Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked if it permissible to perform ‘aqiqa for an adult, and if so, how does one go about it.
Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.
My mother told me that she never had a ‘aqiqa done for her when she was a newborn. As such, I want to host one for her in the company of her family. My mother’s mother is currently alive and would insha Allah be present, however, her father has passed away.
Seeing as it is normally incumbent on the father to host the ‘aqiqa, is it permissible for someone else to financially host it in this circumstance? Can it be hosted by any one of her family members, including her children? Can it be a joint effort of multiple individuals or does it have to be carried out by one person only?
Given that she is an adult, does she have to be the one to carry it out for herself? We would like to host it for her as a surprise. Are there any rulings pertaining to this overall situation that we should be made aware of (that she is an adult, her father is not alive, that it is a surprise)?
Jazzakum Allah khayr for your time.
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
The ʿaqiqa is a sacrifice of an animal to give thanks to Allah for a newborn child. In the Hanafi school, according to one position, the ʿaqiqa is merely permissible (mubah), and recommended as a voluntary act of worship according to another. The Shafiʿi and Hanbali schools see it as an emphasized sunna, and the Maliki school recommends it.
Based on this, it is not necessary to perform it for your mother. Doing so with the intention of sacrificing for the sake of Allah, and to show thanks for the blessing of the life your mother was given is a very virtuous act. In fact, sacrificing is part of what Allah, Most High, Himself commanded His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, to do in order to show thanks to Him.
Sacrificing and feeding people are clearly mentioned by the scholars of tafsir with regards to Sura al-Kawthar 108:2. (Biqaʿi, Nazm al-Durar) These are acts which show gratitude to the giver of the blessing, and are a means for His creation to benefit from this blessing through being fed.
Should you choose to perform an ʿaqiqa, there are no hard and fast rules on how it should be done. You may do it in whichever way in convenient for you. You can keep the meat, or distribute it raw or cooked; with he bones broken or otherwise. (Ibn ʿAbidin, Radd al-Muhtar; al-Muwsuʿa al-Kuwaitiyya).
May Allah allow us to always thank Him for His favors upon us.
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.