What is Aqiqah?
Aqiqah, is Islamic tradition of the sacrifice of a goat or sheep on the occasion of a child’s birth. Aqiqah is highly encouraged, and it is to be performed by the parents or the guardians of the child. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions used to perform Aqiqah when they were bestowed with a newborn.
Allah the almighty has bestowed us with this blessing in the form of the newborn child therefore by performing Aqiqah we are being thankful to Allah (the almighty) and seeking protection from him.
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Two sheep which resemble each other are to be sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl." (Sunan Abu Dawood Book 15, No. 2830)
“A baby is being pledged for his Aqiqah, sacrifice is made for him on the seventh day, his head is shaved, and a name is given him". Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)
It is accepted that if one cannot slaughter on the seventh day, Aqiqah can be performed on the fourteenth day or on the twenty-first day and so on. Aqiqah should be however conducted before the child reaches puberty
Aqiqah is a form of ibadah, blended with a sense of gratitude towards the Creator Allah. Aqiqah is an expression of graditude for the favour bestowed if the birth of a child.
This is why it is an accepted practice that meat of the Aqiqah is shared with the poor and needy. Other good intentions made include sadaqah which is equal to the weight of the child’s shaven hair in silver.
“The meat of Aqiqah should be divided into three shares, one share for the organizer of the Aqiqah, one for his relatives and one for miskīn. However this is preferential, not essential. If the organzier wants, he can cook the entire meat at his home or alternatively can also distribute it all to others” A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 20. Pp 584)
Aqiqah is a sign of good intention.