Almost all religions and cultures have traditions regarding the arrival of a new baby in a family such as baby showers before the arrival, baptisms and celebratory parties after the baby arrives. Similarly, Islam and Islamic countries follow the tradition of an Aqeeqa upon the arrival of the bundle of joy.
Aqeeqa incorporates the sacrifice of a lamb or goat in order to ward off any evil eyes or beings that might harm the baby. In addition it provides the parents with the opportunity of celebrating this joyous occasion with friends and family as well as introduces the newest addition to everyone. It also provides the guests with the chance of bestowing their well wishes and a selection of Islamic gifts upon the baby. Another advantage of Aqeeqa is that the poor are also given a fair share of the meat from the sacrificed animal. In short an aqeeqa turns out to be a social as well as a communal event, which allows the parents to share their joy with the rich and the poor.
Aqeeqa can also be considered the baby showers for Muslims, as this is the time when Islamic gifts to the baby and the mother. This particular affair boasts of a wide selection of Islamic gifts being provided that are useful and helpful for the new mother and child together. Islamic gifts offered at an Aqeeqa usually include personalized clothing and bedding articles such as blankets and body suits, a collection of important Surah’s from the Quran or a complete digital Quran that the mother can turn on for the baby to listen from early childhood. Feeding items such as bottles, Sippy cups and bowls with holy messages printed or engraved on them.
Other Islamic gifts considered appropriate for an Aqeeqa are hand knitted wraps, caps, mittens and socks for the baby, gold jewellery such as pendants with “Allah” or “Muhammad” written across them, identifying the child to be a born Muslim. Also available at certain places are Halal lotions, shampoos and soaps for the baby that does not contain any non permissible ingredients. As these types of products are relatively new and not easily available everywhere, they make thoughtful Islamic gifts for a Muslim baby and at the same time also promote awareness about such products among people who are not conscious of their existence.
In short any Islamic gifts are welcome by the family members of the tiny bundle of joy as gift giving promotes love and a happy bond between the giver and the receiver. Therefore gift giving has been highly recommended in Islam by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself.