Importance of carrying out Aqiqah
- :Abbas and Shahin Merali
It is narrated that the life of a child is bound by ‘Aqi-qah 205, and if it is not carried out, it exposes one to tribulation and death. If delayed, it is sunnah on the father until the bulugh of the child, and after bulugh, it is sunnah on the child himself. 206
It is narrated from Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as) that aqi-qah is necessary for any rich man, and if one is poor, he should perform aqi-qah once he obtains some money, and if he does not obtain any money, then it is ok. If one has not performed aqi-qah, and he carried out a sacrifice (qurbani), this will suffice.
It is narrated that somebody asked Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as): “We have asked for a sheep for aqi-qah but cannot get one, what do you suggest? Should we give the value of the sheep as Sadaqah instead?” Ima-m replied, “No, ask until you get one as Alla-h (swt) likes the feeding of (others)...”
‘Umar bin Yazi-d narrates that he asked Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as): “I don’t know if my father performed aqi-qah for me or not.” Ima-m replied, “Perform it,” and so he performed aqi-qah in his old age.
In another tradition it is related that somebody asked Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as) that if a child dies on the 7th day, should aqi-qah still be carried out? Ima-m replied if the child dies before Zuhr, aqi-qah is not necessary, but if the child died after Zuhr, then do it.
What should be slaughtered?
It is common among the ulema that the ‘Aqi-qah should be a sheep, a camel or a goat, and that the ‘Aqi-qah of a boy should be a male animal and the ‘Aqi-qah of a girl should be a female animal.
If it is a camel, it should be 5 years or older. If it is a goat, it should be 1 year or older. If it is a sheep, it should be at least 6 months or older and it is better if the 7th month has been completed. Its testicles should not be cut and it is better if the testicles is not squashed either. Its horn should not be broken (such that it bled) and its ears should not be cut. It should not be too thin, nor blind, nor should it be so lame that walking is difficult for it.
However, it is important to note that as narrated from Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as), ‘Aqi-qah is not the same as sacrifice (qurba-ni-) which has stricter criteria for the type of animal that is sacrificed. Therefore, if it is not possible that the above criteria be met, any sheep is fine, although the fatter it is the better.
Du‘a-s at the time of ‘Aqi-qah 207
At the time of slaughtering the animal for ‘Aqi-qah, the following supplications should be recited:
1. At the end of the supplication, one should say his name and the name of his father for example, if the father’s name is Ta-hir and his father’s name is ‘Abdullah you would say, Ta-hir ibne (the son of) ‘Abdullah]. This supplication begins with Verses 78 and 79 of Surat al-An’a-m followed by Verses 162 and 169 of Surat al-An’a-m:
[Name of father and his father]
“O my nation! Surely I disown myself from that which you associate (with Alla-h (swt)).” “Surely I have turned my entire presence towards He who has brought forth the Heavens and the Earth, sincerely and I am not of those who set up partners (with Alla-h (swt)). Surely my Sala-t and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all entirely for Alla-h (swt), the Lord of the All the Worlds, He has no partners and to this I have been commanded (to attest to) and I am the first of those who submit as Muslims.” “O’ Alla-h (swt)! Surely this (animal) is from You and it goes back to You in the Name of Alla-h (swt) and Alla-h (swt) is greater than any description which can be mentioned of Him. O Alla-h (swt)! Shower your prayers upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and accept this from [your name and your father’s name.]”
2. The following supplication should also be read while the animal is being slaughtered (whether the child is a boy or girl):
205 al-Ka-fi-, vol. 6, pg. 25, no. 3
206 Halliyatul Muttaqi-n, pg. 150
207 A Mother’s Prayer
Adapted from the book: "From Marriage to Parenthood; The Heavenly Path" by: "Abbas and Shahin Merali"
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