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Pregnancy and Newborns
According to Quran and Sunnah

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He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases. Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. [Qur'an 3:6]


Du'a (Supplication)

A good dua (supplication) to make when desiring a child:

The Noble Qur'an - Al-A'raf 7:189

It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her. When he had sexual relation with her, she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly. Then when it became heavy, they both invoked Allâh, their Lord (saying): "If You give us a Sâlih (good in every aspect) child, we shall indeed be among the grateful."


Dua for infertile couples:

The du'a of Zakariyya (Zakariah), 'alayhis-salaam, which he made in his old age while his wife was barren but Allah, swt, answered his call and gave him Yahyah (John), 'alayhis-salaam.

The Noble Qur'an Al-'Imran 3:38

"Rabbi hab li min ladunka dhurriyyatan tayyibatan innaka samee' al-du'aa' "

..."O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation."


Dua that can be made often during the woman's labor pains or any other times of distress and hardship:

Allaahumma laa sahla 'illa maa ja'altahu sahlan wa 'anta taja'lu-l-hazna 'idha shi 'ta sahlan. - "O Allah, there is nothing easy except what You make easy. You can make grief, if You wish, easy." [Recorded by ibn al-Sunee; According to al-Hilaali, this hadith is sahih. See al-Hilaali, vol. 1, p. 345.]


All Babies are Born Muslim

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 8.597 (See also 2.467), Narrated Abu Huraira Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

Allah's Apostle was asked about the offspring of the pagans. He said, "Allah knows what they would have done (were they to live)."

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "No child is born but has the Islamic Faith, but its parents turn it into a Jew or a Christian. It is as you help the animals give birth. Do you find among their offspring a mutilated one before you mutilate them yourself?" The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! What do you think about those (of them) who die young?" The Prophet said, "Allah knows what they would have done (were they to live)."


The Noble Qur'an Ar-Rum 30:30

So set you (O Muhammad SAW) your face towards the religion of pure Islâmic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allâh Alone) Allâh's Fitrah (i.e. Allâh's Islâmic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq­illâh (i.e. the Religion of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not.


Blood Money Due for deceased child is also due for deceased Fetus

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 8.732, Narrated Abu Huraira Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

Allah's Apostle gave the judgment that a male or female slave should be given in Qisas for an abortion case of a woman from the tribe of Bani Lihyan (as blood money for the fetus) but the lady on whom the penalty had been imposed died, so the Prophets ordered that her property be inherited by her offspring and her husband and that the penalty be paid by her Asaba.


A Cause of Miscarriage

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 4.518, Narrated Ibn Umar Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

That he heard the Prophet delivering a sermon on the pulpit saying, "Kill snakes and kill Dhu-at-Tufyatain (i.e. a snake with two white lines on its back) and ALBATROSS (i.e. a snake with short or mutilated tail) for they destroy the sight of one's eyes and bring about abortion." ('Abdullah bin 'Umar further added): Once while I was chasing a snake in order to kill it, Abu Lubaba called me saying: "Don't kill it," I said. "Allah's Apostle ordered us to kill snakes." He said, "But later on he prohibited the killing of snakes living in the houses." (Az-Zubri said. "Such snakes are called Al-Awamir.")

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 4.529, Narrated Abu Mulaika Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

Ibn Umar used to kill snakes, but afterwards he forbade their killing and said, "Once the Prophet pulled down a wall and saw a cast-off skin of a snake in it. He said, 'Look for the snake.' They found it and the Prophet said, 'Kill it.' For this reason I used to kill snakes. Later on I met Abu Lubaba who told me the Prophet said, 'Do not kill snakes except the short-tailed or mutilated-tailed snake with two white lines on its back, for it causes abortion and makes one blind. So kill it.' "


A Miscarriage or Murder of Fetus
Caused by Another Person

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 9.42A, Narrated Hishams father from Al Mughira bin Shuba Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

Allah's Apostle gave the judgment that a male or female slave should be given in Qisas for an abortion case of a woman from the tribe of Bani Lihyan (as blood money for the fetus) but the lady on whom the penalty had been imposed died, so the Prophets ordered that her property be inherited by her offspring and her husband and that the penalty be paid by her Asaba.

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 9.420, Narrated Al Mughira bin Shuba Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

'Umar bin Al-Khattab asked (the people) about the Imlas of a woman, i.e., a woman who has an abortion because of having been beaten on her abdomen, saying, "Who among you has heard anything about it from the Prophet?" I said, "I did.) He said, "What is that?" I said, "I heard the Prophet saying, 'Its Diya (blood money) is either a male or a female slave.' " 'Umar said, "Do not leave till you present witness in support of your statement." So I went out, and found Muhammad bin Maslama. I brought him, and he bore witness with me that he had heard the Prophet saying, "Its Diya (blood money) is either a male slave or a female slave."

Hadith - Abu Dawood 4555, Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

Ibn Abbas said: Umar asked about the decision of the Prophet (peace be upon him) about that (i.e. abortion) Haml ibn Malik ibn an-Nabighah got up and said: I was between two women. One of them struck another with a rolling-pin killing both her and what was in her womb. So the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) gave judgment that the blood-wit for the unborn child should be a male or a female slave of the best quality and that she should be killed.


Haram (Forbidden) for Wife not to tell Husband when She is Pregnant

The Noble Qur'an Al-Baqarah 2:228

"...it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allâh has created in their wombs"


Idda of Widows when Pregnant

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 29.83

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdu Rabbih ibn Said ibn Qays that Abu Salama ibn Abd ar-Rahman said that Abdullah ibn Abbas and Abu Hurayra were asked when a pregnant woman whose husband had died could remarry. Ibn Abbas said, "At the end of two periods." Abu Hurayra Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with himsaid, "When she gives birth, she is free to marry." Abu Salama ibn Abd ar-Rahman visited Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked her about it Umm Salama said, ''Subaya al-Aslamiya gave birth half a month after the death of her husband, and two men asked to marry her. One was young and the other was old. She preferred the young man and so the older man said, 'You are not free to marry yet.' Her family were away and he hoped that when her family came, they would give her to him. She went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'You are free to marry, so marry whomever you wish.' "


Why the Baby Cries when Born

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 4.641, Narrated Sa'id bin Al Musaiyab Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

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)


The Pregnant Woman's Property

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 37.4a

Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "The best of what I have heard about the testament of a pregnant woman and about what settlements she is permitted in her property is that the pregnant woman is like the sick person. When the illness is light, and one does not fear for the sick person, he does with his property what he likes. If the illness is such that his life is feared for, he can only dispose of a third of his estate."

He said, "It is the same with a woman who is pregnant. The beginning of pregnancy is good news and joy. It is not illness and no fear because Allah the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'We gave her good news of Ishaq and after Ishaq, Yaqub.' (Sura ll ayat 71). And He said, 'She bore a light burden and passed by with it, but when she became heavy, they called upon Allah, their Lord, "If you give us a good-doing son, we will be among the thankful." '(Sura 7 ayat 189).

"When a pregnant woman becomes heavy, she is only permitted to dispose of a third of her estate. The beginning of this restriction is after six months. Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'Mothers suckle their children for two complete years.' And He said, 'his bearing and weaning are thirty months.' (Sura 2 ayat 233).

"When six months have passed for the pregnant woman from the day she conceived, she is only permitted to dispose of a third of her property."

Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "A man who is advancing in the row for battle, can only dispose of a third of his property. He is in the same position as a pregnant woman or an ill person who is feared for, as long as he is in that situation."


Combining Prayers During Hardships Occuring During Pregnancy

Fiqh 2.118

Ahmad, Qadi Hussain, al-Khattabi, and al-Mutawali of the Shaf'i school are of the opinion that it is allowed to combine two prayers, either during the time of the earlier or later salah, due to illness as it is a greater hardship than rain. An-Nawawi says: "This is a strong opinion based on [sound] evidence." In al-Mughni it is stated: "The illness which permits one to combine the prayers is the one which would otherwise cause hardship and more weakness [if he prayed each salah separately]."

The Hanbali school is the most accommodating as it allows one to combine the prayers, at the time of the early or later salah, for one who is ill as well as for the woman who is breast-feeding and will face hardship in cleaning her dress for every salah, for the woman who is plagued by a prolonged flow of blood, for the person who cannot control his urine, and for one who cannot purify himself or herself, and for the one who fears for his life, property, or family.

Ibn Taimiyyah says: "Among the opinions the most accommodating on this question is that of the Hanbali school which allows one to combine the prayers if he is busy (since an-Nasa'i has related something to that effect from the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam) and they also say that the cook and baker, and so forth., may also combine their prayers if they fear their wealth (i.e., their investment or what they are working on) will otherwise be ruined."


Fasting During Ramadan

Fiqh-us-Sunnah 3.115

Pregnant and breast-feeding women, if they fear for themselves or for the baby, can break the fast and pay the "ransom." They do not have to make up the days missed. Abu Dawud related from 'Ikrimah that Ibn 'Abbas said concerning the 'ayah "And for those who can fast [but do not],": "This is a concession for the elderly, as they can fast. They are to break the fast and feed one poor person a day. Pregnant or breast-feeding women, if they fear for the child, can do likewise." This is related by al-Bazzar. At the end of the report, there is the addition: "Ibn 'Abbas used to say to his wives who were pregnant: 'You are in the same situation as those who can fast [but do not]. You are to pay the "ransom" and do not have to make up the days later.' " Of its chain, ad-Daraqutni says it is sahih.

Nafi' reported that Ibn 'Umar was asked about a pregnant woman who feared for her unborn baby. He replied: "She is to break the fast and to feed one poor person a day one madd of barley."

There is also a hadith that states: "Allah has relieved the travelers of fasting and half of the prayer, and the pregnant and the breast-feeding women of the fast." According to the Hanafiyyah, Abu Ubaid, and Abu Thaur, such women are only to make up the missed days of fasting, and they are not supposed to feed one poor person a day. According to Ahmad and ash-Shaf'i, if such women fear only for the baby, they must pay the "ransom" and make up the days later. If they fear only for themselves or for themselves and the baby, then they are only to make up the missed days at a later date.



WHAT TO DO UPON BIRTH


Recite Adhan in Baby's Ear

Hadith - Sunan of Abu Dawud #5086, Narrated Abu Rafi' Radiya Llahu anhu - This means: May Allah be pleased with him

I saw the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) uttering the call to prayer (Adhan) in the ear of al-Hasan ibn Ali when Fatimah gave birth to him.


Inviting Guests to Celebrate a Birth

Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners #1258

Bilal ibn Ka'b said, "Ibrahim ibn Adham, 'Abd al 'Aziz ibn Qarir, Musa ibn Yasar, and myself visited Hahya ibn Hassan at his village (in Palestine). He brought us food. Musa, who was fasting, did not eat. Yahya said, 'A man known as Abu Qarasifah from the tribe of Kinanah who had been one of the Companions of the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, led us in salah (prostration prayer) for forty years in this mosque. It was his habit to fast one day and skip the next. A boy was born to my father on a day when Abu Qarasifah was fasting, and he invited Abu Qarasifah to attend the feast. So Abu Qarasifah broke his fast.' The Ibrahim stood up and brushed Yahya off with his cloak*, and Musa broke his fast.

   *this was done as a sign of respect for the man.


Sweetening the Mouth of the Newborn

Hadith - Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah

Anas said, "I went to the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, with 'Abd Allah ibn Abi Talhah on the day that he was born. The Prophet was wearing a cloak (outside) seeing to a camel. So he said to me, 'Do you have any dates with you?' I said, 'Yes' and handed them to him. He moistened them with his tongue, opened the child's mouth, and placed the softened dates inside. When the boy showed that he liked them, the Prophet, upon him be peace, said, 'This is the love of the Ansar for their dates.' And then he named the boy 'Abd Allah."


Praying for the Newborn

Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners #1260

Mu'awiyah ibn Qurrah said, "When my son Iyas was born, I invited several of the Companions of the Prophet [to a feast] and fed them. Then they prayed (for me and my son). I said, 'You have prayed, and may Allah bless you for your prayers. Now, I am going to pray, so please say "Ameen" [to all that I pray for]. Then I prayed long for my son's religion, his mind, and so on."


The Day of Aqeeqah

The practices which can be performed on the day of Aqeeqah are -

  1. Of course, the Aqeeqah (slaughtering of sheep on behalf of the child).

  2. The shaving of the child's head and paying its weight in gold or silver in charity.

  3. Naming the child.

  4. The child can be circumcised.

Imam Malik said, "The aqiqa is not obligatory but it is desirable to do it"

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 26.5
Yahya related to me from Malik from Rabia ibn Abi Abd ar-Rahman that Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Harith at-Taymi said, "I heard my father say that the aqiqa was desirable, even if it was only a sparrow."

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 26.2
Yahya related to me from Malik from Jafar ibn Muhammad that his father said, "Fatima, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, weighed the hair of Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum, and gave away in sadaqa an equivalent weight of silver."

Q. With regards to a new-born child's Aqeeqah, what number of animals should be slaughtered for a boy or girl?

Answer by Abu Ameena Bilal Philips:

The normal practice for the Aqeeqah is to slaughter 2 (goat or sheep) for a boy and 1 for a girl. However, in the case of Hasan and Hussain, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) slaughtered 1 for each of them. So it is permissible to sacrifice one or two for a boy.

One important point to remember, is that the Prophet (pbuh) stated that the sacrifice is primarily on behalf of the child, even though some individuals think that it is primarily for the family. The child benefits from the sacrifice, just as a parent prays on behalf of their child, for the child's benefit. The Prophet (pbuh) even sacrificed for himself because at the time of his birth nobody sacrificed for him. It is, therefore, permissible for Muslims to do so if it wasn't done for them at birth.

The secondary principle of sacrificing for the child, is that the parents are taking from their wealth and thanking Allah for giving them this child.

The normal practice of distributing the meat, is to give 1/3 to the poor and needy, 1/3 to neighbors and friends and 1/3 is kept by the family. But it is ultimately up to the parents to decide how it is distributed. As stated earlier, some of the meat should be given in charity, so that the blessings for this act are given to the child.

The Prophet (pbuh) recommended that the Aqeeqah be held on the 7th day after the birth of the child, but it may be done later if one does not have the opportunity. The Prophet (pbuh) said that the child is held in mortgage to the sacrifice, so that in making the sacrifice, it frees the child from something which is connected to the child, something similar to a debt. But exactly what it is, Allah knows.


Circumcision

Fiqh 1.21a

This prevents dirt from getting on one's penis, and also makes it easy to keep it clean. For women, it involves cutting the outer portion of the clitoris. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Ibrahim circumcised himself after he was eighty years old." (Related by al-Bukhari.) Many scholars say that it is obligatory.' The Shaf'iyyah maintain that it should be done on the seventh day.

Circumcising a female is not a recommended act, but it is considered permissible so long as very little cutting is done. Be careful to find a reputable person to perform circumcision on a female, as many errors are made by the untrained; check with those who have received the circumcision to ensure safety and proper cutting technique.

Hadith - Abu Dawood #5251, Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah

A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.


Praising Allah for a Healthy Son or Daughter

Hadith - Bukhari's Book of Manners #1261

Kathir ibn 'Ubayd said, "Whenever a child was born among them, 'A'ishah would not ask if it were a boy or a girl. Instead she would ask, 'Is the child healthy (and without defect)?' If she was told, 'Yes,' she would say, 'Al-hamdulilah ar-Rabeel Alameen (All praise is for Allah, Lord of All the Worlds.'


How to congratulate new parents and how they should respond

Hadith - An-Nawawi, Kitabul-Adhkar, p. 349.

Baarakallahu laka fil mauhoobi laka, wa shakartal waahiba, wa balagha ashaddahu, wa ruziqta birrahu. ["May Allah bless you with His gift to you, and may the receiver give thanks and reach the maturity of years and be granted piety."]

The reply is: Barakallahu laka wa baraka 'alaika, wa jaza kallahu khairan, wa raza-qakallahu mithalhu, wa ajzala thawabaka. ["May Allah bless you, and shower His blessings upon you, and may Allah reward you well and bestow upon you its like and reward you with open hands."]


Breastfeeding

The Noble Qur'an - Luqmaan 31:14

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Baqarah 2:233 regarding divorced couples...

The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother's food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child. And on the (father's) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them. And if you decide on a foster suckling-mother for your children, there is no sin on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you agreed (to give her) on reasonable basis. And fear Allâh and know that Allâh is All-Seer of what you do.


The child has the right to be fed breast milk (by the mother or foster-mother) for two full years, until weaned (eating solid foods). Even if the mother is to be executed for a crime, the baby's right comes first. Parents should not feed baby formula (powdered milk, etc.) to a child who has not yet been weaned as a substitution for breastmilk unless all other viable options are exhausted in an effort to provide obtaining breast milk (for instance: medical problems, death of the mother and unavailability of a wet-nurse).

Hadith - Al-Muwatta 41.5

Malik related to me from Yaqub ibn Zayd ibn Talha from his father Zayd ibn Talha that Abdullah ibn Abi Mulayka informed him that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and informed him that she had committed adultery and was pregnant. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to her, "Go away until you give birth." When she had given birth, she came to him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to her, "Go away until you have suckled and weaned the baby." When she had weaned the baby, she came to him. He said, "Go and entrust the baby to someone." She entrusted the baby to someone and then came to him. He gave the order and she was stoned.

Please note that nobody will get it to be exactly two years, as the length of weaning until the child is actually weaned, depends on the child (statistically it takes a few months up to 6 mo. approx). But it appears clear that the goal, barring any health risks or condition that would prevent breastfeeding, should be two Islamic years of breastfeeding and that the child should completely be weaned off the breast sometime shortly after the completion of two years.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1 of 10, p. 654, under section "No Darar (Harm) or Dirar (Revenge)":

"We should state that Ibn Jarir has explained this subject in detail in his Tafsir and that he also stated that suckling the child after the second year might harm the child's body and mind. Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that 'Alqamah asked a woman who was suckling her child after the second year ended, not to do that. (At-Tabari)".

____________

The following excerpt is taken from The Fragile Vessels (Book Three- The Muslim Family) written by Muhammad Al-Jibaly, p. 92-96.

Breastfeeding the Children

A woman has the obligation of breast feeding her children for up to two complete years. Allah says: "Mothers should nurse their children two complete years-- for whosoever desires to complete the nursing term." (Al Baqarah 2:233)

A woman may not forsake this important obligation unless she has an ISLAMICALLY acceptable excuse, such as a genuine medial problem. Women who deny their children their nursing rights are liable to punishment in the grave and in the Hereafter.

Abu Umamah al-Bahili reported that Allah's Messenger (saw) said:

"While I was sleeping, two men (angels) came to me, held my upper arms, and took me to a rough mountain. They said," Climb." I said," I cannot climb it."

They said, " We will make it easy for you."

He continued: " So I ascended until I reached a high place in the mountain. I heard fierce cries and asked, " What are those cries?" The replied, " That is the howling of the people of the Fire."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw some people who were suspended by their Achilles' tendons, their cheeks cut and gushing blood. I asked, "Who are those?" The replied, "Those are the ones who break their fast when it is not permissible."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw people whowere awfully swollen, and had the most foul stench and the most hideous appearance. I asked," Who are those?" He replied,"Those are the dead of the kuffar (on the battlefield)."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw some people who were awfully swollen, and had the most foul stench--their stench was like that of gutters. I asked," Who are those?" The replied," Those are the male and female adulterers."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw some women with snakes biting at their breasts. I asked," Who are those?" The replied, " Those are the women who deny their children their milk."

He continued: "We moved on until I saw boys playing between two rivers. I asked," who are those?" The replied, " Those are the believers' offspring (who die before puberty.)

Recorded by Ibn Khuzaymah (no.1986), Ibn Hibban and others. Verified to be authentic by Sheikh Albani (Sahih ut-Targhib no.991)


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Action Items for the Muttaqun:

  • Do not forget Allah swt when desiring a child. Desire the child to earn the favor of your Lord.

  • Know that we do not own nor create a child; life comes only from Allah swt. Just as it is given, it can be taken away, so we should not feel that we own a child; instead, recognize it as a gift from Allah, swt, that can earn us paradise or hellfires, subject to how we take care of what Allah swt has bestowed upon us.

  • Give the baby its right to receive breastmilk, and only turn to formula if the mother is unable to produce the needed milk and unable to pay a Muslim wet-nurse. Keep in mind that the more food or drink given to the baby, the less milk the woman will produce as a result of the less sucking; when starting breastfeeding, do not offer any supplements until long after breastfeeding is established months later.

  • Do not expose the breast in public when breast-feeding. Muslim women commonly nurse the child under the khimar (garment covering the head and chest) when in any type of public setting.

Remember... Allah, subhana watala, sees everything we do!


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