Assalamualaikum ustaz, I want to ask regarding the ruling of aqiqah. What is the ruling of aqiqah on a person who has reached puberty in the age range of 25-50 years old, is it still wajib for them to perform aqiqah? The reason is, his parents was unable to perform the aqiqah for him when he was a child. And if his parents and himself is financially able to perform the aqiqah, is it forgiven? Sorry and thank you ustaz.
Waalaikumussalam wrt wbt,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Aqiqah is sunnah muakkadah for those who are capable to perform it. The origin of its sanctioning is according to a hadith from Salman bin Amir al-Dhabbi RA where he said: I heard the Prophet PBUH said:
مَعَ الْغُلاَمِ عَقِيقَتُهُ فَأَهْرِيقُوا عَنْهُ دَمًا وَأَمِيطُوا عَنْهُ الأَذَى
"'Aqiqa is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and relieve him of his suffering."
Sahih al-Bukhari (2839)
Aqiqah is sunnah to be performed on the seventh day of the birth of the baby where a good name of the baby is also given as well as shaving the hair of the baby. This is in accordance with the words of the Prophet PBUH from Samurah RA:
الْغُلاَمُ مُرْتَهَنٌ بِعَقِيقَتِهِ يُذْبَحُ عَنْهُ يَوْمَ السَّابِعِ وَيُسَمَّى وَيُحْلَقُ رَأْسُهُ
“Every boy is mortgaged by his ‘Aqiqah, so slaughter for him on the seventh day, and shave his head, and name him.”
Sunan Abu Daud (1522)
Regarding the number of goats that need to be slaughtered for aqiqah, for a baby boy, it is sunnah to slaughter 2 goats and 1 goat for a baby girl. This is according to a hadith of the Prophet PBUH, where he said:
مَنْ وُلِدَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَأَحَبَّ أَنْ يَنْسُكَ عَنْهُ فَلْيَنْسُكْ عَنِ الْغُلاَمِ شَاتَانِ مُكَافِئَتَانِ وَعَنِ الْجَارِيَةِ شَاةٌ
“If anyone has a child born to him and wishes to offer a sacrifice on its behalf, he may offer two resembling sheep for a boy and one for a girl.”
Sunan Abu Daud (2842)
According to the above hadith, originally, the aqiqah for a baby boy is two goats and one goat for a baby girl. This is the best manner if someone intends to perform aqiqah.
As for the question raised, is it sufficient to perform aqiqah with just one goat for a baby boy? Then the answer is it is enough and permissible. Refer al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab (8/429) by Imam al-Nawawi Rahimahullah.
This is in accordance with a hadith from Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَقَّ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ وَالْحُسَيْنِ كَبْشًا كَبْشًا
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sacrificed a ram for both al-Hasan and al-Husayn each (Allah be pleased with them).”
Sunan Abu Daud (2841)
Thus, aqiqah is sunnah muakkadah (encouraged sunnah) and not wajib. Hence, leaving it without any reason is makruh (undeisrable), but not considered as a sin. However, if a person leaves the worship of aqiqah because he is financially incapable, then it is neither haram nor makruh. Some contemporary Syafieyyah scholars are of the opinion that if a person is incapable to perform aqiqah, but after seven days of his baby’s birth, he is then capable, it is no longer sunnah for him to perform aqiqah. While other Syafieyyah scholars state that it is until before the nifas (post-natal bleeding) ends. The chosen opinion in madhhab al-Syafie state that its sunnah ruling is up till the baby reached puberty.
Syafieyyah scholars’ opinion state that it is sanctioned for the al-asl (such as the grandfather or the father) for it is his obligation to provide for the baby and the baby is considered as a needy. Aqiqah should be fulfilled using his own property and not the property of the baby. However, when the child reached puberty before the aqiqah is performed, then it is sunnah for the child himself to perform it for himself. Refer Mughni al-Muhtaj (6/139) by Imam al-Khatib al-Syarbini Rahimahullah
Thus, it is sunnah for an adult who haven’t had his aqiqah done to perform the aqiqah for himself as a sign of gratefulness towards Allah SWT for the blessing of life he has been blessed with. If he is incapable to do so, then it is not an issue for the Islamic Shari’a does not burden a person for something he is incapable of. For further explanation, you can refer to our book titled: “Resolving the Queries of Aqiqah and Sacrifice.”