‘Aqiqah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

عن سمرة بن جندب – رضي الله عنه – أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال: «كُلُّ غلام رَهِينةٌ بعقَيقَتِه، تُذبَح عنه يوم السابع، ويُحلقُ رأسُه، ويُسمَّى». … أخرجه أبو داود. (جامع الأصول ٥٦٠٧)

Allah’s Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ 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. (Abu Dawud)

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In ‘Arabic, ‘Aqq means to cut. ‘Aqiqah is named so because of its double aptness with the ceremony: slaughtering and cutting of a sacrificial animal, and cutting and shaving of the baby’s hair[1]. ‘Aqiqah was one of the several sacrifices customary among the ‘Arabs even before Islam[2]. Islam retained this sacrifice with the holy Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ himself carrying out ‘Aqiqah for his grandsons. It seems one of the purposes behind ‘Aqiqah is to highlight the Islamic principle of publicizing Halal and lawful acts. We see this principle applied in the Halal act of marriage, which builds a pure and pious bond between a man and a woman. The Shari’ah prescribes Walimah-feast to ensure sufficient publicity to the event. Likewise, when a child is born out of this Halal relationship, his lineage too should be given publicity so that other people in the society get to know. This could well be the wisdom behind the Sunnah of ‘Aqiqah.

Status of ‘Aqiqah

  • ‘Aqiqah is Sunnah.

According to the famous view of Imam Abu Hanifah, ‘Aqiqah is just permissible, not compulsory or Sunnah[3], based on Hazrat ‘Ali’s report[4] that the sacrifice of Idul Azha has abrogated all other sacrifices. However, according to most jurists, ‘Aqiqah is Sunnah[5]. This view seems more correct as there are many Hadiths supporting it[6]. The research-inclined scholars among Hanafis too have ruled it as desirable or Sunnah. Imam Tahawi has called it desirable and Maulana ‘Abdul Hai Lakhnawi has concurred with this[7]. ‘Allamah Kasani writes that it is permissible to have a share in a sacrificial animal for ‘Aqiqah when other shares in it are meant for Qurbani (Idul Azha sacrifice), as the purpose behind ‘Aqiqah too is to gain closeness to Allah[8]. This clearly means that according to him, ‘Aqiqah is at the least desirable. As for Hazrat ‘Ali’s Hadith, it means that after Allah made Idul Azha sacrifice compulsory, ‘Aqiqah and other sacrifices lost their compulsory status. Now ‘Aqiqah is just desirable.

‘Aqiqah animals

  • A baby boy’s ‘Aqiqah should be done with two goats, and a baby girl’s with one goat.
  • Goat is preferable to camel and cow in ‘Aqiqah.

Hazrat Umme Kurz رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا reports that Allah’s Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said: a baby boy’s ‘Aqiqah should be carried out with two goats and a baby girl’s ‘Aqiqah with one goat[9]. Hazrat ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and ‘Aishah رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا also report Hadiths with similar content[10].

On the other hand, Hazrat ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا reports that the Prophet sacrificed a single ram for each of Hazrat Hasan and Husain[11]. Based on this Hadith, the Hanafis and Malikis prescribe only one goat for a boy as well as a girl. The Shafi’is and the Hanbalis practice upon the first Hadith, holding that it is preferable to sacrifice two goats for a boy and one for a girl[12]. This view is more correct as Hazrat Hasan and Husain’s ‘Aqiqah with one goat each was meant to demonstrate the permissible limit.

Jurists are unanimous that only the animals whose sacrifice is permissible in Idul Azha may be sacrificed for ‘Aqiqah. These animals are: camel, cow, ox, goat and ram. According to Imams Shafi’i and Ahmad, sacrificing a camel for ‘Aqiqah is preferable, while Imam Malik prefers goat[13]. As a matter of fact, Imam Malik’s view is closer to the Hadiths. When a wife of Hazrat ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abu Bakr vowed to sacrifice a camel at baby-birth, Hazrat ‘Aishah رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا said: “It is preferable to follow the Sunnah of sacrificing two goats on behalf of a boy and one goat on behalf of a girl[14].

The day of ‘Aqiqah

  • ‘Aqiqah should be done on the 7th day of the child-birth. If it couldn’t be done, then on the 14th If that too couldn’t be done, then on the 21st day.
  • If ‘Aqiqah is done before the child becomes adult, then this is also Sunnah.
  • ‘Aqiqah after a child becomes adult is not Sunnah. It is just permissible. However, this too is reward-worthy.[15]

The ‘Aqiqah should be carried on the seventh day since the baby’s birth. If it is done before the seventh day, then also it is acceptable. Up to which age, ‘Aqiqah is allowed? In this matter, Imams Shafi’i and Ahmad are of the view that ‘Aqiqah should be done before the child becomes adult[16]. In contrast, Imam Malik says that there is no place for ‘Aqiqah after the seventh day[17].

According to the general opinion, if it is not possible to carry out ‘Aqiqah on the 7th day, then it should be done on the 14th, (and if not possible) then on the 21st day. This is mentioned in a report by Hazrat Buraidah whose authenticity has been doubted by Hadith-scholars[18]. In addition, a statement of Hazrat ‘Aishah supports this. On account of this, ‘Allamah Ibn Qudamah has said that if the ‘Aqiqah could not be held on the 7th day, then holding it on 14th day, and (if not possible then) on 21st day is Sunnah[19].

Miscellaneous Rulings

  • The sacrificial meat may be consumed by the baby’s guardians, their friends and the poor and the needy.
  • It is desirable to not break the bones.
  • The animal should be slaughtered first, then the baby’s hair should be shaved.
  • It is Sunnah to give in Sadaqah silver equal in weight to the baby’s hair.
  • If the skin of the ‘Aqiqah animal is sold, it would be compulsory to give its price in Sadaqah.
  • While slaughtering, the slaughterer should say[20]:

بِسْمِ اللهِ، وَاللهُ أكْبَرُ مِنْكَ وَلَكَ، هٰذِهٖ عَقِيْقَةُ فُلَانٍ.

Bismillah, wallahu akbar, minka wa lak. Hazihi ‘aqiqatu fulan.

In Allah’s name. Allah is the greatest. This if from You and for You. This is the ‘Aqiqah of so and so.

According to the Sunnah practice, the guardians of the child themselves may eat from the ‘Aqiqah meat, they may give the meat to the poor and the needy, and they may also give it to friends and acquaintances[21]. It is also a desirable practice to avoid breaking bones of the sacrificial animal. The bones should be separated from joints only. When the Prophet gifted the sacrificial animal’s thigh to the nurse on the occasion of Hazrat Hasan and Husain’s ‘Aqiqah, he said: “Don’t break the bone.[22]

A few reports mention that baby’s head should be stained with the ‘Aqiqah animal’s blood. However according to most scholars, the report is technically not tenable. Also, according to other Sahih reports, the Prophet has asked us to remove filth from the baby[23]. Blood being an obvious filth, this authentic Hadith contradicts the previous Za’if Hadith. In addition, ‘Abdullah Muzni reports that the Prophet forbade staining the baby’s head with blood[24]. Therefore, the correct opinion is that there is no need to stain the baby’s head with ‘Aqiqah blood. Jurists in general practice upon this correct view[25].

The desirable way is to start with slaughtering of the animal, then to shave the baby’s hair[26]. If the ‘Aqiqah animal’s skin is sold, then as in the case of the skin of Idul Azha sacrifice, giving the entire price in Sadaqah is compulsory[27]. It is Sunnah to weigh the child’s shaved hair and then give in charity silver equal to the hair by weight. The Prophet had instructed Hazrat Fatimah[28] to do this[29].

[1] Fath-ul Malik-il Ma’bud, Takmilah Al’azb-ul Maurud 373

[2] Abu Dawud 2843

عن عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَبِي بُرَيْدَةَ، يَقُولُ: كُنَّا فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ إِذَا وُلِدَ لِأَحَدِنَا غُلَامٌ ذَبَحَ شَاةً وَلَطَخَ رَأْسَهُ بِدَمِهَا، فَلَمَّا جَاءَ اللَّهُ بِالْإِسْلَامِ كُنَّا «نَذْبَحُ شَاةً، وَنَحْلِقُ رَأْسَهُ وَنُلَطِّخُهُ بِزَعْفَرَانٍ»

Hazrat Buraidah used to say: In the days of Ignorance when a baby got born to any of us, we would slaughter a goat and stain the baby with its blood. Then Allah brought Islam to us and we would now slaughter a goat, shave the baby’s hair, and smear him with saffron.

[3] Badai’ 5/69, ‘Alamgiri 5/263

[4] Correction: The author of Halalo Haram calls it Hazrat ‘Aishah’s Hadith but the correct reporter, according to Nasbur Rayah is Hazrat ‘Ali.

عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “نَسَخَتْ الزَّكَاةُ كُلَّ صَدَقَةٍ، وَنَسَخَ صَوْمُ رَمَضَانَ كُلَّ صَوْمٍ، وَنَسَخَ غُسْلُ الْجَنَابَةِ كُلَّ غُسْلٍ، وَنَسَخَتْ الْأَضَاحِيُّ كُلَّ ذَبِيحٍ. (نصب الراية ٤/٢٠٨)

Allah’s Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said: Zakah has abrogated all charities, Ramazan’s fasting has abrogated all fastings, Janabah bath has abrogated all baths, and Idul Azha sacrifice has abrogated all sacrifices.

[5] Al Mughni 8/645, Bidayatul Mujtahid 1/448

[6] Abu Dawud, The Chapter of Al ‘Aqiqah

[7] At Ta’liqul Mumajjad 288

[8] Badai’ 5/72

[9] Abu Dawud: 2835, the chapter of ‘Aqiqah

عَنْ أُمِّ كُرْزٍ، قَالَتْ: سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: «أَقِرُّوا الطَّيْرَ عَلَى مَكِنَاتِهَا». قَالَتْ: وَسَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ: «عَنِ الْغُلَامِ شَاتَانِ، وَعَنِ الْجَارِيَةِ شَاةٌ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ أَذُكْرَانًا كُنَّ أَمْ إِنَاثًا»

[10] Tirmizi

[11] Subulus Salam 4/426, the chapter of ‘Aqiqah.

[12] Nailul Autar 5/132, ‘Alamgiri 5/362, Subulus Salam 4/1428

[13] Bidayatul Mujtahid 1/449, Sharh Muhazzab 8/430

[14] Mustadrak 4/238, I’laus Sunan 17/115

عَنْ أُمِّ كُرْزٍ، وَأَبِي كُرْزٍ، قَالَا: نَذَرَتِ امْرَأَةٌ مِنْ آلِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ إِنْ وَلَدَتِ امْرَأَةُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ نَحَرْنَا جَزُورًا، فَقَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا: «لَا بَلِ السُّنَّةُ أَفْضَلُ عَنِ الْغُلَامِ شَاتَانِ مُكَافِئَتَانِ، وَعَنِ الْجَارِيَةِ شَاةٌ تُقْطَعُ جُدُولًا وَلَا يُكْسَرَ لَهَا عَظْمٌ فَيَأْكُلُ وَيُطْعِمُ وَيَتَصَدَّقُ، وَلْيَكُنْ ذَاكَ يَوْمَ السَّابِعِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فَفِي أَرْبَعَةَ عَشَرَ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فَفِي إِحْدَى وَعِشْرِينَ» (المستدرك ٧٥٩٥)

[15] Kitabul Fatawa 4/174

[16] Sharh Muhazzab 8/330, Al Mughni 8/646

[17] Subulus Salam 4/1429

[18] Majma’uz Zawaid 4/59, The time of ‘Aqiqah

بريدةُ رفعه: ((العقيقة لسبع أو أربع عشرة أو إحدى وعشرين)). «للأوسط»، و «الصغير»، بضعف.

Hazrat Buraidah quotes the Prophet as saying: ‘Aqiqah should be on the 7th day, or on the 14th day, or on the 21st.

[19] Al Mughni, The chapter of slaughtering

[20] Jam’ul Fawaid 3985

عن عائشة رفعته: ((اذبحوا على اسمه وقولوا باسم الله، والله أكبر منك ولك، هذه عقيقة فلان.

[21] Sharh Muhazzab 8/448

[22] Al Muhalla 6/240 with research by ‘Abdul Ghaffar, At Tauzih li Sharh-il Jami’is Sahih 26/290 (Shamilah). However, according to Bahishti Zewar 6/13, not breaking bones is baseless.

[23] Jami’ul Usul 5610

سلمان بن عامر الضبي – رضي الله عنه – قال: سمعتُ رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم- يقول: «مع الغلام عَقيقَتُه، فأهريِقُوا عنه دماً، وأمِيطُوا عنه الأذى» وقد رُوي عنه موقوفاً. أخرجه البخاري وأبو داود والترمذي والنسائي.

Allah’s Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said: With a baby comes the responsibility of doing ‘Aqiqah. So shed blood on his behalf, and remove filth from his body.

Here, “remove filth” means shaving of hair from the baby’s head.

[24] Majma’uz Zawaid 4/58

لا يمس رأسه

[25] Al Mughni 9/365

[26] Fathul Bari 9/515

[27] Al Mughni 9/366

[28] Correction: In Halalo Haram, it is Hazrat ‘Aishah.

[29] Subulus Salam 4/1429

عَلِيُّ: أن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – عق عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بِشَاةٍ وَقَالَ: ((يَا فَاطِمَةُ احْلِقِي رَأْسَهُ وَتَصَدَّقِي بِزِنَةِ شَعْرِهِ فِضَّةً فوزنًّاه فَكَانَ وَزْنُهُ دِرْهَمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ دِرْهَمٍ)). للترمذي. (مجمع الزوائد ٣٩٨٩)

Allah’s Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ carried out ‘Aqiqah for Hazrat Hasan with a goat. He then said: “O Fatimah! Shave his hair then give in charity silver equal to his hair by weight.” We weighed his hair which turned out to be one dirham (3 gram) or less than that. (Tirmizi)

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One thought on “‘Aqiqah

  1. May Allah reward you and Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, the writer of Halaal o Haraam, from where you have taken the contents.

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