When A ChildIs Born, Make Aqiqah
The ahaadeeth about the prescription of the ‘Aqiqah’ are many. From them is that which al-Bukhari reports: that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “With the child, there is ‘Aqiqah’, so spill blood for him and remove the harm from him”.
And from them is the hadeeth of Samurah who said: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Every child is in pledge (raheenah) for its ‘Aqiqah’ which is sacrificed for it on its seventh day, and it is named on it, and its head is shaved.”
1. When a boy or girl is born, it is preferable to name the child and make Aqiqah on the seventh day. By making Aqiqah, the child is safeguarded from all types of dangers and calamities.
2. The method of Aqiqah is that if a boy is born, two goats or two sheep should be slaughtered. If a girl is born, one goat or one sheep should be slaughtered. Alternatively, if one wishes to take a share in a bull that is being slaughtered for Qurbani, then two shares should be taken for a boy and one share for a girl. Furthermore, the child’s head should be shaved, the hair should be weighed, and gold or silver equal to the weight of the hair should be given to charity. If one wishes, saffron could be applied to the child’s head.
3. If one does not make the Aqiqah on the seventh day, one should bear in mind the seventh day (when making the Aqiqah in the future). The method of calculating the seventh day is that the day that the child is born, Aqiqah should be made the following week but one day before that. For example, if the child is born on a Friday, Aqiqah should be made on the following Thursday. If the child was born on a Thursday, Aqiqah should be made on the following Wednesday.
4. The custom of slaughtering the animal at the exact time when the barber places his shaving machine on the child’s head is nothing but a useless custom. According to Shariah, it is permissible to slaughter the animal either before shaving the head or after. It is not good to insist on following customs that have no basis in the Shariah.
5. The animal that cannot be used for Qurbani cannot be used for Aqiqah as well. If an animal is permissible for Qurbani, it will be permissible for Aqiqah as well.
6. The meat of Aqiqah could be distributed raw or cooked, or it could be prepared as a meal and people could be invited to join in the meal.
7. It is permissible for the parents, grandparents, etc. to consume the meat of Aqiqah.
8. A person does not have sufficient wealth. He, therefore, makes Aqiqah of only one animal on behalf of his son. There is no harm in doing so. If a person does not make Aqiqah at all, there is no harm in this as well.