Question: He asks about the Aqeeqah: when should one slaughter and is it allowed to distribute the meat to the family? What is the Sunna in distributing?
Answer: “We thank Allah, the Exalted for making easy this beneficial platform in this Kingdom and outside of it. Verily it is Nur ‘ala Darb. Verily it is very beneficial and we thank the government, may Allah facilitate for them good, in making easy the likes of this platform, which benefits the Muslims in the East and West from whose its voice reaches them. We encourage our brother Muslims to listen to it due to what is in it of many benefit. For verily, Allah the Exalted opens many doors of knowledge for whoever listens to it. Sometimes, some questions are posed in it which if not heard on this program, a person would not have any concern for it.
As for the answer to our brother’s question about the Aqeeqah, then the Aqeeqah is an emphasized Sunnah. It is necessary for the one capable of it to establish it. It is legislated as the right of the father specifically. The sacrifice is made on the seventh day of the child’s birth. So the if the child is born on Thursday, for example, then the sacrifice is made on Wednesday. If the child is born on Wednesday, then the sacrifice is made on Tuesday. What is important is it is sacrificed before the day which the child is born in the following week. I only mentioned that so that a person will not be tired counting when the seventh day is. So we say: the seventh is the day before the day the child was born in the second week. So if the child was born on Thursday, then the sacrifice is done on Wednesday. If the child is born on Wednesday, the sacrifice is on Tuesday.
For a boy, it is two equal-aged sheep of equal characteristics. For the girl, it is one sheep. If he restricts to slaughtering one sheep, then he has completed the Sunnah. However, what is most complete is two sheep are slaughtered on the seventh day as I said. It is necessary that they be in a form that will earn reward, that they reach the considerable age according to the legislation. It is six months for a sheep and one year for a goat due to the statement of the Prophet(ﷺ) :
لا تذبحوا إلا مسنة إلا ان تعصر عليكم فتذبحوا جذعة من الضأن
This is general for every sacrifice done in order to draw near to Allah, the Exalted, like the Aqeeqah, Hadi, and al-Udhiyha. It is necessary that it is sound from any defects that prevent benefiting from it. They are four which the Prophet (ﷺ) clarified when he was asked what animals should be avoided for sacrifice. He said: four, he indicated with his hand, a one-eyed animal which is clearly one-eyed, an animal which is ill and whose illness is clear, a lame animal whose lameness is clear, and a thin animal which has no fat. An animal that has similar to these defects is in the same position.
As for how to eat the meat and distribute it, then he eats from it, gives some as a gift, and gives some in charity. There is not an amount that is necessary to follow in that. So he eats what is easy, gives as a gift what is easy, and gives as charity what is easy. If he wants he can gather his relatives and companions either in the land or outside of the land. However, in this situation it is a must to give the poor something. There is no blame if he cooks it and distributes it after cooking or distributes it raw. The affair is spacious. We say, sacrifice on the seventh day; however, if it is not easy, then the Scholars says slaughter on the fourteenth day. So if it is not easy, then slaughter on the twenty-first day. Then after that, the weeks are not considered. This is what the People of Knowledge say and the affair is spacious. If he sacrificed, for example, on the eighth or tenth or what resembles that, he is rewarded. However, what is better is to guard the seventh day”.
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan