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Shave and a Haircut

Richard Lautens -Staff Photographer

It is quite a priviledge being a photojournalist.  We are invited into the homes of strangers on a regular basis and welcomed with open arms into their private moments.

Last week I was invited into the home of new Parents, Noor Javed and hubby Sami Ahmed who shaved the head of their 28 day old baby, Maryam in a ceremony called Aqiqah.  Family gathered to watch the event at their home.

For Muslim parents, parenting begins within moments of the baby’s birth. The first task is the call to prayer in the baby’s ear – to introduce them to the faith and follow the example of the prophet. After that, it’s circumcision, shaving the baby’s hair, and a naming ritual that involves naming the child on the first or seventh day.

It was a wonderful experience being a part of this intimate moment.

Shave1_900_wide Dad, Sami shaves Maryam's head in the arms of mom, Noor as the family watches

Shave2_900_dad Dad, Sami shaves a sleeping Maryam

Shave3_900_family Members of the family watch the procedings

Maryam is almost finished as the relatives pause to debate the hairline

Shave5_900_hair Maryam's grandmother collects the hair.  The hair is weighed and the same weight in gold is donated to charity.

Noor (right top) and her mom, Fauzia bathe the baby's head to remove the hair trimmings

Mom and Dad cuddle Maryam after it is over

Richard Lautens/Toronto Star



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