What is the correct ruling on Aqeeqah, how long does its obligation on a parent remain and its requirements, when should it be done and at what age of the child should it be done?
Aqiqah is the sacrifice which is done on the birth of a child; out of happiness and thanks to Allah.
As per the Hanafi madhab, it is mubah (permissible) and mustahab (liked) to perform the Aqiqah. It is also liked to perform the sacrifice on the 7th or 14th or 21st day from the childs day of birth. So for example, if the child was born on Monday then the sacrifice should be performed on Sunday.
If the sacrifice is not done on these days, then it can be done at any time during the life of the child. It is better to sacrifice two goats for a boy and one goat for a girl. However, to perform Aqiqah is not farD (obligatory), therefore one is not blameworthy if the sacrifice is not offered.
It is narrated from Um Kurz that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) said:
عَنْ أُمِّ كُرْزٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ فِي الْغُلاَمِ شَاتَانِ مُكَافَأَتَانِ وَفِي الْجَارِيَةِ شَاةٌ
“for a boy two sheep, Mukafaatan (of equal age), and for a girl, one sheep.”
[Sunan an-Nasa’i Book 40, Hadith 4]
The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) also said:
عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ كُلُّ غُلاَمٍ رَهِينٌ بِعَقِيقَتِهِ تُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ سَابِعِهِ وَيُحْلَقُ رَأْسُهُ وَيُسَمَّى
“Every boy is in pledge for his ‘Aqiqah, so slaughter (the animal) for him on the seventh day, and shave his head, and a name”
[Sunan an-Nasa’i Book 40, Hadith 9]
Allah knows best.
Answered by Mawlana Mohammed Kashif