The Aqeeqa refers to a sacrifice given by a family on the occasion of the birth of a son or a daughter. One sheep or a goat is adequate for the Aqeeqa for either a girl or a boy. Relatives and neighbours are invited, because this is a joyous occasion to be shared with the immediate community.
The Aqeeqa is a Sunnah, which means that it is strongly recommended. Its time is in the early days of the birth of the child. If a family cannot afford to sacrifice a goat, then no blame is attached to it for failing to do so. The Holy Quraan says: Allah does not charge a soul with more than it can reasonably undertake. A poor family that finds it difficult to make both ends meet is not expected to observe the Aqeeqa.
The ceremony of Aqeeqa is generally used to give the newborn child a suitable name. Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that the Beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: The father owes a right to his child to give him or her a good name and teach him or her good manners. (Bayhaqi)
Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Jerad (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Apostle of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said:Call your brethren good names and not with abusive titles Sayyiduna Ibn-e-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: The names dearest to Allah are Abdullah and Abdur Rahman. (Muslim)
Sayyiduna Abu-Umaamah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: If a son is born to a man and he gives the new born my name Muhammad out of my love, the father and the son both will enter Paradise. (Ibn-e-Asakar)
Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: On the Day of Judgment two persons will be brought to the Court of Allah who will command the Angels to take them to Heaven. The two persons will say, O Lord! How do we deserve Heaven when we have not done such acts to qualify us for it. Allah will say, Go to Heaven, I have taken a pledge that whosoever possesses the names Ahmad or Muhammad will not be sent to Hell.
Sayyiduna Jaabir bin Abdullah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that a child was born to a person amongst us and he gave him the name of Muhammad. Thereupon, his people said: We will not allow you to give the name of Muhammad (to your child) after the name of Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He set forth with his son carrying him on his back and came to Allah’s Apostle (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and said: Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), a son has been born to me and I gave him the name after the name of Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Give him my name but do not give him my Kunniyya, for I am Qaasim in the sense that I distribute (the spoils of war) and the dues of Zakaah amongst you. (Muslim)