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there is a Hadith that says this:

Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab: Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child." Then Abu Huraira recited:
"And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (3.36)
(Sahih al-Bukhari 3431)

but the thing is there are some babies that don't cry at birth so what about them, are they not touched by Satan?

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There are two possibilities that can be noted.

  1. All babies do eventually cry. It could be that eventual crying that is from the touch of Satan.

  2. The hadith states that everyone except Maryam and Isa (AS) were touched by Satan. But, it doesn't require that everyone cried because of that touch. The touch could be the cause of the first crying in most babies, but that doesn't mean it always causes them to cry.

And Allah knows best.

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This hadith has certain issues that scholars have tried to address:

  • The hadith seems to say that only Mary and her child have been exempt from the touch of Satan which also may lead to the conclusion that 'Isa () and his mother () are of a higher rank than Muhammad (). This is one of the reasons why some scholars like az-Zamakhshari and other Mu'tazilah refused to accept it as sahih.
  • The hadith seems to imply that every child cries because of the touch of Satan at its birth.

Note that this hadith appears in both Sahihs and elsewhere. And the narrator chain has a high level of trust.


Further modern methods of birth such as water birth and neonatology might be regarded as examples for a birth without crying, but still are the special cases compared to what is usual and normal. At least both refuted the theory that the cry of a newborn is necessary for the development of its lung.


All my three children cried at birth, only the second took 30 minutes rest before crying because the oxygen saturation in his blood was too low after the stress of his birth.


As for the 2nd issue or implication which is the topic of this question:
Most scholars take it as given as when a child (newborn) -first- cries after the birth be it immediately or later it is due to the fact that Allah didn't hinder Satan from "touching" these children. Allah the almighty displays the discussion between Iblees and our Creator in surat al-Hijr saying:

[Iblees] said, "My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all (39)
Except, among them, Your chosen servants." (40)
[ Allah ] said, "This is a path [of return] to Me [that is] straight. (41)
Indeed, My servants - no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators. (42)
And indeed, Hell is the promised place for them all. (43)

As to the reasons why a child might cry at its birth imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawizyyah counted in his tafsser book at-Tibyaan التبيان في أقسام القرآن two:

  1. a hidden reason: Allah's wisdom has set for every human a qareen (mate) from among the Jinn, which is waiting for his coming (birth) in order to be liable for him. Once the child is born this Satan would hit him from anger and this would lead the child to cry as mentioned in ahadith such as:

The crying of the child (starts) when the satan begins to prick him. (Sahih Muslim).

This fatwa #253588 on islamweb, considers this to be the general case with the exceptions mentioned in the hadith you've cited.

  1. an observable reason: The second reason for crying -as quoted by ibn Qayyim- is the separation from what the baby was used to a warm body, to the cold outside that body, and many new unknown things it was not knowing. And Allah knows best.

Finally note if a child doesn't cry at birth this can also come from a born dumbness or because we simply expect a loud cry while for some children a simple sough or breathing or whisper would express the cry described in the hadith. As the newborn is new to the live outside of the body some organs are not yet adapted to it, so don't wonder if the first cry might be the most quit one or if the first act of newborn might be much different than later acts, when the newborn learns to make use of his/her body.

If we regard the hadith as Sahih we must believe and accept that the reasons that are not observable unless by revelation and we don't really know what "crying" in its context means!

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