Praise be to Allaah.
Some of the scholars said that the ‘aqeeqah is like the udhiyah (qurbaani) and is subject to the same rulings.
They said that it should be shared out in the same manner as the udhiyah, and that the conditions for the sheep to be sacrificed for the ‘aqeeqah are the same as those in the case of udhiyah. They said that it should not be blemished, lame, obviously sick or extremely weak.
Ibn Qudaamah said:
The way it is to be eaten (by the owner), given as gifts and given in charity is the same, i.e., the way in which the ‘aqeeqah is to be (shared out) is the same as the way in which the udhiyah is (shared out). This is the view of al-Shaafa'i.
Ibn Seereen said:
Do whatever you want with the meat. Ibn Jurayj said: It should be cooked in salt and water, and given to neighbours and friends, but nothing of it should be given in charity. Ahmad was asked about this, and he quoted the view of Ibn Seereen, which indicates that this was also his view. He was asked whether one could eat it, and he said, I did not say that he should eat all of it and not give any of it in charity.
The more correct view is to liken it by analogy (qiyaas) to udhiyah because it is a sacrifice which is prescribed in sharee’ah, but it is not obligatory, so it is like udhiyah, and because it is like it in terms of the attributes, age, value and conditions [of the animal] , so it is like it in terms of the manner in which it is disposed of.
Do the same conditions apply (to ‘aqeeqah) as to udhiyah? Al-Shaafa'i has two views, and he quoted evidence to show that this is not the case, and that is the correct view.
(Nayl al-Awtaar, 5/231).
And he mentioned differences between ‘aqeeqah and udhiyah which indicate that they are not alike in all regards. So there is no mention in the Sunnah of a specific way of dividing (the meat of the ‘aqeeqah). The purpose is to draw closer to Allaah by means of the shedding of this blood, in thanksgiving for the blessing of the newborn child, and to loosen the bonds of the Shaytaan over the child and to remove him from him, as is indicated in the hadeeth, “Every child is ransomed by his ‘aqeeqah.”
With regard to the ruling on the meat, you may do whatever you like with it. If you wish, you and your family can eat it, or you can give it in charity, or you can eat some and give some. This is the view of Ibn Seereen and of Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him.
And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid