Sheikh Bandar b. Nâyif al-`Abdalî, professor at al-Qasîm University
The `aqîqah is supposed to be carried out by the child’s father. The father is supposed to offer an animal sacrifice on behalf of his newborn child.
Scholars differ as to whether a grown person can offer the `aqîqah on hois own behalf if his father never did so for him.
The Hanbalî jurist Mansûr al-Bahûtî discusses in Kashshâf al-Qunnâ` (3/25) the differences of opinion that exist among Hanbalî scholars on this matter:
Nobody but the father should carry out the `aqîqah. Ibn Hajar writes in hos commentary on Sahîh al-Bukhârî: “According to the Hanbalî jurists, the father is the one who must carry it out unless that is impossible because of his death or his refusal to do so.”
As for the Prophet (peace be upon him) having performed the `aqîqah for his grandchildren al-Hasan and al-Husayn, this is because he has more rights over the believers than they have upon their own selves.
A person does not carry out the `aqîqah on his own behalf when he grows up… because the `aqîqah is something prescribed for the father. No one else should do so, like a non-relative for instance. If someone else does so, it is not disliked, since there is no evidence to say that. However, it will not take the ruling of an `aqîqah.
Others from among our scholars have ruled that it is recommended for a person to perform the `aqîqah for himself if his father never did so for him. These scholars include the authors of al-Mustaw`ib, al-Rawdah, the two works entitled al-Ri`ayah, the two works entitled al-Hâwî, and al-Nazam.
For instance, it says in al-Ri`ayah: “[The person can perform `aqîqah for himself] in emulation of the Prophet’s example. This was the opinion of `Atâ’ and al-Hasan. This is because the ``aqîqah prescribed on behalf of the person, and the person is in a sense held in mortgage by it. It is suitable for him to be able to carry it out on his own behalf to release himself from that mortgage.”
The scholars of the Shâfi`î school of law hold the view that it is recommended for a person whose father never performed his `aqîqah to do so for himself. We read in Nihâyah al-Muhtâj (8/138):
Whoever reaches the age of puberty without having has the `aqîqah offered on his behalf, then it is preferable for him to do so for himself.
We say in conclusion, if a person is able to carry out the animal sacrifice for himself, andit has not been offered on his behalf already, then it is preferred fro him to do so on his own behalf. This is according to the view of a number of scholars.
And Allah knows best.
Source: Islam Today