Whilst we were visiting Pakistan, one of the most important things we had to do was perform the sunnah (tradition of the Prophet PBUH) of aqeeqah for both of my sons. We did this for Little Lady when we visited four years ago and the boys were long overdue:
Samurah bin Jundub (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said "Every child is mortgaged by its aqeeqah. It should be slaughtered for him or her on its seventh day, the child’s hair should be shaved, and he or she should be named." [an-Nasai, Abu Dawud and others]
Usually people send the money for this "back home" and it is done for them without sight of blood and guts or indeed the animal they are sacrificing (although there are services in the UK now). My parents have done this for me and my siblings, but my husband attended a talk at his local masjid which persuaded him otherwise. The imam emphasised the importance of keeping this sunnah alive and not relegating it out of sight.
So with this in mind, my better half, brothers-in-law and dad-in-law set off to the "bakra mandi" (goat market) and did not return until the evening, with four goats, two butchers and covered to their knees in muck but victorious. They were tied outside the house where the kids played with them and then brought in for slaughter. We tried to keep the children inside with us to prevent them seeing the slaughter and becoming afraid. Alhamdulillah, they insisted on watching from a window and then slipped back out to watch the zabeehah (slaughtering) take place. Little Lady pulled up a chair and presided over the whole affair like a "Chaudhrain" (lady of the manor).
To be honest I was rather uncomfortable (read grossed-out) by the piles of heads and hides, but I was glad that my children’s reaction was better than mine. This is an important sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAWS), that many of us do not even know about or are unwilling to physically partake in. I hope it is something that our children can help to revive amongst us insh’Allah.
Salman bin Amir ad-Dabbi (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said "The aqeeqah is prescribed for every child. Thus shed blood on its behalf, and remove the harm off it." [at-Tirmidhi]
"It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him " (Al-Hajj 22:37).