Monday, June 4, 2007

'Aqiqah' for little Hazeem...

Crawling Baby Last weekend we were invited to attend a small Aqiqah feast for 3 months old Hazeem (hope the spelling's right) in Dracut, MA. The invitation came through a Muslim sister who knows Hazeem's Grandma & family very well. Not knowing Hazeem's family, we were a bit apprehensive at first to accept the invitation, but I guess 'ora ng Melayu memang kaya dengan budi bahasa' so we felt at home in no time at all. Hazeem's father is El Salvadore-American and Hazeem got best features from both his mom and dad. So cute! Comel sangat! The nasi minyak & roasted lamb cooked by Hazeem's mom, Yohanna was delicious. After Maghrib we did some form of Marhabban & it was kind of funny to hear the different international versions..The Malaysian version, the Moroccan version, the Indian & Pakistani versions. Even the do'a was done in 3 languages - Malay, Arabic & English. Whatever it is, what matters most was the meaning - for Hazeem to be a good person, good to his parents & good to his creator; to have all the blessings from Allah. We had a nice time & didn't realise that it was almost midnight when we left - much to Atiqah's dismay who had a test the next day!
A bit on Aqiqah which I picked out from the net.
The Laws of Aqiqah
The performance of aqiqah is sunnah muakkkadah ( highly encouraged ).It is to be performed by the parents or the guardians of the child.
Prophet Muhammad and his companions used to perform aqiqah when they were bestowed with a new born.

To offer the aqiqah or sacrifice for a newborn child is the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). An aqiqah involves the sacrifice of two animals for a boy and one for a girl, with a portion of the meat to be distributed to the poor and needy. An aqiqah can be offered at any point after a child's birth, but it is recommended to perform it within the first week (and ideally on the seventh day). In addition, it is the recommended Sunnah for parents to give sadaqah of equal value to the weight in silver of their baby's hair (when it is shaved on the seventh day after birth).

The purpose of Aqiqah
There are many benefits in the performance of aqiqah and some of them are :
1. Announcing the blessing of Allah with the birth of a baby.
Being bestowed a baby is a great blessing from God.It is only with God's grace that a couple could enjoy the joy of receiving a baby. Thus to show gratitude and joy to God for this gift,blessing and great occasion, an animal is slaughtered and the meat shared amongst friends and relatives.
2. Making known the baby's genealogy and his family.
Aqiqah is also an occasion to pronounce the birth that has taken place in a family.This is to inform friends and relatives about the new member in the family and to avoid misunderstanding or gossips that could arise from that birth.It is also to confirm the baby's rights to the family's wealth and name.
3. Promoting acts of benevolent and promoting kinship and friendship by giving meat to family, friends and neighbours.

Gathering families and friends on this joyous occasion would promote better relation, understandings and love.Even the poor is not left out from this festivities as they are also entitled to the food and meat served on this occasion.

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