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Aqiqah Fiqh


And for every nation we have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of their Lord over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. ”

(Al-Hajj 34.)

Aqiqah, similar to Qurbani, is not a trivial action.

Aqiqah is a protection for your child and Qurbani is the most beloved act of Ibadah for Allah swt during the days of Tashreek. How confident are you that your act of Ibadah is being carried out with the due care and attention that it deserves? It is important to understand the rulings and ask questions so that Aqiqah service providers can demonstrate how they perform this act of Ibadah on your behalf.

“It is not their meat, nor their blood that reaches Allah swt. It is your piety that reaches him. ”

(Qur’an 22:37)

The principles of Aqiqah are summarised below followed by links to the detailed fiqh positions. Many of the principles are derived from Qurbani fiqh.

“Samurah bin Jundub (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, ‘ Every child is mortgaged by its aqiqah. It should be slaughtered for him or her on its seventh day, the child’s hair should be shaved, and he or she should be named.’”

(An-Nasai, Abu Dawud)


Aqiqah principles


Who should perform Aqiqah?

According to the majority of scholars every adult Muslim who is eligible to pay Zakat, or has enough money to perform Aqiqah at the time of the newborn, should perform Aqiqah. A small animal (sheep or goat) counts as one Aqiqah.

“Salman bin Amir ad-Dabbi (ar) reported that Allah’s Messenger (as) said, ‘The aqiqah is prescribed for every child. Thus give thanks on its behalf, and remove the harm off it.’”

(Tirmizi, an-Nasai)

How many Aqiqah animals should be performed?

As a minimum two should be offered for a boy and one for a girl, but of course there’s no limit to how many you do!

“Aishah, Umm Kurz, and Salman bin Amir (ra) reported Allah’s Messenger (as) said, ‘ Slaughter for a boy two compatible sheep, and for a girl just one. It does not matter whether the sheep are male or female’”

(Ahmad, Abu Dawud)

No substitute for Aqiqah

You cannot give the equivalent amount of money to charity as a substitute for Aqiqah. Aqiqah is its own Ibadah like you cannot fast to make up for missed Salah.

Offer the best animal you can afford.

This is an offering on behalf of the newborn for Allah swt. Do you want to offer any old animal or an animal selected for the purpose that you can be proud of?

Taking examples from Qurbani the Prophet sas said:

“The wealth which is spent on Qurbani on the day of Eid, there is no dearer weath than it.”


“Imam Ahmad narrates that the Prophet sas said:  “The best Qurbani is the one which is expensive in price and is very fat”

In this regard lamb is more expensive than mutton although some may prefer mutton to lamb. Price is a good indicator of quality.

Offer the largest animal you can afford.

The hadith in Ibn Majah mentions there is reward for every fibre of wool on the animal. The bigger the animal the more the reward insha’Allah. The more meat you receive from your Aqiqah the larger the animal would have been.

The Prophet’s Aqiqah

Al-Baihaqi transmits from Anas (ra) that the Noble Prophet (sas) performed his own Aqiqah in the period after the proclamation of Prophethood, even though his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib (ra), had already performed the Aqiqah on the seventh day after his birth.

“Ibn Abbas, Aishah, Anas, Ali and others (RA) reported, ‘ Allah’s Messenger offered aqiqah for al-Hasan and al-Husayn: a ram, a ram (two rams, two rams).’”

(An-Nasai, Abu Dawud)

Animals must be of a certain age and eligibility. For lambs this is minimum 6 months and for goats 12 months.

Similar to Qurbani, animals for Aqiqah must be balig (post-puberty) – they should be mature. Lambs mature early (some breeds are slaughtered from 3 months onwards) so Prophet sas has provided a concession for lamb to be a jaz’ah (interpreted as a meaty plump 6 month old that looks like an adult in size) rather than a musinnah (adult, generally agreed as more than 12 months old) (Muslim). Jaz’ah means one that is of age (e.g. post puberty) and musinnah means ‘possessor of teeth’. A lamb has 8 baby teeth and roughly every year erupts 2 adult teeth so after 4 years they have a full mouth of 8 adult teeth. Once 2 adult teeth have erupted the lamb is a musinnah. This can occur at any time between 9-15 months.

Aqiqah service providers must engage with farmers and livestock traders to ensure the animals meet the right criteria. We at EQL have been engaging with farmers at livestock events to educate them on this critiera for Qurbani and Aqiqah. See full-page advert taken out at the NSA Welsh Sheep event.

Animal must be in a good state. Healthy (not sick) & fat (not thin). No defects, lameness, broken horns, broken teeth, blindness.

Aqiqah service providers should check each animal and pull out any animals which are not of the suitable standard.

Intention of Aqiqah

The slaughterman should make an intention for Aqiqah on behalf of the baby and parents. It is permissible to recite a dua similar to the dua recited during Qurbani time (see here).

Slaughtering your Aqiqah

It is preferable to slaughter your own Aqiqah. However legislation requires slaughtermen to hold a Certificate of Competence before they can legally slaughter and it is better that Aqiqah is performed swiftly by an experienced slaughterman rather than someone with little or no experience. It is desirable to be present when your Aqiqah is being slaughtered.

Mentioning the name of the baby and parents

It is preferable that the name of the baby and parents is mentioned at the time of slaughter. This is when the Aqiqah animal is allotted to the baby & baby’s parents.

Acceptance of Aqiqah

Aqiqah is accepted by Allah swt even before the blood hits the ground.

Skin & By-Products of the Aqiqah Animal

Any proceeds from the skin or other part of the animal should be given to charity. No part of the Aqiqah must be given to the slaughterer or butcher or another as payment for their service.

The Aqiqah service provider should tell you the value of the skin & by-products of the Aqiqah animal (e.g. offal, casing, tripe) to enable you to make a choice of whether to give this money to the slaughterer or butcher to give to charity on your behalf or whether to give the money to charity directly.

Eating from your Aqiqah

The rulings are similar to Qurbani where it is sunnah to eat from the animal you offer. Imam Ahmad narrated that Buraydah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not go out on the day of (Eid) al-Fitr until he had eaten, and he did not eat on the day of (Eid) al-Ad’ha until he came back, then he would eat from his sacrifice.”

Aqiqah service providers should ensure that animals on whom names are mentioned are correlated with their resulting carcasses and a identifying name or number be placed on the carcass to ensure traceability.

Distributing your Aqiqah meat

It is preferable to make three portions of your Aqiqah – one for yourself, one for friends & family and one for charity.

The blessings of a newborn

A newborn is a blessing and has rights upon his parents. These include listening to the adhaan as the first sound he/she hears, being given a good name (on the seventh day) and having an Aqiqah performed (also on the seventh day).

Sunnah to follow when a baby is born

  • Adhaan in the right ear, Iqamah in the left ear

  • Perform Tahneek, sweet date (softened by a parent) taste in baby’s mouth

  • A good meaning and thoughtful name (seventh day)

  • Shave baby’s hair and give its weight in gold or silver to the poor (seventh day)

  • Offer the best Aqiqah (at least two for a boy and one for a girl) and share with friends & family (seventh day)

  • Khatna (circumcision) for boy only (seventh day)

Fiqh research, sources & links

Order Aqiqah