara) to two of His Prophets (peace be upon them). There is a technical difference betweenbishara and congratulating (tahni’a), in that the former means to notify someone of good news which he was unaware of previously, whilst the latter refers to making dua’ and congratulating someone who is aware of the news. However, the notion is the same in both; that is, to express happiness due to the good news. (Ibn al-Qayyim, Tuhfat al-Mawlud p: 33)
3) Abu Burda relates from Sayyiduna Abu Musa (Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “A son was born to me, so I took him to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). He named him Ibrahim, placed [some part of a] date in his mouth after chewing it (tahnik), supplicated for Allah’s blessing upon him, and then gave him back to me…” (Sahih al-Bukhari no: 5166)
In view of the above and other evidences, many classical scholars such as Imams al-Nawawi and Ibn al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy on them) state that it is recommended to congratulate and supplicate (make dua) upon the birth of a child. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim states, “If one is unable to give glad-tidings, it is recommended (mustahab) to congratulate.” (Tuhfat al-Mawlud p: 33)
As such, one should congratulate the parents and family – irrespective of whether the new born is a boy or girl – and make supplications that Allah bless the child, that the child grows up to be righteous and a means of coolness for the parents’ eyes, that Allah grant the child good health and well-being, and that Allah guide the parents to be thankful.
Some specific supplications have also been reported in this regard:
1) Sayyiduna Hasan al-Basri (Allah be pleased with him) advised a man to supplicate with the following words when congratulating new parents:
بَارَكَ اللَّهُ لَكَ فِي الـمَوْهُوبِ لَكَ، وَشَكَرْتَ الوَاهِبَ، وبَلَغَ أشُدَّهُ، وَرُزِقْتَ بِرَّهُ
“May Allah bless you in His gift to you, may you give thanks to the giver of this gift, may the child reach the maturity of years, and may you be granted its righteousness.”
Both Imam al-Nawawi in his Al-Adhkar (p: 349) and Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in his Tuhfat al-Mawlud (p: 35) relate this Dua from Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on them). It was originally reported by Ibn al-Ja’d in his Musnad, Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Abu Bakr ibn al-Mundhir in his Al-Awsat and Ibn Adi in his Al-Kamil. The chain of transmission of this report has been classed as weak by some, but scholars such as Nawawi and Ibn al-Qayyim have recommended its recitation since it is merely from virtuous actions – as long as one does not consider it to be firmly established.
Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) states that it is also recommended for the one being congratulated, i.e. the new parents, to respond with the following or a similar Dua:
بَارَكَ اللَّهُ لَكَ، وبَارَكَ عَلَيْكَ، وجَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْراً، ورَزَقَكَ اللَّهُ مِثْلَهُ، وأجْزَلَ ثَوَابَكَ
“May Allah bless you and shower His blessings upon you; and may Allah reward you with good, grant you the same and increase your reward.”
2) Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani (Allah have mercy on him), the great Imam and follower (tabi’i), would congratulate new parents with the following supplication:
جعله الله مباركاً عليك وعلى أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
“May Allah make the child a blessing for you and a blessing for the Umma of Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace).” (Recorded by Imam al-Tabarani 945 and others from Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani; Tabarani also reports this from Hasan al-Basri 946)
Giving gifts to the parents and for the newborn is also a good way of fostering friendship and love. However, it must be remembered that giving gifts must not become a mere a custom and they must not be expected or considered as obligatory.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK