Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
I would like to ask about the rules of Islam related to childbirth? As far I know after 7 days, we need to do the Aqīqah and remove hair from the child’s head. Is there any reference for these post child birth practices?
Jazakumullahu Khayran/ Thank you for your question.
Aqīqah refers to slaughtering an animal after childbirth in appreciation to the Almighty for the blessing of the child.
Through the procedure of aqīqah, Allāh protects the child from calamities. If the child passes away in childhood, the child will intercede for the parents. By performing aqīqah, parents fulfill the expressing of gratitude to Almighty Allāh.
“With every child, there is an aqīqah. Slaughter on behalf of the child, for indeed this will be a means to eliminate many harms from it”. (Bukhārī)
Some of the practices related to aqīqah found in the source texts are mentioned below
- Aqīqah slaughter is to take place on the seventh day after childbirth. (Musnad Aḥmad)
- Two goats are to be slaughtered upon the birth of a boy and one goat for a girl. (Sunan Abī Dāwūd)
- Hair is shaven on the seventh day. (Tirmidhī)
- Ṣadaqah (charity) of gold or silver (or its value) is given to the poor, in the weight equal to the hair shaven. (Musnad Aḥmad)
- Saffron is applied on the head of the child after the hair is shaved. (Sunan Abī Dāwūd)
- The child is named on the seventh day (Musnad Aḥmad)
Some Islamic jurists have pointed out that if aqīqah was not performed on the seventh day, then it should be rendered on the 14th, 21st or 28th etc. (meaning any seventh day). The aqīqah meat can be consumed by the parents, family, relatives, friends, the wealthy, the poor, Muslims and non Muslims.
And Allah Knows Best.