Giving away money instead of offering `Aqiqah

Q 4: Allah (Exalted be He) has provided me with a second new baby and because I am going to take a leave and travel to Egypt soon, I decided to offer 'Aqiqah (sacrifice for a newborn) in my homeland. Is it permissible to give away its value in cash to the poor and the needy or should its value be distributed as raw meat among the poor, relatives and friends? Is it permissible to cook part of it and leave another part raw and give the cooked meat to members of the household and the raw meat to the poor as well as distributing other things that are necessary for cooking. This is due to the incapability to cook Kabsah (Saudi food consisting of mainly rice and meat) at home. Is there a specific age for the 'Aqiqah of sheep or young cows? (Part No. 10; Page No. 465

A4: 'Aqiqah is a stressed Sunnah (action following the teachings of the Prophet) for the father to offer two sheep for a boy and one for a girl. Giving away the value of 'Aqiqah does not meet its conditions because this conflicts with the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them) after him. It is permissible to distribute the meat of the 'Aqiqah as raw meat among the poor or to cook part of it for members of the household, neighbors and friends and the other raw part to be distributed among the poor. It is a Sunnah for the 'Aqiqah, as it is for Ud-hiyah (sacrificial animal offered by non-pilgrims), to be divided into three thirds: one third to be eaten, the second third to be given as a gift and the last third to be given as a charity. The age of the 'Aqiqah which meets its conditions is the same as that of Ud-hiyah of a camel which is five years old, a cow which is two years old, a goat which is one year old and a sheep which is six months old.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.