Aqeeqah is a Prophetic Sunnah. Muslims who have the means to do it should not ignore it.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “`Aqeeqah is 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.”
`Aqeeqah involves sacrificing a goat or lamb on behalf of the child. It is giving thanks to Allah for the gift of a child. The meat is distributed to the poor, or it can be used to arrange a feast to which the poor as well as relatives and friends are invited.
It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sacrificed a goat each for his grandsons Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn. It is recommended that, on the day of `aqeeqah, the child is given a good name, his/her head is shaved, and his/her hair is weighed and the equivalent in money of its weight in gold is given in charity. If, for any reason, `aqeeqah cannot be done on the seventh day, it can be done on the fourteenth, twenty-first or whenever possible. However, it should not be unnecessarily delayed.
Furthermore, according to the vast majority of scholars in Islam, `aqeeqah is a highly recommended practice (Sunnah). There is, however, a small minority of scholars who consider it obligatory. This is the position of Imam Hasan Al-Basari.
Lastly, the significance of `aqeeqah is that it is part of the Abrahamic legacy. Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) was a man of tawhid (belief in the oneness of Allah), and his entire life typified that of a perfect muwahhid or monotheist. He abolished sacrifices or rituals to deities other than Allah and allowed sacrifices and prayers to be directed solely to Allah. The rituals associated with `aqeeqah, therefore, can be considered as a child’s initiation into the lessons of tawhid.
In short, `aqeeqah is a great Sunnah, which all Muslims should practice, especially if they have the means to do so.”