Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I need to know the procedure for `Aqeeqah. My parents did an `Aqeeqah for my son on the seventh day of his birth. But the confusion is that we hadn't named our son yet. So, I am wondering if this `Aqeeqah was valid according to the Sunnah. Don't we have to say the name of the child (and the names of his parents?) when doing "Zabiha" (slaughter) of the two goats? If the name should have been said during "Zabiha", and it wasn't, then do we have to do the `Aqeeqah again? Also I understand that it's suggested that we do `Aqeeqah on the 7th day, but what's the limit to the age of the child? And also, since I have a six year old son, who hasn't been circumcised yet, what's the age limit on that? Your insight according to the Qur'an and Sunnah would be greatly appreciated.
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.
`Aqeeqahis a great Sunnah. It is part of the legacy inherited from Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) and a great Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Every child is mortgaged to his `aqeeqah."
In this context, we would like to cite for you the following Fatwa issued by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America:
"`Aqeeqahis a Sunnah. It is a ceremony done in thankfulness to Allah for the newborn child.
Although `Aqeeqah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, it is mentioned in Hadith. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have urged Muslims to make `Aqeeqah for their children on the seventh day of their birth. If for some reason it was not possible to do it on the 7th day then it can be done at a later date. Those who cannot afford it can give some other charity or just make du`a' for their child.
Naming the child should be done as soon as the child is born. According to the Sunnah, every child that is born alive should be given a name. If the `Aqeeqah was done before naming the child, there is no harm. There is no need to repeat the `Aqeeqah.
The method of `Aqeeqah is to shave the baby’s head or to trim the hair. One may give silver or gold out of charity according to the weight of the baby’s hair. One or two goats or sheep should be slaughtered as sacrifice and the meat should be distributed among the poor, the friends, and the family members can use part of it.
Some Prophetic hadiths mention two goats to be sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl. But, according to Muslim jurists, one can sacrifice only one for the boy and one can also sacrifice two for the girl.
There is no age limit for circumcision. If the boy was not circumcised early, then he should be circumcised now. Male circumcision is an obligatory Sunnah and it should not be neglected.”