Sunday, May 25, 2008

cukur jambul (hair cut?)

What is the baby next stage in life? He has to undergo the ‘cukur jambul’ which basically means that he has to have his hair cut. Another ceremony.

Personally I do not know how much of his hair has got to be cut. Traditional in Malaysia is that only tiny weeny bit of his hair need cutting; normally in that ceremony everyone present will be asked to cut a bit of his hair. The cut bit of the hair is then put in a young coconut, the coconut top face cut open, and when the ceremony is finished the coconut is then buried in the ground (so I understand but never seen).

However there is another school of thought that the whole of his head has got to be shaven clean. The thought is that what he brought out of his mother’s womb has got to be cut and disposed off. In old days the hair is then put into a ripe coconut, top face also cut open, which was then closed and the coconut let float into the nearest river. Don’t ask me why it has to be float into the nearest river (ripe coconut floats in water).

There is a Hadith….Prophet Muhammad’s PBUM traditions (I think) about this hair cutting but I am not familiar with it, I am not familiar whether the hair is just snipped (like what the Malay community is doing now) or the head has to be shaven clean (like what some other part of the Malay community does).

What is cukur jambul.? Its explained here,

(The article is in Bahasa Malaysia, need to translate that).

Perhaps this explains it briefly, as someone has written about the ceremony,

” Adat Cukur Jambul

A Traditional Malay Ceremony celebrated for the new born baby.

This occasion is celebrated by Malay Community whereby a newly born baby born will celebrate on the 7th. day of birth with a "Kendury" of "Aqiqah" . In this celebration if the baby is a boy, 2 goats will be cut while only one goat for a baby girl. In that ceremony the parents of the baby will invite all neighbors from the village depending on the status of the family for Custom recital and sumptuous feast.

The peak of the celebration is whereby the baby will be pass from one person to another in their arm cradled cutely in the big circle and the baby will be sprinkled with holy water with "bunga rampai" , a certain portion of the baby's hair will be cut (cukur Jambul) and the baby's mouth with be sprinkled with holy water and sweet / sour / salty food as symbol of knowing and experiencing the new life.

While the above occasion is taking place, there will be a singing of " Marhaban" (Custom recitals).

After that, all invited guests will be invited for brunch or high tea and these guests will be given "Bunga Telur "as a gift while leaving the occasion.”

But I must include this FAQ, for better understanding to what I have written above.

What is the significance behind the baby head shaving ceremony?
Shaving the hair of a newborn's head is recommended by Islam on the the seventh day after birth. There are several reasons for this:
1) To eliminate the old hair that has been coated with mucus during its time in its mother's womb.
2) To excite the hair follicles so that a new set of healthy hair can grow bringing out with it the trap and hidden mucus.
3) To share the happiness of having a newborn baby with the less fortunate and poor by giving them amount of the estimate weight of gold of the shaved hair.

What is the hukum if we decide to shave our newborn baby's hair outside aqiqah (any given day)?
For newborns, there are four things that should be done for them by their parents:
1) To recite azan and iqamah near their ears immediately after they are born. It is also recommended to put date or honey at the roof of the new born's mouth.
2) To give them good names.
3) To shave their hair and give alms the value of gold of the hair's weight.
4) To do aqiqah for them.
All those things can be done at separate times, although it is recommended that number 2 to 4 be done on the seventh day after their birth.

What is the significance of shaving a newborn's hair and placing the strands of hair in a decorated coconut and the feast of yellow rice, white and brown porridge after the ceremony?
Islam encourages, not command, its followers to shave the newborn's hair because it had been submerged in the mother's water bag for a number of months. Despite having a good wash, there will always be some minute dried blood and water in between the hair follicles. Shaving the hair will physically excite the scalp and hair follicles. The new hair will grow and bring out those trapped minuscule filth, hence contributing to healthier hair.
Placing cut strands of hair onto a decorated coconut is not Islamic. It is based more on tradition. Muslims are not allowed to do this since it is based on some superstition.
There is also no Islamic command to have a feast that includes having yellow rice, white porridge, and so forth. The choice of menu is left for Muslims to decide as long as the foods are Halal. Having a feast itself is not compulsory.

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