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Touch of Shaytan at childbirth

Question

Narrated Sa’id Ibnul Musayib, Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) said:

“I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying, ‘There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Shaytan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Shaytan, except Maryam and her child.”

Then Abu Hurayrah recited: “And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Shaytan”

(Surah Aalu ‘Imram, Verse: 36)

What is meant by the touch of Shaytan in this Hadith, does it mean jinn possession? Some claim Shaytan is able to influence how a baby is born like the case of mentally brain damaged children and cite this Hadith saying Shaytan touched them. Does the touch here have a physical meaning or not?

Answer

I have not come across a reference to support this statement in any of the commentaries that I have checked.

According to some, the touch is not understood to be physical, but merely a metaphorical intimation.

(Bahrul Muhit and Tafsir Razi, 3:36 and Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 6289)

 

It could also be a physical touch that merely irritates the newborn, causing it to cry.

(Also see Fathul Bari, Hadith: 3431)

 

Imam Qurtubi (rahimahullah) mentions that this Hadith should not be misconstrued to mean that the child will be misguided.

(Al Mufhim, Hadith: 2278)

 

Furthermore, we believe that all fortune – be it good or bad – is from Allah Ta’ala alone, and He is responsible for all our fates.

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar