Aqeeqah The Ruling for the ‘Aqeeqah. The scholars differ about the ruling for the ‘Aqeeqah upon three sayings: The first saying: That it is obligatory (wajib). This is the view of some of the scholars such as Imam Ahmad in one narration, al-Hasan, al-Layth and Ibn Hazm. They use as their proof that it is obligatory the order of the Prophet in his saying: . And also its being declared like something held in pledge for a debt as occurs in the hadeeth of Samurah. The second saying: That it is not prescribed, or that it is merely something permissible and lawful. This was the view of Imam Aboo Haneefah rahimahullaah-. The third saying: The scholars of this saying take a middle view saying that it is a recommended (mustahab) sunnah, and it is the view of many of the scholars such as Imam Maalik, ash-Shaafi’ee, and it is what is preferred and best known from the saying of Ahmad. Their proof for this is the hadeeth: . So this hadeeth leaves the sacrifice up to the father if he wishes to do it which shows that it is a recommendation and it dispels the idea of it being an obligation which might be understood from the other ahaadeeth. Imam ash-Shaafi’ee said: ” Two men took extreme positions about the ‘Aqeeqah. One man saying that it is obligatory and the other saying that is an innovation! So it is a confirmed rite and an emphasized Sunnah, therefore Imam Ahmad loved that a person should even borrow money in order to perform it, and said: ” Because he is giving life to a Sunnah”. The Ruling for Performing ‘Aqeeqah for a Miscarried Fetus or a Baby which dies after Birth. The ruling for ‘Aqeeqah which has preceded does not apply to the miscarried fetus, even if it is clear whether it was male or female, since it is not described as being a new-born child, nor as being a boy or a girl – and these are what the prescription of ‘Aqeeqah is related to/ However, if the child is born alive and then dies after birth, the question of whether ‘Aqeeqah is prescribed or not applies, and there are two views on the matter: Some of the scholars hold that ‘Aqeeqah should be done for it on the seventh day since the reason for the ‘Aqeeqah i. e. the child’s birth occurred – this can be understood from the hadeeth: and the hadeeth: < .... So spill blood for him ....> – therefore giving money in charity cannot take the place of the sacrifice and ” Aqeeqah will not be achieved by it. This can be seen from the hadeeth: 9 So it is the same in this regard as the sacrificial animals to be slaughtered on ‘Eid-ul-Adhaa and on making Hajj – if charity is given instead, it will not count for them, and Allah knows best. (F) What is to be Sacrificed for a Boy and for a Girl List of Topics – Sacrifice for a boy & a girl – Type & Kind of Animal – Characteristics & Age of Animal This rite is to be performed for the new born child whether it is a boy or a girl; however, two sheep are to be sacrificed for the boy and one for the girl. This is what is correct and witnessed to by the narrations established from Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), as will follow, and was the position of Ibn ‘Abbaas and ‘Aa. ishah-radiyallaahu ‘anhum – and the majority of the people of knowledge such as Imam ash-Shaafi’ee, Ahmad and others. The proof for the saying of the majority who hold that two sheep are to be sacrificed for a boy and one for a girls is the hadeeth of ‘Aishah and Umm Kurz-radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa – from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said: 10 Therefore, the Sunnah is not accomplished unless two sheep are sacrificed for a boy for one who is able to do that. 11 Another saying is that the number is also a recommendation and that the Sunnah would be achieved by sacrificing a single sheep. However, the first saying is stronger and precedence since it agrees with what is clearly stated in the hadeeth12 ash-Shawkaanee said: ” The outcome is that the ” Aqeeqah is a Sunnah from the Sunnahs of Islam and is not properly fulfilled unless two sheep are sacrificed for a boy and one for a gir1. 13 (G) The Type and Kind of Animal to be Sacrificed for ‘Aqeeqah The Messenger (peace be upon him) gave a general order that sacrifice should be done for the new-born, and that blood should be spilt for it, saying: . So in this view, it should then be sacrificed on the fourteenth day, then if that is missed due to and excuse, it may be postponed until the twenty first day. These are the three days for ‘Aqeeqah to be done and it should not be delayed beyond them except due to a valid reason or excuse. Then if it is delayed beyond that it should be sacrificed at any time without any specification of the time. This is the view of a group of the people of knowledge amongst them: ‘Aisha -radiyallaahu ‘anhaa-, and Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee, Ishaaq, al-Raghawee and Aboo ‘Abdullah al Booshanjee from the Shaafi’ees, and others. MY VIEW AND ITS JUSTICATION: The third saying is the one which the heart feels at peace with and which is witnessed to by the narrations, and is held by most of the scholars. Its being the preferred saying is supported by the following: (1) From Buraydah radiyallaahu’anhu – that Allah’s Messenger said: 29 (Bismillaah. Allaahumma laka WA ilaika. Haadhihi ” Aqeeqah ….) And from Qataadah who said: ” The name is said over the ‘Aqeeqah just as over the Adhaa sacrifice: ‘Bismillaah, ‘Aqeeqatu (so and so)”, and in another narration he added: ” Allaahumma minka wa laka ‘Aqeeqah ……, Bismillaah, wallaahu Akbar.” (O Allah, it is from you and for you. The ‘Aqeeqa of so and so. In the name of Allah. Allah is greater.)30 And Imam Ahmad – rahimalluaah – was asked about this, so he said: ” Say: Haadhihi ‘Aqeeqah …. ” (This is the ‘Aqeeqah of so and so)31 Ibnul-Mundhir said: ” This is good, even if he had the intention of ‘Aqeeqah but did not say it – then it will suffice – if Allah wills.” 32 (N) Making Use of the Skin of the Sacrifice and its Offal List of Topics – Use of the skin – Distribution of the Meat It is permissible to make use of the skin of the animal sacrificed for ‘Aqeeqah and its offal – such as its stomach and gut. Its price being given in charity or it may be sold. 33 since there is nothing reported to affirm or deny this. It is also not to be analogized with the Adhaa sacrifice. Ahmad said: ” The skin, head and offal may be sold and charity be given with it.” 34 As for everything that is mentioned in forbiddance of that – then it has no proof except for analogy which is not applicable here – and Allah knows best. (O) Distribution of the Meat of the ‘Aqeeqah What is meant is to whom is the meat to be distributed after the sacrifice and I have not come across any acceptable hadeeth about this – except what is reported from ‘Alee – radiyallaahu ‘anhu – that he gave a leg of the ‘Aqeeqah – which Allah’s Messenger sacrificed for al-Hasan and al Husayn – to the midwife. 35 So distributing it in this way is established by this hadeeth. There also occurs in a mursal hadeeth36 an order to eat from it and to feed with it (in the form of a gift or charity). The wording of the hadeeth is: 37 and ‘Aa. ishah said about this matter: ” It should be eaten, fed to people and given in charity” 38 Imam Ahmad when asked what should be done with the aq said: ” However you wish.” It was said to him: ” May the people who are responsible for it eat it? He said: ” Yes, but they should not eat all of it, rather they should feed others with it also.” 39 This was also the saying of ‘Ataa. So the how the sacrifice is to be distributed is a matter which has been made easy – and all praise and thanks is for Allah, since the goal was the sacrifice. If that is done, then it is permissible for the person and the people of this household to eat the meat, and to give some of it as a gift to his friends and brothers, and to give some in charity to the poor – without any specified amount to be given and without analogy with the Adhaa sacrifice. (P) Should the Meat be Cooked or Not (Before Distribution)? List of Topics – Should the Meat be cooked? – Inviting to a Meal It is permissible to distribute the meat raw or cooked – after being cut up, each limb being divided at the joints, and some of the scholars prefer that it be cooked before being distributed. ‘Ataa – rahimhullaah – said: ” It should be cooked.” And he said: ” There is no harm if it is roasted.” 40 And Imam Ahmad – rahimahullaah – was asked about cooking the ‘Aqeeqah meat. He said: ” Yes …. It should be cooked with unbroken bones.” This also does not mean that it has to be cooked on the seventh day, since what is taken account of is the sacrifice – not the cooking and eating – as has proceeded. From those who like that it should be cooked is Ibnul-Qayyim – who gave as his reason that it is an increase in goodness, thankfulness and a greater blessing – since it will mean that the poor and the neighbors do not have the burden of cooking it and they will be able to make use of it readily. He then mentioned that all food given out of thanks is given cooked – like the wedding ‘waleemah’, invitations to meals, and food given at the occasion of circumcision. 41 This, however, will depend upon circumstances and it may be that sometimes it will be better if it is distributed uncooked. (Q) Inviting to a Meal for the -‘Aqeeqah. We have spoken about the permissibility of cooking it – but is it allowed to invite those whom one loves, one’s brothers and the poor to a meal prepared from the ‘Aqeeqah? Then – inviting to such a meal is permissible, beloved and good and is not disliked by anyone except Imam Maalik – rahimahullaah – 42. As for the Shaafi’ees, then they hold that distributing it in cooked form – as has preceded – is better than inviting to a meal, but that if people were invited to a meal, then that is allowed, and that if some meat were distributed and some given as a meal – then that is also allowed. 43 And if the Aqeeqah is made a general invitation – then it should not be restricted to the well-off to the exclusion of the poor, since this was forbidden by our Prophet Muhammad who said: 44 It is recommended for the one invited to the meal that after eating he should supplicate for the father and the child and say: ” May the fasting people break their fast with you, may the righteous eat your food, and may the angels pray for you.” 45 or make any Du’a reported from the Messenger in this regard. (R) The Dislike of Breaking its Bones Their are two views amongst the scholars – rahimahullaah – about breaking the bones of the Aqeeqah sacrifice after it or when preparing it for eating. The first view: That there is nothing to prevent that. This is the view of Imam Maalik and Ibn Hazm, and is the view preferred by an-Nawawee in ‘al-Majmoo’. They mention that there is nothing authentic to prevent it and nothing established in the Sunnah showing it to be hated. They add that it is a common practice that bones of the meat are broken and there is no benefit in preventing it. The second view: Is that it is something disliked (makrooh). This is the saying of ‘Aa. ishah – radiyallaahu -anhaa -,’Ataa, ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad, and was the view preferred by Zaynuddeen al-‘Iraaqee and a group of the scholars- rahimahumullaah. Discussion and Preference. Despite the suitability and soundness of the first view – the saying that it is disliked to break the bones is stronger and closer to correctness since it is aided by a number of things indicating its preference which are: (1) What is reported in ‘mursal’ form from the Messenger that he said about the Aqeeqah which Fatima gave for al-Hasan and al-Husayn: