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 AlKafi 1605



Assalamualaikum Datuk Mufti, I want to ask whether it is permissible to perform tahnik for a baby using other than dates?


Waalaikumussalam wrt wbt,

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Tahnik means opening of a newborn baby with dates which has been chewed and some of it is swabbed on the palate of the baby’s mouth and some will be swallowed by the baby. Tahnik is a tsabit sunnah of the Prophet PBUH and is stated in several syarak evidences. Among them is a hadith narrated by Ummu al-Mu’minin A’isyah R.Anha, where she said:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُؤْتَى بِالصِّبْيَانِ فَيُبَرِّكُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَيُحَنِّكُهُمْ

“New-born infants were brought to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). He blessed them and rubbed their palates with dates.”

Sahih Muslim (2147)

The above hadith is a clear encouragement for tahnik on newborn babies and that the person who do the tahnik should be from among the righteous and pious. It is also sunnah for the righteous and pious person to supplicate for blessing for the babies brought to him with the phrase  بَارَكَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ (May Allah SWT bless this child) and other similar words.

The encouragement of tahnik is al so stated in a hadith narrated by Anas bin Malik RA, where he said:

 ذَهَبْتُ بِعَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي طَلْحَةَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حِينَ وُلِدَ وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي عَبَاءَةٍ يَهْنَأُ بَعِيرًا لَهُ فَقَالَ هَلْ مَعَكَ تَمْرٌ فَقُلْتُ نَعَمْ‏ فَنَاوَلْتُهُ تَمَرَاتٍ فَأَلْقَاهُنَّ فِي فِيهِ فَلاَكَهُنَّ ثُمَّ فَغَرَ فَا الصَّبِيِّ فَمَجَّهُ فِي فِيهِ فَجَعَلَ الصَّبِيُّ يَتَلَمَّظُهُ

I took 'Abdullah b. Abi Talha Ansari to Allah's Messenger () at the time of his birth. Allah's Messenger () was at that time wearing a woollen cloak and besmearing the camels with tar. He said: Have you got with you the dates? I said: Yes. He took hold of the dates and put them in his mouth and softened them, then opened the mouth of the infant and put that in it and the child began to lick it.

Sahih Muslim (2144)

According to the above hadith, there are several wisdoms we can learn from it and we simplify it as the following:

  • Tahnik on a new-born baby is sunnah
  • It is sunnah to be performed by a righteous and pious person from among a man or woman for a new-born baby.
  • Imam al-Nawawi said:

كَوْنُ التَّحْنِيكِ بِتَمْرٍ وَهُوَ مُسْتَحَبٌّ وَلَوْ حَنَّك بِغَيْرِهِ حَصَلَ التَّحْنِيكُ وَلَكِنَّ التَّمْرَ أَفْضَلُ

“Tahnik with dates is mustahab (sunnah). If tahnik is performed with other than dates it is still considered as tahnik, but tahnik with dates is prioritized.” Refer Syarah Al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim (14/124)


As a conclusion, we would like to state that originally, tahnik is performed with dates. It is sunnah and prioritized compared to using others. However, if a person performs tahnik using other than dates, especially when there are no dates available, then it is permissible and it is considered as tahnik.

Lastly, we pray that Allah SWT would give us all the correct understanding in religion. Amin.