The Importance and Procedure of Aqeeqah for a New Born Child

Question:

Please enlighten us on the importance and procedure of Aqeeqah for our new born baby. 

 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

What is Aqeeqah?

The Arabic word ªaq means ‘to cut’. Thus uqooq wªaldain is ‘disobedience to parents and suspension of relations’. In the terminology of Shari‘ah the word Aqeeqah refers to that animal which is slaughtered on the seventh day upon the birth of a child on the seventh day after he is born.[1][2]

The practice of Aqeeqah is encouraged in Islam. This is understood from following Ahadith

عن ابن عباس ان رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم عق عن الحسن والحسين كبشا كبشا

*Rasulullah )Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam( carried out the Aqeeqah of Hasan (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and Husain (Radhiyallahu Anhu) by slaughtering one ram each.(Abu Dawood 2834)

من ولد له ولد فأحب أن ينسك عنه فلينسك عن الغلام شاتان مكافئتان وعن الجارية شاة 

*Rasulullah )Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said,” whosoever wishes to slaughter on behalf of his newborn child, should slaughter two sheep for a boy and one sheep for a girl.(Abu Dawood 2835)

كنا في للجاهلية إذا ولد لأحدنا غلام ذبح شاة ولطخ رأسه بدمها فلما جاء الله بالإسلام كنا نذبح شاة ونحلق رأسه ونلطخه بزعفران

*Buraidah )Radhiyallahu Anhu( mentions, “prior to Islam when one of us had a newborn boy, he would slaughter one sheep and smear the head of the newborn with its blood. When Allah blessed us with Islam, we began slaughtering one sheep. Thereafter, we would shave the child’s hair and apply saffron”. .(Abu Dawood 2836)

 

The opinion of the jurists regarding the legality of Aqeeqah.

 

Aqeeqah is sunnah or in the view of Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shaafi‘i.[3]

According to the Hanafi jurists, doing Aqeeqah is permissible and encouraged, but it is not compulsory to do so.[4],[5] Aqeeqah safeguards the child from sicknesses and evil effects. Also through the blessing of Aqeeqah, the child shall be saved from all calamities, and when the child grows up he shall not be disobedient to his parents Inshallah.

 

Specification of the day

The ideal situation would be to slaughter on the seventh day after the birth of the child. However, if for some reason one forgot to do so then he can do it on the following seventh day. One easy method of determining the seventh day is by taking note of the day on which the child was born, on the following week one day before this will be the seventh day. For example, if the child was born on a Thursday then the seventh day on the following week would be a Wednesday.

 

The procedure of Aqeeqah

If the newborn is a boy then 2 sheep or goats should be slaughtered. For a girl, one sheep or goat is sufficient. This does not imply preference of a boy child over a girl but rather because it is the Sunnah and teachings of The Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wa Sallam)[6]

Aqeeqah may be included in the shares of the Qurbani cow or ox etc., if the seventh day happens to fall during the Qurbani period or if the Aqeeqah is delayed till the Qurbani days.

For those who cannot afford two animals for the baby son, even one animal will be sufficient as Aqeeqah. If one has no means to sacrifice even this much, then there is no harm and he would not have to make up for it later.

An adult may perform Aqeeqah for himself if it has not yet been performed.

 

Other general instructions regarding aqeeqah.

The animal that is valid for Qurbani (sacrifice) is valid for the offering of Aqeeqah. The animal must be one year old, fully. However, a six-month old ram may be sacrificed and for Aqeeqah if it is sufficiently fat and healthy and looks like a year old. The goat must be a year old. The animal must be free from defect. It must not be blind, squint eyed or so much thin that there is no marrow in its bones. It must not be so lame that it cannot walk by itself to the place of sacrifice. That animal, also, is invalid for sacrifice whose tail or ear is cut off more than two-thirds, or most of its teeth have fallen off, or it has no ears since birth or is so much mad that it does not eat or drink.

The sacrifice of a cow or a buffalo is not valid before it is two years old. The camel must have completed five years of age.[7]

The division of meat during aqeeqah is subject to the same injunctions as apply to division of meat of a sacrificial animal. We may eat the meat ourselves, distribute as sadaqah, or gift it to family and friends.

While offering the animal of aqeeqah, one may say the following Dua,

اللَّهُمَّ هَذِهِ عَقِيقَةُ ابْنِي ، فَإِنَّ دَمَهَا بِدَمِهِ وَلَحْمَهَا بِلَحْمِهِ وَعَظْمَهَا بِعَظْمِهِ وَجِلْدَهَا بِجِلْدِهِ وَشَعْرَهَا بِشَعْرِهِ اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهَا فِدَاءً لِابْنِي مِنْ النَّارِ[8]

‘Oh Allah! This is (mention child’s name)’s aqeeqah, it’s blood instead of his/her’s and it’s bone instead of his/hers and it’s skin instead of his/her skin, it’s hair instead of his/her hair, 0 Allah! I make this a salvation of my child from the Fire of hell.

 

The wisdom behind the legitimacy of aqeeqah.

On the birth of the child, the animal is offered in aqeeqah to obtain nearness to Allah and to offer ransom for the child. The child intercedes for its parents. Parents find in the fulfilment of the obligation under Shari‘ah a source of happiness. Also, it promotes love and compassion among the individuals of society and all participate in the happiness. It opens a new fount of income and diminishes poverty and need.

 

A few baseless misconceptions on Aqeeqah.

A few innovations have been conjured regarding the principles of aqeeqah. These are all baseless and hold no relevance to Shari’ah. A few are listed below:

  1. It is commonly believed that the parents, maternal and paternal grandparents cannot consume the aqeeqah meat. This is a false innovation.
  2. Many people insist it is compulsory to perform aqeeqah and the shaving of the child’s hair simultaneously. This is also incorrect; the order of both actions does not matter.
  3. It has become a tradition to present the sacrificed animal’s head, feet and hair to the barber and midwife, which is an act that holds no connection with Shari’ah.
  4. It has also incorrectly become a tradition to customarily bury the above
    mentioned parts of the animal. They also incorrectly believe that to consume the bones is a bad omen.
  5. Many have fallen under the false impression that to donate one third to charity is compulsory, (it is simply desirable).
  6. It is not compulsory to distribute the meat raw as is incorrectly believed by some.
  7. It should be noted that while doing Aqeeqah is permissible and encouraged, it is not compulsory to do so and to offer sacrifice on behalf of a deceased child is also unimportant. If one does not have the financial means to perform Aqeeqah, one does not have to burden himself to do it. It is unfortunate that in some societies, parents are put under undue pressure by families to do Aqeeqah in spite of not having the means to do so. Such pressure and succumbing to that pressure are both un-Islamic.

 

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net

 

 

[1] احكام القران للجصاص باب ما يحرم من النساء” مِثْلُ الشَّعْرِ الَّذِي يُوَلِّدُ الصَّبِيُّ وَهُوَ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ يُسَمَّى عَقِيقَةً ثُمَّ سُمِّيت الشَّاةُ الَّتِي تُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ عِنْدَ حَلْقِ ذَلِكَ الشَّعْرِ عَقِيقَةً”

اعلاء السنن 120/17  مكتبة إدارة القران  نقلا عن الاصمعي إنما سُمِّيت الشَّاةُ الَّتِي تُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ عِنْدَ حَلْقِ ذَلِكَ الشَّعْرِ عَقِيقَةً لأنه يحلق عنه ذالك الشعر عند الذبح

 

[2] أحكام القرآن للجصاص (4/ 192)

الشَّعْرِ الَّذِي يُوَلِّدُ الصَّبِيُّ وَهُوَ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ يُسَمَّى عَقِيقَةً ثُمَّ سُمِّيت الشَّاةُ الَّتِي تُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ عِنْدَ حَلْقِ ذَلِكَ الشَّعْرِ عَقِيقَةً

 

[3] المغني لابن قدامة (13/393).

الإشراف على مذاهب العلماء لابن المنذر (3/417)

[4] رد المحتار    326/6

على انه وان قلنا انها مباحة لكن بقصد الشكر تصير قربة

 

[5] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 336)

يستحب لمن ولد له ولد أن يسميه يوم أسبوعه ويحلق رأسه ويتصدق عند الأئمة الثلاثة بزنة شعره فضة أو ذهبا ثم يعق عند الحلق عقيقة إباحة على ما في الجامع المحبوبي، أو تطوعا على ما في شرح الطحاوي، وهي شاة تصلح للأضحية تذبح للذكر والأنثى سواء فرق لحمها نيئا أو طبخه بحموضة أو بدونها مع كسر عظمها أو لا واتخاذ دعوة أو لا، وبه قال مالك. وسنها الشافعي وأحمد سنة مؤكدة شاتان عن الغلام وشاة عن الجارية غرر الأفكار ملخصا، والله تعالى أعلم

[6] تنقيح الفتاوى الحامدية (6/ 367)

فِي الْعَقِيقَةِ كَيْفَ حُكْمُهَا وَكَيْفُ تُفْعَلُ ؟ ( الْجَوَابُ ) : قَالَ فِي السِّرَاجِ الْوَهَّاجِ فِي كِتَابِ الْأُضْحِيَّةِ مَا نَصُّهُ مَسْأَلَةٌ الْعَقِيقَةُ تَطَوُّعٌ إنْ شَاءَ فَعَلَهَا ، وَإِنْ شَاءَ لَمْ يَفْعَلْ وَهِيَ أَنْ يَذْبَحَ شَاةً إذَا أَتَى عَلَى الْوَلَدِ سَبْعَةُ أَيَّامٍ وَعِنْدَ الشَّافِعِيِّ سِتَّةٌ ثُمَّ إذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَعُقَّ عَنْ الْوَلَدِ ، فَإِنَّهُ يَذْبَحُ عَنْ الْغُلَامِ شَاتَيْنِ وَعَنْ الْجَارِيَةِ شَاةً ؛ لِأَنَّهُ إنَّمَا شُرِعَ لِلسُّرُورِ بِالْمَوْلُودِ وَهُوَ بِالْغُلَامِ أَكْثَرُ وَلَوْ ذَبَحَ عَنْ الْغُلَامِ شَاةً وَعَنْ الْجَارِيَةِ شَاةً جَازَ ؛ لِأَنَّ { النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَقَّ عَنْ الْحَسَنِ وَالْحُسَيْنِ كَبْشًا كَبْشًا } وَلَا يَكُونُ فِيهِ دُونَ الْجَذَعِ مِنْ الضَّأْنِ وَالثَّنِيِّ مِنْ الْمَعْزِ وَلَا يَكُونُ فِيهِ إلَّا السَّلِيمَةُ مِنْ الْعُيُوبِ ؛ لِأَنَّهُ إرَاقَةُ دَمٍ شَرْعًا كَالْأُضْحِيَّةِ وَلَوْ قَدَّمَ يَوْمَ الذَّبْحِ قَبْلَ يَوْمِ السَّابِعِ أَوْ أَخَّرَهُ عَنْهُ جَازَ إلَّا أَنَّ يَوْمَ السَّابِعِ أَفْضَلُ وَالْمُسْتَحَبُّ أَنْ يَفْصِلَ لَحْمَهَا وَلَا يَكْسِرَ عَظْمَهَا تَفَاؤُلًا بِسَلَامَةِ أَعْضَاءِ الْوَلَدِ وَيَأْكُلُ وَيُطْعِمُ وَيَتَصَدَّقُ

 

[7] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 321)

(وصح الجذع) ذو ستة أشهر (من الضأن كان بحيث لو خلط بالثنايا لا يمكن التمييز من بعد. (و) صح (الثني) فصاعدا من الثلاثة والثني (هو ابن خمس من الإبل، وحولين من البقر والجاموس، وحول من الشاة) والمعز والمتولد بين الأهلي، والوحشي يتبع الأم قاله المصنف.)

 

[8] تنقيح الفتاوى الحامدية (6/ 367)