Why We Do Aqiqah

Muslim parents do not hold a “baby shower” prior to the child’s birth. We do aqiqah, a welcoming celebration which is held after the child is born. As RasuluLlah explained in hadist:

“It was narrated from Salman ibn ‘Aamir al-Dabbi that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “ ‘Aqiqah is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and remove all dirt from him.” (H.R Bukhari)

The word aqiqah comes from the Arabic word ‘aq which means to cut. Some attribute this to the child’s first haircut, while others say that it refers to the slaughtering of the animal to provide meat for the meal.

On this event, parents slaughter one (for girl) or two (for boy) sheep or goats, and serve it as meal for relatives, friends, and neighbors. They also cut the child’s hair, weigh it, exchange it with silver (or equivalent), and give it as a donation to the poor.

This event is also when the baby’s name is officially announced. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as a naming ceremony

There is no religious consequence for not holding an aqiqah; it is a “sunnah” tradition.

The aqiqah is traditionally held on the seventh day after the child’s birth, but may also be postponed until later (often the 7th, 14th, or 21st day after birth). If one cannot afford the expense at the time of the child’s birth, it may even be postponed longer, as long as it is done prior to the child reaching puberty. Some scholars even advise adults to make an aqiqah for themselves if the celebration was not done earlier.

Source:

http://islam.about.com/od/parenting/g/Aqiqah.htm

https://islamqa.info/en/12448

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