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Author Topic: Aqiqah  (Read 58 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: October 05, 2023, 06:05:52 pm »
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Walaikum As-Salam.

Aqiqah is a ceremony in our Muslim society that takes place on the 7th day of a baby's birth, but is sometimes performed later.  During this ceremony, generally two animals (goat, sheep, cow or camel) are sacrificed for a baby boy and one for a baby girl. But usually people don’t stick to these numbers and one can sacrifice any number of animals they please for the birth of their child, boy or girl. Sacrificial meat is cooked and shared with family, friends and the community who are in need.  One-third for the family, one-third for neighbors/friends and the final third for the poor, though I doubt if currently this rule is accurately followed considering the soaring cost of meat.  It symbolizes the baby's purification and readiness for prayer and obedience to Allah. 

As a customary practice, in some Aqiqah ceremonies the baby is given a taste of honey to reflect the sweetness and beauty of the Noble Quran. 

Aqiqah is not from the Quran.  It’s purely “sunnah,” that is, from hadith with no conformity with the Quran as the Benchmark.  Unfortunately 98% of hadith practices and rules do not pass this test.

The most common hadith circulated in regard to Aqiqah ceremony is, quote:  “Samra bin Jundub RA reported that the Prophet (P.B.U.H) said, “A boy is pledged by his ‘Aqiqah, so slaughter for him on the seventh day, and do it in the name of Allah” (Transmitted by Al Tirmidhi and Abu Dawoud).  Additionally our ulemas have put their rules saying that if Aqiqah cannot be arranged on the 7th day, it should be done on the 14th day. If not on the 14th then on the 21st day.  If delayed beyond that, then the parents or guardians should sacrifice an animal before the kid reaches puberty.  If there has been no Aqiqah even after the kid reaches puberty then that adult kid should arrange the Aqiqah for themselves.  These are all from human sources, not the Noble Quran.  Thus there is no need for Muslim adults to worry whether or not they had an Aqiqah ceremony as babies.  That does not have any bearing on your soul as long as you are sincere to Allah and you have successfully grasped His guidance.

It is also taken that the baby should be named on the day of the Aqiqah which also springs from another widely circulated unreliable hadith of Abu Dawud, quote: “The Prophet (saw) said ‘Every baby is held as if in mortgage up to his aqiqah.  So, on his seventh day, sacrifice should be made on his behalf, his head should be shaved and he should be given a name.’ ”  Seems like this hadith is apparently a later time forgery compared to the one quoted before, because if it’s necessary to name the baby on day of Aqiqah, then obviously the occasion of Aqiqah cannot be delayed until the child reaches puberty.

The purpose of Aqiqah is a means of expressing gratitude to Allah for the blessing of having a child.  It is also a gesture of seeking the protection of Allah for the newborn from misguidance and all future ills.  So, it is basically a gesture of the parents’ or guardians’ commitment of obedience to Allah Almighty.  If the parents are skeptics, some other member of the family or extended family can arrange the Aqiqah which will be beneficial for them for their gratitude and trust toward Allah Almighty.  As for the babies or infants, they will have to seek guidance of Allah through their own efforts when they turn into adults.  After all, Allah guides those who seek His guidance.  A mere Aqiqah won’t help to guide any one later in life unless they don’t awaken themselves.
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