What is Aqeeqah / Aqiqah?
Aqeeqah, an Islamic terminology, is defined as the animal that is slaughtered on the occasion of childbirth. This is a highly encouraging virtue (Sunnah Mu’akadah) recommended by the prophet (Peace be upon him). Supporting reference: It was narrated from Salmaan ibn ‘Aamir al-Dabbi that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say:
“Aqeeqah is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and remove all dirt from him.”
Narrated by Al-Bukhari
When Should an Aqeeqah / Aqiqah be performed?
The sheep should be slaughtered on the seventh day, but if there is a delay it may be slaughtered at any time, although it is preferable to do it as soon as possible. Supporting Reference: The sheep should be slaughtered on the seventh day, but if it is delayed it is permissible to slaughter them at any time, and there is no sin in delaying it, but it is better to do it as soon as possible. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 11/439
How many animals should be sacrificed per aqeeqah /Aqiqah?
For a boy, two sheep should be sacrificed, and for a girl, one sheep should be sacrificed. Supporting Reference: It was narrated from Umm Karaz that she asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) about Aqeeqah and he said:
“For a boy, two sheep, and for a female one sheep, and it does not matter if it is male or female.”
Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi
For what reason would I perform a general sacrifice?
Making a Conditional Vow (Nadir)
This vow comes under the heading of vows to do acts of worship and obedience, so it must be fulfilled, whether it was general or conditional. A general vow is when a person says, for example, “I vow – or I promise to Allah – that I will sacrifice a sheep, or give it to the poor or to my relatives.”
A conditional vow is one where a person says, for example, “If Allah heals me, or if I succeed, or I get a salary, or I acquire such and such an amount of money, I will offer a sacrifice etc.”
With regard to the obligation of fulfilling the vow, that is because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever vows to obey Allah, let him obey Him, but whoever vows to disobey Allah, let him not disobey Him.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6318).
So long as you did not stipulate a specific time for fulfilling your vow, then it is permissible for you to fulfil it at any time, during the days of Eid al-Adha or at any other time.
But if you intended to offer a sacrifice this year, the sacrifice in fulfilment of your vow does not count as the qurban/udhiyah sacrifice too, even if it is sacrificed during the days of Eid al-Adha. But if you intended to offer a sacrifice this year, the sacrifice in fulfilment of your vow does not count as the qurban/udhiyah sacrifice too, even if it is sacrificed during the days of Eid al-Adha.
Being Grateful (Giving Thanks to Allah for something good that has happened to you)
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah has provided for you. And be grateful for the Graces of Allah, if it is He Whom you worship”
“seek your provision from Allah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back”
Part of being grateful to Allaah is seeking to draw closer to Him by means of different kinds of acts of worship and to endear oneself to Him by means of good deeds such as prayer, zakaah, fasting, and so on. Another part of being grateful to Allaah is giving thanks to Him by means of sacrifice rituals, which means offering a sacrifice for the sake of Allaah.
If Allah bestows a great blessing upon a person – and all His blessing is great – then it is mustahabb (recommended) for him to give thanks to Allaah for it by showing kindness to people, so he should offer a sacrifice and make food and invite his brothers and friends, and give charity to those who are in need.
Al-Ihsan Foundation has provided 17,376 beneficiaries with meat to consume through aqeeqah. Aqeeqah is a service that is provided the whole year around so that it is convenient and easy for all parents to fulfil religious traditions. (As of August 19)