|When a Child is Born|
|Islamic Articles - Parents & Parenting|
|Monday, 06 December 2010 22:58|
The Literal Definition of Aqeeqah
Hadhrat Bareera (R.A.) relates, "In the era of ignorance, when anyone of us gave birth, an animal would be slaughtered and its blood rubbed over the child's head. After Allah bestowed us with Islam, we performed aqeeqah, shaved the child's hair and alternatively applied saffron to the child's head." (Abu Dawood part 2, pg.87)
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas has reported, "The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam sacrificed two camels at the aqeeqah occasion of Hadhrat Hasan (RA.) and Hussain (RA.)." ( Nasai pg 166)
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) would also offer aqeeqah for his children.(Mu'atta Imam Mohammad pg 286)
The above information portrays aqeeqah to be a shar'i practice which was also practiced by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu' Alaihi Wasallan,. This clarifies that the act is a masnoon and desirable practice. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (R.A.) declares it to be incumbent. (According to one narration)
When Should Aqeeqah be Performed?
It can be concluded from the saying of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Ala/hi Wasallam that the correct timing for aqeeqah is on the seventh day. It is sunnah and virtuous to perform it on this day, however, if due to inconvenience this is not possible it should not be delayed unnecessarily. The sooner it is accomplished the better If one wishes to perform aqeeqah on the 7th, a simple method is to perform it a day before the day the child was born, i.e., if a child is born on Friday, perform the aqeeqah on Thursday. If he was born on Thursday aqeeqah would be on Wednesday. By following this general rule the calculation would be correct. (Beheshti Zewar pg 167)
The Reason for Aqeeqah
It has been narrated in Hadhrat Samurah Ibn Jundub's (R. A.) hadeeth that a child is an endowment in return for an aqeeqah. The Muhadditheen have approached this with numerous explanations.
1. The hadeeth implies that a child will intercede on behalf of his parents. However, if someone, despite being capable, neglects aqeeqah and the child coincidentally dies as a youngster he will not intercede for his parents. The child will be of no advantage just like an object that has been kept safe as a pledge is of no advantage. This statement was made by Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (RA.)
2. Until the aqeeqah isn't offered the child remains an open target to calamities and misfortune and is also deprived from virtue and blessings. After the aqeeqah the child is safeguarded from anything detrimental and anything provoking pain.
3. A child is a blessing from the Almighty Allah. Aqeeqah is performed as a thanksgiving for this blessing. (Zaadul Ma-aad Li-ibnil Qayyim)
4. Until the aqeeqah is not performed the child shall not be safeguarded against calamities but instead will grow up to be disobedient to his parents.
5. When the hair is shaven on the 7th day and aqeeqah is completed, the child is cleansed from all impurities, (Allah knows best).
6. Mulla Ali Qari (R. A.) states, "Whosoever wills his child to be obedient, should perform his child's aqeeqah." (Mirqaat part 4 pg 359)
Amount of Sacrifices for Aqeeqah
It can be concluded from previous narrations that two offerings are to be sacrificed in favour of a boy and one in favour of a girl. It has not been specified whether the offering should be male or female. Therefore the animal, which is easiest to obtain, subject to availability should be sacrificed. Goats, camels and sheep can be sacrificed. The Holy Prophet Sallallahzi Ala/hi Wasallani has stated,"Aqeeqah can be performed with camels, cows or sheep." (Nailul Awtaar and Awnul Ma'bood part 3 pg 65)
The Aqeeqah Offering
Aqeeqah can only be an offering of a legitimate animal. An animal that is not permissible to sacrifice cannot be offered. A goat or sheep should be over the age of one. If not, it should be healthy enough, to appear to be one year old. Neither should the animal be deficient or weak in any way. It is best to perform aqeeqah of an animal of good quality
Supplication at the Time of Sacrifice
The following supplication should be offered at the time of sacrifice..
'Oh Allah! This is (mention child's name)'s aqeeqah, it's blood instead of his/her’s and it's bone instead of his/hers and it's skin instead of his/her skin, it's hair instead of his/her hair, 0 Allah! I make this an offering on my son/daughter's behalf I turn my attention exclusively towards He who created the skies and the earth and lam not amongst the polytheists. Oh Allah! From thee and toward thee. In the name of Allah. Allah is great'
Note: If someone other than the parents is sacrificing on behalf of the child, mention the child's name and adjoin his father's name with it rather than 'Binti 'and’ Ibni'.
Whose Responsibility is Aqeeqah?
The person responsible for the child's maintenance is also responsible for the child's aqeeqah. If the father is not capable then the responsibility will be on the mother, and if neither is capable then it no longer remains incumbent. There is no necessity to take a loan in order to fulfill the responsibility.
The Aqeeqah Meat
Like qurbani meat, it is permissible for anybody to consume aqeeqah meat. However, it is desirable to divide the meat into three sections. One third to charity and the remaining two thirds to be distributed amongst friends and relatives. It is optional as whether the meat is distributed raw or cooked. All is correct and permissible.
A Few Baseless Misconceptions on the Topic of Aqeeqah
A few innovations have been conjured regarding the principles of aqeeqah. These are all baseless and hold no relevance to shariah. A few are listed below:
I. It is commonly believed that the parents, maternal and paternal grandparents cannot consume the aqeeqah meat. This is a false innovation.
2. People believe it is sinful to injure the animal's bones. This has no relevance to shariah.
3. Many people insist it is compulsory to perform aqeeqah and the shaving of the child's hair simultaneously Needless to say, this is also fabrication; the order of both actions does not matter.
4. It has become a tradition to present the sacrificed animal's head, feet and hair to the barber and midwife, which is an act that holds no connection with shariah.
5. It has also incorrectly become a tradition to customarily bury the above
mentioned parts of the animal. They also incorrectly believe that to consume the bones is a bad omen.
6. Many have fallen under the false impression that to donate one third to charity is compulsory, (it is simply desirable).
7. It is not compulsory to distribute the meat raw as is incorrectly believed by some.
8. Lastly, contrary to popular belief, aqeeqah is not compulsory and to offer sacrifice on behalf of a deceased child is also unimportant.
The analysis in the previous pages briefly summarise the percepts of aqeeqah. Proceeding further we delve into a further account exercising the responsibilities upon every parent.
Recitation of Adhaan After Birth
It is the parent's duty to ensure the child is blessed by virtuous wording when entering this world. Rather than be welcomed by the murmur of worldly talk and commotion, it is preferable to be greeted by the proclaiment of Almighty Allah's magnificence and to hear confirmation of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam prophecy. This was also the practise of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Akihi Wascilkmi as we acquire from the following ahaadeeth. Hadhrat Abu Raafe (R. A.) recounts an act of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, and describes thus;
"I witnessed the Holy Prophet SallallaIiu Alaihi Wasallam reciting the adhaan
(Call to prayer) to Hadhrat Hasan ibn Ali (R.A.) when his daughter Fatima (R.A)
gave birth to him." (Tirmidhi)
The commentator of Mishkaat Mulla All Qari recounted the numerous attributes of reciting adhaan to a newborn child. He writes, 'the philosophy and academic virtue of reciting adhaan to a new born child is such that it compromises both faith and invitation towards prayer in the primitive speech, which is the most prominent Maintenance’.
Declaration of the Kalimah expresses faith, and the call to prayer inspires actions. Thus, adhaan stimulates the inducement towards all actions aggregately, which is the motivation of adhaan. The previous ahaadeeth only illustrates the virtues of reciting the adhaan in the baby's ears. Details in alternative ahaadeeth establish that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallani recited the adhaan in the right ear, and the iqaamah in the left ear. This is the masnoon method.
Mulla Ali (R. A.) states, "This justifies that recitation of adhaan in a child's ears is a masnoon resolution."
Similarly, it has been reported, "When a child was born Hadhrat Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz (RA.) would recite the adhaan in his right ear and the iqaamah in his left."
The above stated narrations denote the primitive duty of a parent to be the recitation of adhaan in the child's ear, which collectively implants Allah's Subhaanahu wa ta’aala and his Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam recognition deeply into the mind and psyche of a baby. If one chooses to recite any other phrasal verse such as Surah Ikhlaas then this would also prove sufficient.
Tahneek and Duaa'e Barakah
Due to the Companions' (R.A.) unconditional love and devotion to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu A laihi Wasallarn they would present their child in the company of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallarn and would request that he pray for the child's morality and benevolence. Whenever this situation occurred, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu A laihi Wasallam would offer supplication on behalf of the child and thereafter chew upon a date and place a little in the child's mouth. This practice is recognised as Tahneek.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 20:03|