Eid: Etiquette and rulings
Praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
Eid is an Arabic word referring to something habitual that returns and is repeated. Eids or festivals are symbols to be found in every nation, including those that are based on revealed scriptures and those that are idolatrous, as well as others, because celebrating festivals is something that is an instinctive part of human nature. All people like to have special occasions to celebrate, where they can come together and express their joy and happiness.
The festivals of the kaafir nations may be connected to worldly matters, such as the beginning of the year, the start of an agricultural season, the changing of the weather, the establishment of a state, the accession of a ruler, and so on. They may also be connected to religious occasions, like many of the festivals belonging exclusively to the Jews and Christians, such as the Thursday on which they claim the table was sent down to Jesus, Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, and holidays on which gifts are exchanged. These are celebrated in all European and North American countries nowadays, and in other countries where Christian influence is prevalent, even if the country is not originally Christian. Some so-called Muslims may also join in these holidays, out of ignorance or hypocrisy.
The Magians (Zoroastrians) also have their own festivals, such as Mahrajaan, Nowruz and so on.
The Baatinis have their own festivals too, such as Eid
al-Ghadeer, when they claim that the
The Muslims are distinguished by their festivals
The Prophets words Every nation has its festival, and this is your festival indicate that these two Eids are exclusively for the Muslims, and that it is not permissible for Muslims to imitate the kuffaar and mushrikeen in anything that is a distinctive part of their celebrations, whether it be food, dress, bonfires or acts of worship. Muslim children should not be allowed to play on those kaafir festivals, or to put up decorations, or to join in with the kuffaar on those occasions. All kaafir or innovated festivals are haraam, such as Independence Day celebrations, anniversaries of revolutions, holidays celebrating trees or accessions to the throne, birthdays, Labor Day, the Nile festival, Shimm al-Naseem (Egyptian spring holiday), teachers day, and al-Mawlood al-Nabawi (Prophets Birthday).
The Muslims have no festivals apart from Eid al-Fitr and Eid
al-Adhaa, because of the hadeeth narrated from Anas (may Allaah be
pleased with him) who said: The Messenger
These two Eids are among the signs or symbols of Allaah which we must celebrate and understand the aims and meanings behind them.
There follows a discussion of some of the rulings and manners of the two Eids according to Islamic shareeah
1 Ahkaam al-Eid (Rulings on Eid)
It is haraam to fast on the days of Eid because of the hadeeth of
Abu Saeed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said
that the Messenger of Allaah
Ruling on the Eid prayers
Some of the scholars say that Eid prayers are waajib (obligatory)
this is the view of the Hanafi scholars and of Shaykh al-Islam
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him). They say that the
Essentials and timing of Eid prayer
Some scholars (the Hanafis and Hanbalis) say that the conditions of Eid prayer are that the iqaamah should be recited and the prayer should be offered in jamaaah (congregation). Some of them said that the conditions of Eid prayer are the same as the conditions for Friday prayer, with the exception of the khutbah, attendance at which is not obligatory. The majority of scholars say that the time for the Eid prayer starts when the sun has risen above the height of a spear, as seen by the naked eye, and continues until the sun is approaching its zenith.
Description of the Eid prayer
Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The prayer of Eid and al-Adhaa is two complete rakahs, not shortened. This is according to the words of your Prophet, and the liar is doomed.
Abu Saeed said: The Messenger of Allaah
The Takbeer is repeated seven times in the first rakah and five times in the second, the Quraan is to be recited after each.
It was reported from Aaishah: the Takbeer of al-Fitr and al-Adhaa is seven in the first rakah and five in the second, apart from the takbeer of rukoo. (Reported by Abu Dawood; saheeh by the sum of its isnaads)
If a person joining the prayer catches up with the imaam during
these extra takbeeraat, he should say Allaahu akbar with
the imaam, and he does not have to make up any takbeeraat he may have
missed, because they are sunnah, not waajib. With regard to what
should be said between the takbeeraat, Hammaad ibn Salamah reported
from Ibraaheem that Waleed ibn Uqbah
entered the mosque when Ibn Masood, Hudhayfah and Abu Moosa
were there, and said, Eid is here, what should I do? Ibn
Masood said: Say Allaahu akbar, praise and
thank Allaah, send blessings on the Prophet
Recitation of Quraan in Eid prayers
It is recommended (mustahabb) that in the Eid prayers the imaam
should recite Qaaf [soorah 50] and Aqtarabat al-saaah
[al-Qamar, soorah 54], as it is reported in Saheeh Muslim
that Umar ibn al-Khattaab asked Abu Waaqid al-Laythi, What
did the Messenger of Allaah
Most of the reports indicate that the Prophet
Samurah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The
The prayer comes before the khutbah
One of the rulings of Eid is that the prayer should come before
the khutbah, as is reported in Musnad Ahmad from the hadeeth
of Ibn Abbaas, who testified that the Messenger of Allaah
Another indication that the khutbah should be after the prayer is
the hadeeth of Abu Saeed (may Allaah be pleased with him): The
Anyone who wants to leave during the khutbah is allowed to do so
Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saaib said: I
attended Eid with the Prophet
Not delaying the prayer for too long
Abd-Allaah ibn Bishr, the companion of
Naafil prayers in the prayer-place
There are no naafil prayers to be done either before or after the
Eid prayer, as Ibn Abbaas reported that the Prophet
This is the case if the prayer is offered in a prayer place or public place. If, however, the people pray the Eid prayer in a mosque, then they should pray two rakahs for Tahiyat al-Masjid (Greeting the mosque) before sitting down.
If people did not know about Eid until the next day
Abu Umayr ibn Anas reported from his paternal uncles among
the Ansaar who said: It was cloudy and we
could not see the new moon of Shawwaal, so we started the day
fasting, then a caravan came at the end of the day and told the
Messenger of Allaah
If someone misses the Eid prayer, the most correct view is that he may make it up by praying two rakahs.
Womens attendance at Eid prayers
Hafsah said: We used to prevent
prepubescent girls from attending Eid prayers. Then a woman came and
stayed at the fort of Banu Khalaf, and told us about her sister. Her
sisters husband had taken part in twelve campaigns with the
The young girls (awaatiq, sing. aatiq)
are girls who have reached adolescence or are close to it, or have
reached the age of marriage, or are very precious to their families,
or who are spared from having to do humiliating work. It appears that
they used to prevent these young girls from going out because of the
corruption that arose after the first generation of Islam; but the
Sahaabah did not approve of that and they thought that the ruling
should remain in their time as it had been during the time of the
Where it says My sister was with him it seems that there is something omitted, probably the woman said. [This is reflected in the translation above. Translator].
Her jilbaabs she should lend her some of her clothes that she does not need.
Secluded they would have a curtain in the corner of the house behind which virgins would stay.
Menstruating women huyyad, sing. haaid this may refer either to girls who have reached the age of puberty, or women who are having their period and are not taahir (pure).
Menstruating women should avoid the prayer-place itself Ibn al-Munayyir said: The reason why they should avoid the prayer-place is that if they stand with the women who are praying even though they are not praying, it may appear that they have no respect for the prayer or are careless, so it better for them to avoid that.
It was said that the reason why menstruating women should avoid the prayer-place is as a precaution, so that women will not come near men for no reason if they are not praying, or so that they will not offend others with their blood or their odor.
The hadeeth urges everyone to attend Eid prayer, and to co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety. The menstruating woman should not forsake the remembrance of Allaah or places of goodness such as gatherings for the purpose of seeking knowledge and remembering Allaah apart from mosques. The hadeeth also indicates that women should not go out without a jilbaab.
This hadeeth tells us that it is not proper for young women and women in seclusion to go out except for a valid reason. It states that it is preferable (mustahabb) for a woman to wear a jilbaab, and that it is permissible to lend and borrow clothes. It also indicates that Eid prayer is obligatory (waajib).
Ibn Abi Shaybah also narrated that Ibn Umar used to take whoever he could of his household out to the Eid prayers.
The hadeeth of Umm Atiyah also states the reason for the ruling, which is so that women may witness the blessings of Eid, see the gathering of the Muslims, and share the blessings and purification of this day.
Al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Sunan,
after quoting the hadeeth of Umm Atiyah: Some of the
scholars referred to this hadeeth and allowed women to go out to the
Eid prayers, and some of them disliked this. It was reported that
Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak said: I do not like for women
to go out to Eid prayers nowadays. If a woman insists on going out,
her husband should let her, if she goes out wearing her shabbiest
clothes and not adorning herself. If she insists on adorning herself,
then she should not go out. In this case the husband has the right to
stop her from going out. It was reported that Aaishah
(may Allaah be pleased with her) said: If
Umm Atiyah gave her fatwa in the hadeeth mentioned above a
while after the Prophet
Men should check on their womenfolk when they going out for the prayer to make sure that their hijaab is complete, because they are the shepherds who are responsible for their flocks. Women should go out in shabby clothes, not adorned or wearing perfume. Menstruating women should not enter the mosque or prayer-place; they can wait in the car, for example, where they can hear the khutbah.
Aadaab al-Eid (Etiquette of Eid)
Ghusl (taking a bath)
One of the manners of Eid is to take a bathe before going out to the prayer. It is reported in a saheeh report in al-Muwatta and elsewhere that Abd-Allaah ibn Umar used to take a bath on the day of al-Fitr before coming to the prayer-place. (al-Muwatta 428)
It was reported that Saeed ibn Jubayr said: Three things are sunnah on Eid: to walk (to the prayer-place), to take a bath and to eat before coming out. This is what Saeed ibn Jubayr said, and he may have learned this from some of the Sahaabah.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned that the scholars were agreed that it is mustahabb to take a bath before the Eid prayer.
The reason why it is mustahabb to take a bath before Friday prayer and other public gatherings also applies in the case of Eid, only more so.
Eating before coming out
One should not come out to the prayer-place on Eid al-Fitr before
eating some dates, because of the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari
from Anas ibn Maalik who said: The
Messenger of Allaah
It is mustahabb to eat before coming out because this confirms that we are not allowed to fast on this day, and demonstrates that the fast is now over. Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) explained that this is to prevent people extending the fast and it also means obeying the commandment of Allaah. (Fath, 2/446). If a person does not have any dates, he can eat anything permissible for breakfast. On Eid al-Adhaa, on the other hand, it is mustahabb not to eat until after the prayer, when one should eat from the meat of ones sacrifice.
Takbeer on the day of Eid
This is one of the greatest sunnahs of this day, because of the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): (He [Allaah] wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah (say Takbeer Allaahu akbar) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him. [al-Baqarah 2:185]
Al-Waleed ibn Muslim said: I asked al-Oozaai and Maalik ibn Anas about saying Takbeer aloud on Eid. They said, Yes, Abd-Allaah ibn Umar used to say it aloud on the day of Fitr until the imaam came out.
Abu Abd al-Rahmaan al-Salami said: On Eid al-Fitr they would say it louder than on Eid al-Adhaa. Wakee said, i.e., the takbeer. (Irwaa, 3/122).
Al-Daaraqutni and others reported that when Ibn Umar came out on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhaa, he would strive hard in making Takbeer until he reached the prayer-place, then he would continue making Takbeer until the imaam came.
Ibn Abi Shaybah reported with a saheeh isnaad that al-Zuhri said: The people used to make Takbeer on Eid when they came out of their houses until they reached the prayer-place and until the imaam came out. When the imaam came out, they fell silent, until the imaam said Takbeer, then they said Takbeer. (Irwaa, 2/121).
The practice of making Takbeer from home to the prayer-place, and until the imaam comes in, was well-known among the salaf and was reported by a number of authors such as Ibn Abi Shaybah, Abd al-Razzaaq and al-Firyaabi in his book Ahkaam al-Eidayn from a group of the salaf. An example of this is the report that Naafi ibn Jubayr used to make Takbeer and wondered why people did not do so. He would say to people, Why do you not make Takbeer? Ibn Shihaab al-Zuhri said, The people used to make Takbeer from the time they left their homes until the imaam came in.
The time for making Takbeer on Eid al-Fitr starts from the night of Eid until the time when the imaam comes in to lead the prayer.
The wording of the Takbeer
Ibn Abi Shaybah reported in al-Musannaf that Ibn Masood (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to say Takbeer on the days of Tashreeq as follows: Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahil-hamd (Allaah is Most Great there is no god but Allaah, Allaah is Most Great, and to Allaah be praise). Ibn Abi Shaybah reported it elsewhere with the same isnaad, but with the phrase Allaahu akbar repeated three times.
Al-Muhaamili also reported that Ibn Masood used to say: Allaahu akbaru kabeeran, Allaahu akbaru kabeeran, Allaahu akbar wa ajall, Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahil-hamd (Allaah is Most Great of All, Allaah is Most Great of all, Allaah is most Great and Most Glorious, and to Allaah be praise). (al-Irwaa, 3/126).
Congratulating one another
People may exchange congratulations and good greetings on Eid, no matter what form the words take. For example they may say to one another, Taqabbal Allaahu minnaa wa minkum (May Allaah accept [the fast and worship] from us and from you or Eid mubarak and other similar permissible greetings.
Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: At the time of the Prophet
The practice of exchanging greetings was well-known at the time of the Sahaabah and scholars such as Imaam Ahmad and others allowed it. There are reports which indicate that it is permissible to congratulate people on special occasions. The Sahaabah used to congratulate one another when something good happened, such as when Allaah accepted a persons repentance and so on.
There is no doubt that congratulating others in this way is one of the noblest kinds of good manners and one of the highest social qualities among Muslims.
At the very least, one can return Eid greetings when they are given to you, and remain silent if nothing is said, as Imaam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If someone congratulates me, I return the greeting, but I do not initiate it.
Looking ones best for Eid
Abd-Allaah ibn Umar (may Allaah
be pleased with him) said: Umar picked up a jubbah (long
outer garment) made of silk that was for sale in the market, brought
it to the Messenger of Allaah
Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The
Al-Bayhaqi reported that Ibn Umar used to wear his best clothes on Eid, so men should wear the best clothes they have when they go out for Eid.
Women, on the other hand, should avoid adornment when they go out for Eid, because they are prohibited from showing their adornment in front of non-mahrem men. A woman who wants to go out is forbidden to wear perfume or to show off in a tempting way in front of men, because she is only going out for the purpose of worship. Do you think that it is right for a believing woman to disobey the One Whom she is going out to worship and go against His commands by wearing attention-grabbing tight and brightly colored clothes or by putting on perfume and so on?
Ruling on listening to the Eid khutbah
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Kaafi (p. 234):
When the imaam has said the salaam (at the end of the
prayer), he should give a khutbah in two parts, like the two Friday
khutbahs, because the Prophet
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Majmoo Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, p. 23: It is mustahabb for people to listen to the khutbah, although the khutbah and listening to it are not essential conditions of the Eid prayer. But al-Shaafa'i said: If someone does not listen to the khutbah of Eid, at the time of an eclipse, when prayers for rain are offered, or during Hajj, or he speaks during one of these khutbahs, or leaves, I would not like this, but he does not have to repeat the prayer.
In al-Sharh al-Mumti ala Zaad al-Mustanfi by Ibn Uthaymeen, 5/192, it says:
[Ibn Qudaamahs] words, like the two Friday khutbahs means that he should give two khutbahs, even though there is a dispute in this matter, as we have referred to above. The Eid khutbah is subject to the same rulings as the Friday khutbah, even to the point that speaking during it is haraam, but it is not obligatory to attend, whereas attendance at the Friday khutbah is obligatory, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): O you who believe! When the call for prayer on the day of Jumuah (Friday) is given, come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumuah khutbah and prayer], and leave off business [al-Jumuah 62:9]. Attendance at the Eid khutbahs is not obligatory, and a person is allowed to leave, but if he stays he must not talk to anyone. This is what the author is referring to when he says like the two Friday khutbahs.
One of the scholars said: It is not obligatory to listen to the Eid khutbahs, because if it was obligatory to attend and listen to them it would be haraam to leave. But as it is permissible to leave, it is not obligatory to listen.
Nevertheless, if talking disturbs those who are listening, it is haraam to talk because of this disturbance, not because of not listening. On this basis, if a person has a book with him during the imams Eid khutbah, it is permissible for him to read it, because this does not disturb anyone. But according to the madhhab followed by this author, it is obligatory to listen to the khutbah if one is present.
To go out one by one route and come back by another
Jaabir ibn Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be
pleased with him) reported that the Prophet
It was also reported that the Prophet
Warning against wrongdoing
1. Some people think that Islam tells us to stay up and pray on the night of Eid, quoting an unsound hadeeth which says that whoever stays up and prays on the night of Eid, his heart will not die on the day when hearts die. This hadeeth was reported with two isnaads, one of which is daeef (weak), and the other is very daeef. Islam does not tell us to single out the night of Eid for staying up and praying; if, however, a person habitually stays up and prays at night (qiyaam), there is nothing wrong with him doing so on the night of Eid as well.
2. Mixing of men and women in some prayer-places, streets, etc. It is a pity that this happens not only in mosques but even in the most sacred of places, al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah]. Many women may Allaah guide them go out uncovered ,wearing make-up and perfume, flaunting their adornment, when there is such serious overcrowding in the mosques the dangers of this situation are quite obvious. So those who are in charge must organize the Eid prayers properly, by allocating separate doors and routes for women and delaying the mens departure until the women have left.
3. Some people get together on Eid for the purpose of singing and other forms of idle entertainment, and this is not permitted.
4. Some people celebrate on Eid because Ramadaan is over and they no longer have to fast. This is a mistake, the believers celebrate at Eid because Allaah has helped them to complete the month of fasting, not because the fasting, which some people regard as a heavy burden, is over.
We ask Allaah to accept our worship and our repentance. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)
Eid al-Adhaa (The Festival of Sacrifice)
Eid al-Adhaa is the tenth day of Dhool-Hijjah, the last (twelfth) month of the Hijri or Islamic calendar. It is, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The greatest day in the sight of Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, the Day of Sacrifice . . . (Reported by Abu Dawud; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 1064).
It is also the greatest day of Hajj, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, see Saheeh al-Jaami, 8191).
The reason why it is described as the greatest day of the year is that it combines so many acts of worship which are not combined on any other day, such as the Eid prayer, offering the sacrifice, reciting Takbeer (glorifying Allaah), and widespread remembrance of Allaah. For the pilgrims in Makkah, it also includes offering a sacrifice, stoning the pillars representing Shaytaan (the devil), shaving the head (for men only; women merely cut a little off their hair), and performing Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Kabah) and Saee (running between the two hills of Safaa and Marwa).
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