Is it preferable that a pious person does the taḥnīk for a newborn? Or can the father do taḥnīk for his new born?
Shaykh Ibn al-ʿUthaymīn was asked :
“Is it from the Sunnah, for a person to take his child to a righteous person to name the child and do taḥnīk for the child?
The Shaykh answered:
Taḥnīk (chewing a date and later putting that in the mouth of the child) is done soon after the birth so that the first thing that enters the stomach of child is through taḥnīk.
Then the question, is it permitted for other than the Messenger of Allāh (Ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) to do taḥnīk, then there is difference of opinion among the scholars.
- Some of them told that, this is specific to the Messenger of Allāh (Ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) as it is done to get Barakah from his saliva and make the first thing which enters the stomach of the child, the saliva of Messenger of Allāh (Ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), which is mixed with the chewed date. And it is not permitted for one other than him to do the taḥnīk.
- Some of them said, it is permitted for others to do taḥnīk, so that the first thing which enters the stomach of the child is the date.
So if some one did the taḥnīk, we need not prevent him, and if some leave it, then he has saved himself from the difference of opinion (amongst the scholars).
In another place, the Shaykh mentioned, that if the taḥnīk is done with the intention to make the first thing which enters the child’s stomach the date, then it is permitted for anyone to do taḥnīk.
If it is with the intention of Tabarruk (To get barakah from the saliva of the person) then it is restricted to the Messenger of Allāh (Ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).
End of quotation from the speech of Shaykh Ibn al-ʿUthaymīn. These two fatawa from Shaykh are taken from :
فتاوى نور على الدرب لبن العثيمين
مجموع فتاوى ورسائل العثيمين – 25/236
So it is clear that the intention of the taḥnīk should be to make the first thing that enters the stomach of the child to be the date and it should be done immediately after the birth and can be done by anyone. If one does not do this then that is more preferred. As for taking (the child) to a righteous person (to perform taḥnīk with the intention of getting barakah from that person), then this is not permitted.
Compiled by: ʿAbd an-Nūr al-Hindī