Does tahneek on babies have to be done by a pious person?
E.g. An Alim or mufti? Or can it be done by parents or anyone else?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Tahneek is where a small amount of chewed date is put on the palate of the newborn baby’s mouth. It is mustahab (recommended). The Tahneek should be performed by a pious person or scholar.
Imam Al-Ayni explains the reason that Tahneek is performed by a pious person or scholar is because it is the saliva of the righteous one who chewed the date that is received, so the baby will take blessings from the pious person. He also explains that Tahneek brings hope of the baby growing up with imaan, because a date is the fruit of the date tree which the Prophet (pbuh) analogised with the iman of a believer.
Based on this, a scholar, imam or person is known for their righteousness should be chosen to perform the tahneek. If the parents or family members fulfil this criterion then they may perform the tahneek as well.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Al-Ayni, Umdatul Qari, Volume 21, page 85
 Al-Ayni, Umdatul Qari, Volume 21, page 84