Difference Between Qurban and Aqiqah: Exploring Each Ritual Sacrifices with Clarity and Purpose

By Saniya Baxi | 01, Jun, 2023
Difference Between Qurban and Aqiqah: Exploring Each Ritual Sacrifices with Clarity and Purpose

Qurban and Aqiqah are mostly connected. But, not many people know that both of them are different from each other. These rituals should be kept separate. People often wonder which animal they should prioritize and if is there any animal that is considered better in terms of sacrifices. 

We are here to help you out with this query of yours and many more related to the same. Keep reading to know the difference between Qurban and Aqiqah! 

Discover more by visiting our Hajj, Umrah, and Eid Al-Adha dedicated information page!

halaltrip is now on telegram! get inspired: for the latest trends on travel & food! join our telegram group.


What is Qurban? goat for qurban

Image Credit: BAILEY MAHON on Unsplash

Qurban is a term that refers to the sacrifice of livestock that is done in the name of or that is done for Allah. This act can only be performed during Dhul Hijjah

Dhul Hijjah is the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar. It is the twelfth and the very last month in the Islamic calendar. This month is also called the Festival of sacrifice. 

All followers of Islam, i.e, all Muslims around the world celebrate this month by slaughtering an animal. Animals that are usually sacrificed are goats, camels, cows, or sheep. 

The slaughtering of animals is carried out to depict Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his little son, Ismail. However, there are some rules. 

After you have slaughtered the animal, you should divide the meat into three parts. One-third of this meat should go to a poor or vulnerable family. 

Normally, Muslims should keep one-third of the meat for themselves and their own family. The remaining meat should be given to their neighbors, friends, or relatives. 


What is Aqiqah? aqiqah to celebrate the birth of a child

Image Credit: Omar Lopez on Unsplash

The birth of a child in a Muslim family is considered to be one of the highest forms of blessings by Allah SWT. The gift of a child is celebrated very highly in a Muslim family. 

Muslims celebrate this occasion with their family, friends, and all close ones. One of the ways to celebrate this occasion is by performing Aqiqah. 

Aqiqah refers to an act of sacrifice that is performed to mark the birth of a child in a Muslim family. Preferably, this ritual should be performed after seven days of the child's birth. 

But, if a family fails to perform this ritual at the said time then they should perform it every subsequent seven days or before the kid becomes mature- based on the Islamic Lunar calendar. 

Performing this ritual of Aqiqah is highly recommended in Islam. They believe that this should be done by the child's parent or guardian as it holds many benefits. 

This ritual allows you to gather your close ones and your friends and family to celebrate the birth of a little one in the family. Thanking Allah is the main aim of this ritual. 

This ritual also allows the Muslim family to celebrate their joy with the orphans and the poor people by offering them some part of the meat of the animal. 

Aqiqah is done in two different ways, one for a boy and another for a girl. The sacrifice done for a baby boy is equal to two sacrifices whereas, for a girl, it is equivalent to one. 

The ritual of Aqiqah can be performed as many times as you please. But, you should stop performing the ritual once your child hits puberty. 

However, performing an act of Aqiqah is not obligatory. Whereas, an act of Qurban is obligatory and is performed by the whole Muslim world. 


Difference Between Qurban and Aqiqahcows for sacrifice

Image Credit: Leon Ephraïm on Unsplash

Now, since we have read what both these rituals, Qurban and Aqiqah are, we will be looking at some of the major differences between the two. 

  • First, the ritual of Qurban can only be performed in the Dhul Hijjah or the last month of the Islamic calendar. Whereas, Aqiqah can be done at any time of the year, even during the Dhul Hijjah month. However, Aqiqah which is performed during the month of Dhul Hijjah is usually economical and cheaper because of the economies of scale. 
  • The ritual of Aqiqah can only be performed once in a lifetime whereas the act of Qurban can be performed every year. 
  • Both rituals come under Sunnah. Sunnah are the rituals and traditions that were done by Prophet Muhammad and today, they make up the model upon which a Muslim should tread. Hence, both Qurban and Aqiqah come under Sunnah. Qurban is performed to thank Allah for the day-to-day blessings and Aqiqah is performed to thank Allah for the birth of a little one. 
  • No limit is set on the number of Qurban that can be performed. If you wish to perform a Qurban, you can perform as many as you like but, for the ritual of Aqiqah, you can perform it only once. If you are performing Aqiqah for a baby girl then you should sacrifice one goat or one sheep whereas if you are performing Aqiqah for a baby boy, then you should sacrifice two goats or two sheep. 

Frequently Asked Questionsherd of sheeps

Image Credit: Andrea Lightfoot on Unsplash

1. Is an Act of Qurban Obligatory in Islam? 

Yes, the act of Qurban is essential and obligatory in Islam. The whole Muslim world observes this ritual during the month of Dhul Hijjah. 

However, similar to Ramadan and Zakat, not every Muslim is fit to observe this ritual. Hence, there can be some exceptions. 

2. How Is an Act of Aqiqah Performed? 

Performing the act of an Aqiqah is simple. If a Muslim family has been blessed with a baby girl then they should sacrifice one animal, if it is a baby boy, then sacrifice two animals. 

This slaughtering of the animal should be performed on the seventh day after your child's birth. 

If for some reason the family is unable to do this ritual on the seventh day after the child's birth then they should perform Aqiqah till the child hits puberty. 

After the child becomes mature and hits puberty, the child should start to perform Aqiqah on his own. After a child hits puberty, it is no more the responsibility of a parent to perform Aqiqah for their child. 

3. What Should Be the Age of the Goat That Is to Be Sacrificed?

If you wish to sacrifice a goat on the occasion of Aqiqah then you should make sure that the goat is at least two years old. 

Whereas, if you wish to perform the sacrifice of a sheep on the occasion of Aqiqah then you should go for a sheep that is at least one year old. 

4. What Is the Necessary Condition of the Animals Required for Aqiqah? 

The animal should be in perfect shape. If you are sacrificing a goat then make sure that the goat has fur and is at least two years old. 

Whereas, if you are going to sacrifice sheep for the Aqiqah ritual then make sure that they come from the furry types of Kharuf or Kibasy. These sheep must be of at least one year. 


Final Thoughts

Many people think that since both the rituals, Qurban and Aqiqah look almost similar, they are synonymous. But, it is not true. Both rituals are highly distinct from each other. 

Qurban is performed to celebrate and thank Allah SWT for the daily blessings, whereas an act of Aqiqah is performed to thank Allah for the birth of a little one. 

We hope that we were able to tell you the basic difference between the two rituals and the different times when they are performed. 


Read more about How to Do Qurban: A Step-by-Step Guide for a Meaningful Sacrifice.


Leave a comment