My Baby is now four months! How time flies. A couple of weeks ago, we shaved Baby’s head. This ritual is part of a Muslim tradition called the "Aqeeqah" and symbolizes a purification and sacrifice. Ahmed Kutty, a senior Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto gives the following explanation of the ritual:
"Aqeeqah involves sacrificing a goat or lamb on behalf of the child. It is giving thanks to Allah for the gift of a child. The meat is [then] distributed to the poor. It is recommended that, on the day of aqeeqah, the child is given a good name, his/her head is shaved, and his/her hair is weighed and the equivalent in money of its weight in gold is given in charity. If, for any reason, Aqeeqah cannot be done on the seventh day, it can be done on the fourteenth, twenty-first or whenever possible. However, it should not be unnecessarily delayed."
We waited to do it until we felt the Baby was a little less fragile. My brother removed the hair with hair clippers. For the donation of meat to a charitable organisation, we had our relatives do that in India.
Here’s a pic of Baby with hair:
And now one of her without! It took me a while to get used to Baby’s new look but now, I think she carries off "bald chic" particularly well!
The interesting thing about this is that the more I talk to people about this ritual, the more I realize that it’s common in many cultures. Apparently it’s done in Korea, Greece, and in Central America. Another benefit of shaving a baby’s head (I’ve come to realise this from my other kids) is that the new hair comes in fuller and more even.