Aqeeqah: Differences Between Boys and Girls

By Mufti Taqi Usmani
Posted: 23 Rabi-u-Thani 1422, 15 July 2001

Q.) Recently one of my friends was contacted by a sikh lady and she said, "If you can answer this question I will become a Muslim." The question was why in Islam at the time of aqeeqah two goats are sacrificed for a male child while only one is required for a female child? Please can you explain to me the reason. Jazakallah [Yahya, UK]

A.) Before answering your question it will be pertinent to make three points:

  1. Aqeeqah is not an obligatory performance. It is only a Sunnah.
  2. The sacrifice offerred at the time of Aqeeqah is a form of worship.
  3. The forms of worship prescribed by Allah are just to test the obedience of the followers and it is not correct to seek reason behind them. The very purpose of worship is to display one's total obedience and submission to Allah which includes that a person abides by His command even though he does not fully realise the wisdom behind it. One does not need to know or understand why two Rakats only are obligated for Fajr, three Rakats for Maghrib and four Rakats for Zuhr, Asr and Isha.

Keeping these points in mind it is not at all necessary to know or fully understand the reason that why two goats are offerred as sacrifice for Aqeeqah of a male child and only one goat in the case of a female child. This is a Sunnah prescribed by the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam as any other form of worship.

It should be clearly understood that the reason for this distinction is not that the female child has been treated inferior to a male child because the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has clarified in a number of ahadith that the female child is a blessing from Allah and by no means is lower than a male child. The Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah have also condemned the practice of pagan Arabs who expressed their grief when they were informed of the birth of a daughter. The Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has in a number of ahadith explained the merits of a daughter and the rewards promised for a person who looks after his daughter or daughters with love and affection.