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Subject : Islamic Ruling on Purchasing a Cooked "Aqiqah"

Fatwa Number : 3791

Date : 15-08-2023

Classified : Aqeeqah, Udhihiah and other Slaughtered Animals

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Is it acceptable to perform the 'Aqiqah' for a male child by sacrificing the first sheep, distributing its meat, and bringing the second sheep already cooked and prepared from a restaurant?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah`s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

The 'Aqiqah' is the sacrificial offering made for a newborn child as an expression of gratitude to Allah for the blessing of the child. It is a confirmed Sunna from the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), as mentioned in the hadith: "The boy is mortgaged by his 'Aqiqah; slaughtering should be done for him on the seventh day, he should be given a name, and his head should be shaved." [At-Tirmidhi]. The concept of the child being mortgaged by his 'Aqiqah', as narrated by Al-Khattabi from Ahmad, means: "if the 'Aqiqah' is not performed for him, it is believed that he won't intercede on behalf of his parents on the Day of Judgment." [Kashf Al-Mushkil Min Hadith Al-Sahihayn (Unveiling the Difficulties from the Hadiths of the Two Sahihs) by Ibn Al-Jawzi. Vol.4/P.174].

It is recommended to slaughter two sheep for a male child and one sheep for a female child. This practice is based on the hadith narrated by Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), in which she said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded them to slaughter two equivalent sheep for a boy and one sheep for a girl." Al-Imam At-Tirmidhi reports this hadith and he classified it as "Sahih: Sound/authentic narration" However, if only one sheep is slaughtered for a male child, it still fulfills the requirement and achieves the essence of this Sunna. This is supported by another narration reported by Abu Dawood with an authentic chain of narrators: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) performed 'Aqiqah' for Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, slaughtering one sheep for each of them."

The conditions for 'Aqiqah are similar to those of the sacrificial animal (Udhiyah) in terms of gender, age, and being free from defects. The reward for slaughtering the 'Aqiqah is greater than simply donating its equivalent value. It is recommended to perform the slaughter on the seventh day after the child's birth. The recommendation remains in place for the guardian who can afford it until the child reaches maturity. Once the child reaches maturity, it is considered praiseworthy for them to perform the 'Aqiqah for themselves.

It is recommended not to donate the meat of the 'Aqiqah in its raw form. Instead, it is preferred to cook the meat, eat from it, distribute it among family, friends, and the needy, and also give it in charity. Carrying the cooked meat along with its broth and distributing it among the poor. This way, the cooked food can provide sustenance immediately to the needy and the neighbors without them having to cook it themselves. However, if the meat is distributed raw, that is permissible as well. The obligatory amount for the 'Aqiqah is to distribute a portion of it, even if it's a small amount, to the poor and needy.

In the case of 'Aqiqah, it is essential that the sacrifice is made with the intention of 'Aqiqah. It is not sufficient to simply buy a cooked sheep. 'Aqiqah is similar to the concept of Udhiyah (Sacrificial animal for Eid Al-Adha), and it encompasses the entire process, including the sacrifice itself. It is not permissible to give any of it as a fee and it must be carried out by sacrificing the animal with the proper intention. However, if an agreement is made with a restaurant or catering service to perform the 'Aqiqah for the newborn and cook the meat after that, then that would be permissible.

In addition, it is not permissible to intend one sheep for both 'Aqiqah and Udhiyah. If a person intends one sheep to serve as both 'Aqiqah and Udhiyah, neither of these intentions will be fulfilled. This is based on the statement of Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami, a Shafi'i scholar, who mentioned in [Tuhfat al-Muhtaj, Vol.9/P.369]: "If one intends a sheep to be both an Udhiyah and an 'Aqiqah, neither of them will be fulfilled, as both are separate recommended acts. The intention behind Udhiyah is to provide a communal meal while 'Aqiqah involves a specific meal for specific individuals. Additionally, they differ in various matters."

In conclusion; sacrificing a sheep and distributing it with the intention of 'Aqiqah is permissible and fulfills the basis of the recommended Sunna. However, bringing a pre-cooked sheep from a restaurant without performing the sacrifice with the intention of 'Aqiqah will not fulfill the requirement of 'Aqiqah. However, if someone delegates the restaurant owner to perform both the sacrifice and cooking with the specific intention of 'Aqiqah, then it would be acceptable. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.




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