Aqeeqah is an all Arabic word originally derived from the key word ‘aq’ which means to cut and shred. The occasion is associated with ‘cutting’ because the child’s head is shaven on the 7th day proceeding birth.
The sacrifice which is done for the new born is called Aqeeqah. The scholars have said that it is Sunnah mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah).
Aqeeqah is Sunnah mu’akkadah. For a boy two sheep should be sacrificed, each of which should meet the same conditions as a sheep for udhiya (sacrifice), and for a girl one sheep should be sacrificed. The sheep should be slaughtered on the seventh day, but if there is a delay it may be slaughtered at any time, and there is no sin in delaying it, although it is preferable to do it as soon as possible.
With regard to how it is to be done, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that, as may be seen in the following ahaadeeth:
1 – It was narrated from Salmaan ibn ‘Aamir al-Dabbi that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Aqeeqah is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and remove all dirt from him.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5154)
2 – It was narrated from Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded them to sacrifice two similar sheep for a boy and one for a girl.
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi; he said, it is hasan saheeh; Ibn Maajah, 3163; Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1221.
THE REASON FOR AQEEQAH
It has been narrated in Hadhrat Samurah Ibn Jundub’s (R. A.) hadeeth that a child is an endowment in return for an aqeeqah. The Muhadditheen have approached this with numerous explanations.
- The hadeeth implies that a child will intercede on behalf of his parents. However, if someone, despite being capable, neglects aqeeqah and the child coincidentally dies as a youngster he will not intercede for his parents. The child will be of no advantage just like an object that has been kept safe as a pledge is of no advantage. This statement was made by Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (RA.)
- Until the aqeeqah isn’t offered the child remains an open target to calamities and misfortune and is also deprived from virtue and blessings. After the aqeeqah the child is safeguarded from anything detrimental and anything provoking pain.
- A child is a blessing from the Almighty Allah. Aqeeqah is performed as a thanksgiving for this blessing. (Zaadul Ma-aad Li-ibnil Qayyim)
- Until the aqeeqah is not performed the child shall not be safeguarded against calamities but instead will grow up to be disobedient to his parents.
- When the hair is shaven on the 7th day and aqeeqah is completed, the child is cleansed from all impurities, (Allah knows best).
- Mulla Ali Qari (R. A.) states, “Whosoever wills his child to be obedient, should perform his child’s aqeeqah.” (Mirqaat part 4 pg 359)
SUPPLICATION AT THE TIME OF SACRIFICE
The following supplication should be offered at the time of sacrifice..
‘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 an offering on my son/daughter’s behalf I turn my attention exclusively towards He who created the skies and the earth and lam not amongst the polytheists. Oh Allah! From thee and toward thee. In the name of Allah. Allah is great’
Note: If someone other than the parents is sacrificing on behalf of the child, mention the child’s name and adjoin his father’s name with it rather than ‘Binti ‘and’ Ibni’.
WHOSE RESPONSIBLITY IS AQEEQAH?
The person responsible for the child’s maintenance is also responsible for the child’s aqeeqah. If the father is not capable then the responsibility will be on the mother, and if neither is capable then it no longer remains incumbent. There is no necessity to take a loan in order to fulfill the responsibility.
THE AQEEQAH MEAT
Like qurbani meat, it is permissible for anybody to consume aqeeqah meat. However, it is desirable to divide the meat into three sections. One third to charity and the remaining two thirds to be distributed amongst friends and relatives. It is optional as whether the meat is distributed raw or cooked. All is correct and permissible.
A FEW BASELESS MISCONCEPTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF AQEEQAH
A few innovations have been conjured regarding the principles of aqeeqah. These are all baseless and hold no relevance to shariah. A few are listed below:
- It is commonly believed that the parents, maternal and paternal grandparents cannot consume the aqeeqah meat. This is a false innovation.
- People believe it is sinful to injure the animal’s bones. This has no relevance to shariah.
- Many people insist it is compulsory to perform aqeeqah and the shaving of the child’s hair simultaneously Needless to say, this is also fabrication; the order of both actions does not matter.
- 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 shariah.
- 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.
- Many have fallen under the false impression that to donate one third to charity is compulsory, (it is simply desirable).
- It is not compulsory to distribute the meat raw as is incorrectly believed by some.
- Lastly, contrary to popular belief, aqeeqah is not compulsory and to offer sacrifice on behalf of a deceased child is also unimportant.
Here at Swansea Mosque we provide the facility to fulfil this Sunnah and to bring it in to practise. Please contact us for further details.