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Aqiqah


Aqiqah sacrifice made on the seventh day of the birth of a Muslim child. On that day, the child's hair is shaved and he/she is given a name. The sacrifice is enjoined by Islamic law and is observed in the Muslim world as a sunnat. If aqiqah is not done on the seventh day, it can also be done afterwards, even by the child itself when it comes of age. One third of the sacrificial meat is distributed to the poor and indigent, one-third to the relatives, and the rest to the child's parents and near relations. The holy Prophet (Sm) instructed his followers to sactifice two rams or two goats for a boy and one for a girl.

Some earlier scholars like Dawud al-Zahiri looked upon the offering of an aqiqah as a duty. Imam Abu Hanifa (R) regarded it as mustahab, that is, a good deed allowed by law. Like the ancient Arabian rites of circumcision, sacrifice etc, aqiqah is also an old custom. The shorn hair of the child is also called aqiqah. Shariah recommends that the weight of this hair in silver (or gold) is given in alms. [Syed Ashraf Ali]