What is an ‘Aqeeqah’?

The ‘Aqeeqah’ is a means of expressing gratitude to Allah (swt).
The birth of a child is a cause for great celebration. In Islam, certain etiquettes and rituals from the authentic traditions of the Prophet (saw) are recommended as a family welcomes a newborn child into the world.

These include:

  • choosing a pleasant name for the newborn
  • reciting the ‘Adhan’ in the baby’s right ear
  • reciting the ‘Iqamah’ in the left ear
  • doing ‘Tahnik’ – inserting something sweet such as a chewed date into the baby’s mouth
  • shaving the newborn’s head and
  • doing ‘Aqeeqah’

What does an ‘Aqeeqah’ involve?

The ‘Aqeeqah’ is a confirmed Sunnah of the Prophet (saw)
It involves slaughtering a goat or sheep and sharing its meat with friends and family on the occasion of welcoming a newborn child. The Prophet (saw) and his Companions (ra) used to perform it.

The Prophet (saw) said:

“‘Every child is in pledge for his ‘Aqeeqah’”.

Although it is not obligatory, it contains many benefits and we are encouraged to perform it.

The ‘Aqeeqah’:

  • is a means of expressing gratitude to Allah (swt) for the blessing of having a child
  • brings a child close to Allah (swt) soon after entering this world
  • resembles the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (as) instead of Ismail (as)
  • is a cause for feeding friends and family as a celebration of the newborn child
  • reminds people that children have rights in Islam

The Prophet (saw) said:

“Slaughter two comparable sheep for a male newborn and one sheep for a female”.

If a person cannot afford to slaughter two for a male newborn, it is acceptable to slaughter one.

When to do the ‘Aqeeqah’?

There is some flexibility.

It is recommended to offer the ‘Aqeeqah’ on the seventh, fourteenth or twenty-first day after birth. If this is not possible, it can be done on any day until the age of puberty.

What is a ‘Sadaqah’?

It is mentioned in the Quran and Hadith that a ‘Sadaqah’ removes difficulties in many ways.

A ‘Sadaqah’ is a voluntary charitable act that can be given in many ways. One of the most common ways is to sacrifice a goat for the sake of Allah (swt) to feed the poor, either on one’s own behalf or someone else’s. See Sadaqah