Chapter 8: The Newborn Child’s Seventh Day
The seventh day is an important day for new baby. there are certain actions that are prescribed in Islam to be performed on this day, as mentioned in the following hadith:
Samurah bin Jundub رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
كل غلام رهينه بعقيقته. تذبح عنه يوم سابعه ويسمى فيه ويحلق راسه
Every child is mortgaged by it’s aqeeqah. Sacrifice for it on the seventh day and name it and shave its head. [Abu Dawood, Nasaai, al-Albaani: saheeh]
The Aqeeqah: the sacrifice of an animal for the newborn child.
- In Islaamic terminology, aqeeqah refers to the sacrifice of an animal for the newborn child. It comes from the Arabic word عق, which means ‘to cut’.
- It is an obligatory action according to the most correct opinion.
- Asmaa bint Yazid رضي الله عنهاsaid that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
The aqeeqah is a responsibility (upon you). [Ahmad, al-Albaani: saheeh]
- Aaisha رضي الله عنهاand other companions said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did it for his grandsons.
عق رسول الله عن الحسن والحسين كبشا كبشا (بكبشين كبشين).
The Prophet performed aqeeqah for Hasan and Hussain a ram, a ram.(or two rams, two rams) [Nasaai, Abu Dawood, al-Albaani: saheeh]
- Some information on the animal that can be sacrificed for the Aqeeqah:
- The best thing is to do a sheep, as this is what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did and told us to do.The scholars however say that it is permissible to do other animals, such as goats, cows, camels, etc
- One animal for a newborn girl, 2 animals for a newborn boy.
Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
عن الغلام عقيقتان وعن الجاريه عقيقه
For a boy is two aqeeqahs, for a girl there’s one Aqeeqah. [Tabaraani, al-Albaani: saheeh]
- The animal can be of any gender, colour, age, etc
- It is for Allah سبحانه وتعالى, so something of a good quality shows proper gratitude to Him.
- Some obligatory principles to follow when slaughtering the animal:
- It should be sincerely done for Allah سبحانه وتعالى alone.
Ali رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
لعن الله من ذبح لغير الله
The curse of Allah is on whoever sacrifices for other than Allah. [Muslim, Ahmad]
- Cutting the throat of the animal.
Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
الذكاه في الحلق و اللبه
Slaughtering is applied to the throat and windpipe.
- Saying Allah’s Name.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in Soorah al-Anaam, Ayah 118:
فَكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ
And eat from that upon which Allah’s name has been mentioned
- The knife should be sharpened and he should be merciful to the animal. Shaddad Ibn Aws رضي الله عنهsaid that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
ان الله كتب الاحسان على كل شيء فاذا قتلتم فاحسنوا القتله واذا ذبحتم فاحسنوا الذبحه
وليحد احدكم شفرته وليرح ذبيحته
Indeed Allah has prescribed perfection for everything. If you kill, then kill well. And if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare the animal from suffering. [Muslim]
Being merciful to the animal includes:
- sharpen the knife where it cannot see
- don’t kill one animal in front of another
- laying the animal down on the ground
- not using a knife of bone or teeth
- letting the animal be free after cutting its throat until it stops moving (not tying or holding it)
- The meat from the sacrifice can be used in any way that the family pleases. They can either give it to others, use it their self, or give it to charity, or do all of the above.
The scholars say it is good to cook it and invite others to a feast. But this is not required.
NOTE: They caution against the common practice of focusing more on the feast than the actual sacrifice. It is to the point where some people buy the meat just to have a feast instead of doing a sacrifice.
- Giving sadaqah instead of performing the aqeeqah is not permissible.
Every specific act of worship has its time and place. We cannot replace one act with another.
- The aqeeqah can be delayed in certain circumstances.
- Buraydah رضي الله عنهsaid that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
العقيقه تذبح لسبع او لاربع عشره او لاحدى وعشرين
The aqeeqah sacrificed on the seventh, or the fourteenth, or the twenty-first.
[Tabaraani, al-Albaani: saheeh]
- If someone is not capable due to financial ability, availability of the animal, ignorance of the rules, etc. It should be done at the earliest time possible even if many years have passed.
- If an aqeeqah was never done for one’s self, a person can do it on their own behalf.
- Anas رضي الله عنهsaid:
عق رسول الله عن نفسه بعد ما بعث نبيا
The Prophet did an aqeeqah for hisself after he became a Prophet.
- Hasan al-Basri said, “If no one performed an aqeeqah for you, perform it for yourself even if you are a full grown man.”
- The wisdom of the aqeeqah.
- The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said every child is mortgaged by the aqeeqah.
- Ibn al-Qayyim said regarding this:
- Some scholars say the mortgage means that the child is confined from interceding for its parents. But he did not agree with this.
- He said, intercession is not the point of being a parent. The one who intercedes is determined by his or her closeness to Allah, not relationship to the person. Allah سبحانه وتعالىsays in Soorah Luqman, Ayah 33:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَاخْشَوْا يَوْمًا لَّا يَجْزِي وَالِدٌ عَن وَلَدِهِ وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَن وَالِدِهِ شَيْئًا
Oh people, fear your Lord and fear a day when no father will avail his son nor no son avail his father
- He also said that the term ‘mortgage’ is only ever used in terms of one’s own deeds.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in Soorah Muddathir, Ayah 38:
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ
Every soul is mortgaged by what it has earned.
- He concluded that a better explanation is that the mortgage is from Shaitaan and his promise to lead the believers astray. So the aqeeqah frees the child from Shaitaan’s promise.
- It is prohibited to smear the blood of the sacrifice on the child’s forehead.
Abd al-Muzani رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
يعق عن الغلام ولا يمس راسه بدم
Sacrifice on behalf of the child and do not touch its head with blood.
[Ibn Majah, Tabaraani, al-Albaani: saheeh]
2.The second action prescribed for the seventh day is the shaving of the newborn baby's head.
- It is an obligatory action as mentioned (beginning of lesson) previously in the hadith of Samurah bin Jundub رضي الله عنه.
- It is to be done for both newborn girls and boys, according to the most correct opinion.
- There is no evidence in the Quran or Sunnah to the contrary.
- Muhammad bin Ali bin al-Husayn رضي الله عنهمsaid: “Faatimah the daughter of the Prophet weighed the hair of Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab, and Umm Kulthum and gave its weight in silver to charity.” [Bayhaqi]
- The entire head should be shaved not just parts.
This is a general rule for shaving the head. Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
احلقوه كله او اتركوه كله
Shave all of it or leave all of it.
[Abu Dawood, Tabaraani, al-Albaani: saheeh]
- The value of the weight of the hair in silver should be given in charity as mentioned in the above hadith, and others.