From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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]

Alternative views[edit]

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 aqiqah) be sufficient instead of aqiqah?'" 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 aqiqah; namely it would be exposed to death/kinds of calamities if they don't do aqiqah 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]

Shafi'i view[edit]

The Shafiʿi madhdhab, allows for an aqiqah practice after the death of a child. This is also the school of law that emphasizes the child’s potential for shafaʿa (intercession). Two prominent representatives of the Shafiʿi madhhab who defend this idea of a deceased child as heavenly intercessor are alSuyuti (ca. 1445–1505) and al-Ghazzali (ca. 1058-1111).[12]

Abu Hanifa's view[edit]

Abu Hanifa, unlike other jurists, held that the aqiqah sacrifice was an illegitimate practice[13] from the pre-Islamic pagan period in Arabia.[14][15][16]

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.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sunan al-Tirmidhi, hadith #1522–1524" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-10-06. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
  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 hdl:1887/12442
  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. ^ Abū al-Faḍl ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Suyuti, Nuzhat al-muta’ammil wa murshid al-muta’ahhil fi’l khatib wa al-mutazawwij; Ghazali’s classic work Revival of Religious Sciences deals with this issue in the chapter on the advantages and disadvantages of marriage. A Swahili booklet mentioning shufaa is Abdallah Bawazir, Haki za mtoto mchanga katika uislam (Dar es Salaam), 1: “Mtoto ambaye hakuchinjwa akika, hapewi nafasi ya kuwaombea (Shufaa) wazazi wake siku ya kiama.”
  13. ^ ibn Hubayra, Awn al-Din (1996). al-Ifṣāḥ ʿan Maʿānī al-Ṣiḥāḥ. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiya. p. 563.
  14. ^ al-Baghdādī, Abū Bakr Aḥmad ibn ʿAlī (2001). Tarikh Baghdad. Dar al-Gharb al-Islami. p. 568.
  15. ^ al-Maqdisī, Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad (1997). al-Mug̲h̲nī. Dar 'Alam al-Kutub. p. 395.
  16. ^ al-'Iraqi, Zain al-Din (2008). Ṭarḥ al-Tathrīb. Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi. p. 206.
  17. ^ Trygve Wyller (2007). The Given Child. p. 55. ISBN 9783525604366.