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ʾAqīqah (Arabic: عقيقة), aqeeqa, or aqeeqah is the Islamic tradition of the sacrifice of an animal on the occasion of a child's birth. Aqiqah is a type of sadaqah and it is also sunnah,[1] though not obligatory.[2]


According to hadith and the majority of Islamic scholars, two goats are sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl.[3][4]

If one cannot slaughter on the seventh day, someone may slaughter on the fourteenth day or on the twenty-first day. If one is not capable of doing so, then a person may slaughter any time before the puberty of the child. The aqiqah is sunnah and mustahabb; it is not obligatory at all, so there is no sin on the one who does not do it.[5][6]

According to a hadith in Muwatta Imam Malik, Fatima donated, in silver equivalent, the shaved-hair weight of her children Hasan, Husayn, Umm Kulthum and Zaynab.[7]

Shia views[edit]

Ja'far al-Sadiq, a great grandchild of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a prominent scholar in his era, claimed that the shaving, slaughtering for aqiqah, and naming of the child should, ideally, be done within one hour.[8]

Additionally, Ja'far al-Sadiq replied in response to a question: "'Would almsgiving (equal to the price of aqeeqah) be sufficient instead of aqeeqah?'" with the answer that: 'No, it wouldn't be sufficient; Allah likes giving food and submission to his will.'"[9][10]

According to another hadith from Ja'far al-Sadiq, every born is in pawn of aqeeqah; namely it would be exposed to death/kinds of calamities if they don't do aqeeqah for the child.[11] It is Sunnah for the parents to eat from the meat of aqiqah.[8]

Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib performed aqiqah for Muhammad on the seventh day of his birth and invited members of his family for the occasion, who asked "what is this?" to which he replied "Aqiqah for Ahmad". He claimed to have named him Ahmad "because of the praises of the inhabitants of the skies and the Earth for him".[8]

Muhammad is said to have performed aqiqah for both Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, his grandsons, on the seventh day of their births respectively by sacrificing one sheep each; the leg of which was given to the nurse that helped with the delivery.[8] Anointing the baby with the blood of the sacrificed animal for aqiqah was a common practice among Arab pagans and was therefore prohibited in Islam.[8]

Islamic historical usage[edit]

The tradition of animal sacrifice and weighing the first haircut against gold or silver for charity appear to have their origins in pre-Islamic Arabia.[12]

An aqiqah performed by Ghazi Burhanuddin led to interreligious strife in the Gour Kingdom, eventually triggering the Conquest of Sylhet in 1303, an event instrumental to the spread of Islam in eastern Bengal.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sunan al-Tirmidhi, hadith #1522–1524
  2. ^ Muḥammad Manẓūr Nuʻmānī; Rafiq Abdur Rehman (2002). معارف الحديث. Darul-Ishaat. p. 354.
  3. ^ Child Education in Islam. Islamic Books. p. 51.
  4. ^ Afsaneh Najmabadi (2003). Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Family, body, sexuality and health. Brill. p. 32.
  5. ^ The sacred meadows : a structural analysis of religious symbolism in an East African town / by Abdul Hamid M. el Zein.
  6. ^ 'Raise your voices and kill your animals' : Islamic discourses on the Idd el-Hajj and sacrifices in Tanga (Tanzania) : authoritative texts, ritual practices and social identities / by Gerard C. van de Bruinhorst full text
  7. ^ Child Education in Islam. Islamic Books. p. 40.
  8. ^ a b c d e al-Kulayni, Muhammad ibn Ya'qub (2015). Al-Kafi (Volume 6 ed.). NY: Islamic Seminary Incorporated. ISBN 9780991430864.
  9. ^ The rulings (Ahkams) of Aqeeqah Retrieved 26 June 2018
  10. ^ Is aqeeqah obligatory to Mustahab (recommended)? Retrieved 26 June 2018
  11. ^ Aghighah and its rulings Retrieved 26 June 2018
  12. ^ Trygve Wyller (2007). The Given Child. p. 55. ISBN 9783525604366.
  13. ^ EB (2002). "Suharwardy Yemani Sylheti, Shaikhul Mashaikh Hazrat Makhdum Ghazi Shaikh Jalaluddin Mujjarad (1271–?)". In Hanif, N. (ed.). Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: Central Asia and Middle East. Vol. 2. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. p. 459. ISBN 81-7625-266-2.