Aqeeqah for a child

Question

As salaamu alaikum, What is the view according to the Shafi’i madhhab about having an aqeeqah for a child, but it is past the regular time of an aqeeqah, i.e., the 7th, 14th, or 21st day? Can a Muslim still have one for his children, and should he still do it?

The aqīqah is an emphasized sunnah for any individual entrusted by sacred law to take charge of the financial needs of a new born. In most instances, but not exclusively, this would be the parents.  In addition, this legal request or directive remains suspended for the duration of 60 days after the child has been born.  Thereafter, depending on the financial condition of the parent/s, the legal request may or may not cease.  If the parent happened to be financial capable to perform the aqīqah at any given time within the 60 days after childbirth and failed to do so, the legal request will remain until the child reaches the age of puberty.  On the other hand, if the parent/s was not financially capable for the duration of 60 days after childbirth, the legal request comes to an end and he/she will no longer be requested to perform the aqīqah even if he/she becomes financially capable thereafter.  In all cases, when the parent/s fails to perform the aqīqah, the child is requested to do so after reaching the age of puberty [Nihāyah: 8/146; Tuhfah: 9/370 – 371].

The question that remains is this: should this parent – regarding whom the legal address no longer stands – go ahead and perform the aqīqah, will it be accepted and valid or not?  This is a question where the two muhashshīs or commentators, ‘Alī ash-Shabrāmallisī and ash-Shirwānī, differed.  In his Hāshiyah on the Nihāyah of Ramlī, Shabrāmallisī stated that when this parent performs the aqīqah, the child after reaching puberty will no longer be requested to do so [Nihāyah: 8/146].  Shirwānī, on the other hand states that the slaughtering of this parent will not be an aqīqah, but rather an ordinary slaughtering, creating the impression that the child will still be requested to perform his own aqīqah after puberty [Tuhfah: 9/370 – 371].

And Allah knows best

MJC (SA)

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