`Aqeeqah: Procedure & Rulings

`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.”
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America states that: “`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.”