By: Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (with editing by MuslimVillage)
Source: Bahishti Zewar
1. When a boy or girl is born it is preferable to name the child on the seventh day and to have an aqeeqah done. Through the aqeeqah the child is safeguarded from all types of dangers and calamities.
2. The method of aqeeqah is as follows: two goats or two sheep should be slaughtered for a baby boy while one goat or one sheep should be slaughtered for a baby girl. Alternatively, if one wishes to instead take a share in a bull that is being slaughtered for qurbâni (sacrifice), then two shares should be taken for a boy and one share for a girl. Additionally, 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 in charity. If one wishes, saffron may be applied to the child’s head.
3. The seventh day occurs one week after the child’s birth on the day before the day the child was born. For example, if the child was born on a Friday the aqeeqah would be done on the following Thursday. If the child was born on a Thursday the aqeeqah would be done on the following Wednesday. If one does not have the aqeeqah done on the seventh day one may choose any day that occurs at seven-day intervals from the seventh day such as the fourteenth, or the twenty-first, or the twenty-eighth day and so on.
4. The custom of slaughtering the animal at the exact time when the barber places his shaving machine on the child’s head is baseless. According to the 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. An animal that is unsuitable for qurbâni is unsuitable for aqeeqah as well. If an animal is permissible for qurbâni, it will be permissible for aqeeqah as well.
6. The meat of the aqeeqah may be distributed raw, cooked, or prepared as a meal that people are invited to partake in.
7. It is permissible for the parents, grandparents, and so forth to consume the meat of the aqeeqah.
8. There is no harm whatsoever if one who does not have sufficient wealth performs an aqeeqah with only one animal, instead of two, for a son. If one does not perform the aqeeqah at all, there is no harm in that either.