Once a child is born and is welcomed into the world by its parents/family
(here is how: The Muslim call to prayer or adhaan ("God is great, there is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer.") are the first words a newborn Muslim baby should hear. They are whispered into the right ear of the child by his or her father.
The baby's first taste should be something sweet, so parents may chew a piece of date and rub the juice along the baby's gums. It was a practice carried out by the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and is believed to help tiny digestive systems to kick in. Other things happen at 7 days and you can read up here if you like...and if you trust the bbc)
so anyway, this got me on to thinking, at what point in your life are you assigned a religious status? can you be a Muslim, Christian or whatever you want to be in gestation? if so, at which point are you religious? at 24 weeks, when you can feel pain? or perhaps at birth? or maybe many years later when you possess reasoning enough to confirm your faith and happiness being part of an organised religion? perhaps it is the point at which the baby is acknowledged by the religious institution, and a key figure within the following.
to me, a person who follows an organised religion is one who follows the teachings of said religion. not a baby that is still learning to walk, talk and feed! but then, religion is all encompassing like that, and affects the way you are taught to walk talk and feed by your parents if they are religious. if your parents run your life, they pick your religion.
But then, here comes my second wondering, what makes a muslim baby? do they adopt the religion of the father? is this not the desicion of both parents in an equal relationship? am i being really naive here? (it wouldn't be the first time)
the whole thing makes my head spin!!