Choosing a Good Name for the Child:
Likewise, the father is commanded to select a good name for the child. He should name him with a good name and not a repugnant name, because a name has an effect on the one it is named after, as it is said, ‘’everyone has a share from his name.’ The Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ‘’the best of names are Abdullaah and Abdur Rahmaan.’’ This is because they are names of servitude to Allaah, such as Abdul Azeez, Abdur Rahmaan, Abdullaah or Abdul Kareem……and so on; or name him Muhammad, Ali, Saalih and other than that amongst the good names. Do not name him with a name that makes those who hear it have a dislike of it, because a name has an effect upon the one who hears it and the one named after it. And due to this, when Suhail ibnu Amrin came to seek peace with the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) at the time of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ‘’ Now the matter has become easy’’ when suhail approached. This being in conformity with the name suhail, because without a doubt a good name has an impression upon the one who hears it and upon the one named after it.
Likewise, amongst the rights of the child upon his father: Is that he should slaughter a sacrifice for him. He should slaughter for the Aqeeqah on his behalf as an act worship and thanks-giving to Allaah (The Most High). There is seeking nearness to Allaah and being thankful to Him in this (sacrifice), and there is good in it for the newly born; because goodness is found in acts of worship. Therefore, he slaughters two sheep for the boy and one for the girl. This is an established Sunnah and there is goodness in it for the newly born. He (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’Every newly born is in pledge for his/her aqeeqah’’ (Reported by Abu Daawood. No:2831) The sacrificial slaughter, shaving of the head and naming the child are to be done on the seventh day, and these are amongst the means of bringing about goodness for the new born. The expense for this is to be undertaken by the father.
Elaboration: Concerning the statement of the prophet: ‘’Every newly born is in pledge for his/her aqeeqah’’
There are a number of views about its meaning:
(a) That the aqeeqah is binding just like the pledge.
(b) That the child’s correct growth and upbringing and his being a source of benefit is tied to the aqeeqah just as article held in pledge for a debt cannot be utilized until the debt is paid.
(c) That the child is prevented from interceding for its parents when it dies if aqeeqah was not performed for it. This saying is attributed to Ahmad (rahimahullaah) who declared a weak saying by Ibnul Qayyim.
(d)That naming and shaving the head are dependent upon the aqeeqah.
(e) It is a means of rescuing the child of being caught and ensnared by shaytaan – and this was the view preferred by Ibnul Qayyim in ‘At-Tuhfah’ (page: 49) [Source: ‘’Manners of Welcoming The New Born Child In Islaam’’ (page:53) translated by Aboo Talhah Dawood Ibn Ronald Burbank (rahimahullaah)]
Commanding the Children with the Salaah at Age of Seven
Likewise, it is obligatory upon the parents to implement the command of the prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam), and that is: ‘’Command your children to pray when they are seven years old, beat them for it when they are ten and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.’’
The father is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock (i.e. the family), and likewise the mother is a shepherdess and one given responsibility. So, it is obligatory upon them to command them (i.e. the children) to pray when they reach the age of seven. Even though the prayer is not an obligation (at that age), however it will have a good effect upon them, so that they get used to it. Similarly, they are to be supervised with regards to sleep and not left close to one another, lest desires should arise between them, thus bringing about corruption. They are to be distanced from one another in bed and not to be left to sleep in the same bed. This is a preventative measure and as it is said, ‘’prevention is better than cure.’’