Rafed English

The Birth Sacrifice

There are things in life that cannot truly be comprehended without experience. One of the joyful memorable moments that parents go through is the first time they lay their eyes on their newborn. It is a love story, which melts the parents’ hearts, as they welcome these gentle creations with rose-leaf skin into their lives. 

Islam gave many rituals for its followers to act upon during such magical times. One of the most emphasized rituals in the sayings of Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s) is “Birth Sacrifice” or Aqiqa, which is to slaughter an animal after one's baby is born. This action is so important that many great scholars believed it to be obligatory (1). 
One of the hadiths that indicates the importance of Aqiqa and its relationship with the newborn child is the hadith of Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s) that says: “Every newborn is mortgaged by its Aqiqa.” It means that the child is like a mortgaged being that can only be benefited from when it is paid off (2). In addition, since the child is a blessing and thanking the blesser is obviously an upright moral act, this ritual is a way to give thanks to Allah (s.w.t) for this precious gift.
This ritual is that vital that, according to the hadiths of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s), the one whose birth sacrifice was not performed by his parents, should fulfill it on his own behalf even if they became old (3).
In the hadiths of Ahl Al-Bayt (a.s), there is a set of etiquettes for the ritual of Aqiqa, some of which are related to the future and goodness of the child, including:
1- A male animal be slaughtered for a boy baby and a female animal slaughtered for a girl baby (4).
2- The animal's shank or one-fourth of it be given to the baby's midwife (5).
3 – Ten or more Muslims be fed by it (6).
4- The parents should not eat the meat (7).
5- The animal chosen should be fat (8).
6- It is reported that the following statement should be said at slaughtering the animal that is offered as a sacrifice in the name of the newborn:
بسم اللّه و باللّه، اللّهمّ عقيقة عن لحمها بلحمه، و دمها بدمه و عظمها بعظمه، اللّهمّ اجعلها وقاء لال محمّد عليه و اله السّلام.
يا قَوْمِ اِنّى بَرىٌ مِمّا تُشْرِكُونَ اِنّى وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِىَ لِلَّذى فَطَرَ السَّمواتِ وَالاَرْضَ حَنيفاً مُسْلِماً وَ ما اَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكينَ اِنَّ صَلوتى وَ نُسُكى وَ مَحْياىَ وَ مَماتى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعالَمينَ لا شَريكَ لَهُ وَ بِذلِكَ اُمِرْتُ وَ اَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمينَ اَللّهُمَّ مِنْكَ وَ لَكَ بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ وَ بِاللّٰهِ وَاللّٰهُ اَكْبَرُ اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ تَقَبَّلْ مِنْ فُلانِ بْنِ فُلانٍ
In the Name of God and through God, this is the ‘aqīqa of…. (name of the boy), son of …. (name of the parent): its flesh [i.e., the flesh of the sacrifice of the ‘aqīqa] for his flesh blood, its bone for his bone, its hair for his hair, its skin for his skin. O God, let it be a protection of the family of Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family.
O gathering, I am free from what you associate; I turn my face to He who split the heavens and the earth, a true believer and a Muslim, and not one of the polytheists.  My prayer, my piety, my living, and my dying are for God, the Lord of the Words.  O God, from You and to You, in the Name of God; God is greater.  O God, bless Muhammad, and accept [this] from … (name of the child). Son/daughter of …… (name of the parent) (9).
7- The ritual is recommended to be on seven days after the child's birth.

(1) Such as Al-Kulayni and Al-Sharif al-Murtada, view Mirat Al-Aqool v.21, p.44.  
(2) Mirat Al-Aqool v.21, p.44-45.
(3) Wasil Al-Shia, v.15, p. 142.


Share this article

Comments 0

Your comment

Comment description

Latest Post

Most Reviews