What is Aqiqah
Aqiqah, in Islamic terminology is defined as the animal that is slaughtered on the occasion of child birth.
The performance of Aqiqah is highly encouraged as it is a great act of Sunnah.
It is to be performed by the parents or the guardians of the child. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions used to perform Aqiqah when they were bestowed with a newborn.
When Should Aqiqah be Performed?
The best time to perform Aqiqah is on the seventh day after the birth of the baby.
What is the Purpose of Aqiqah?
There are many benefits in the performance of Aqiqah.
It allows the opportunity for the family to announce the birth of the baby, as this is a great blessing from the Creator.
Another purpose is inviting family members, neighbors, and friends to celebrate the blessed occasion. The poor should be included in the celebration by offering them some of this meat.
Types of animals to be slaughtered for Aqiqah
The following is a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) where he advised Aqiqah a goat/sheep.
Narrated Umm Kurz: The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Two sheep which resemble each other are to be sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl. (Sunan Abu Dawood Book 15, No. 2830)
The condition of the animal for aqiqah
The condition of the animals in Aqiqah is the same as the conditions for the animals in Qurbani.
The animals to be slaughtered must be either goat, cow or sheep.
For goats, it must be a minimum of two years old.
For cows, it must be a minimum of 3 years old.
For sheep, it must be a minimum of ten months and older.
In any case, all animals must be in good health and be free from any form of handicap such as blindness, any form of sickness, and should be well nourished.
The animals must be slaughtered in the appropriate humane ways according to the strict "halal" guidelines.
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