Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Answering your question, the late Sheikh Ahmad Ash-Sharabasy, Professor at Al-Azhar University stated:
It is reported on the authority of Salman Ibn Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “For the boy there should be an aqeeqah. Slaughter (an animal) for him and remove the harmful thing [i.e. the foreskin] from him.” (At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah)
According to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) on receiving a new baby, a person should slaughter a sheep on the seventh day of the birth as a sign of celebrating the new-born. This practice is called aqeeqah.
Other practices peculiar to such special day (the seventh day) involve shaving the head of the new-born and, after weighing it, giving out silver equal to it as a charity. Also, the day witnesses the naming of the child and slaughtering a sheep from which we eat and give out to others in form of present and charity.
These acts are addressed to Muslims since a Muslim is always required to follow the very guidance and tradition of Islam in all acts. A disbeliever, before embracing Islam, is not required to observe any of these obligations.
Since Islam wipes away all past sins and renders the person as sin-free as the day he was born, a new Muslim is forgiven for all acts of the past. Thus, a new Muslim is not obliged to offer aqeeqah for himself or for his baby who was born before his conversion.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.