First of all, we would like to stress that `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). It was narrated that Samrah ibn Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Every child is in pledge for his `aqeeqah, so slaughter (the sheep) for him on the seventh day, and give him his name, and shave his head.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi)

As for the time of the `aqeeqah, 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.

The prominent sheikh Salih Al-Fawzan, in his answer to a question posted to him regarding somebody who delayed `Aqeeqah until his children passed 4 years, said:

“There is no harm on making `Aqeeqah for them, even if they are older than 4 years. No doubt that it would have been better to do it early but since it was delayed, there would be no evil in doing it. One should do it when he is able.”