How to Celebrate Eid?

In Arabic Eid means any day on which people gather. Ibn Abideen, a famous Hanafi scholar, writs:

The Eid's are named so because Allah renews His bounties in them, and He distributes His blessings to His worshippers. Thus on Eid al-Fitr He permits them to eat after having abstained from food, and requires paying Sadaqa al-Fitr to the needy."

In Islam there are only three occasions of Eid: the yearly Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-'Adha, and the weekly Jumu'ah.

The two Eid's are a mercy from Allah to this Umma. Anas reports that on arriving in Madina the Prophet found its people celebrating two days since jahiliyya. He said,
'IndEid, Allah has substituted them for you with what is better: the day of Sacrifice and the Day of Fitr. (Ahmad, Abu Daud)

Islam teaches us how to celebrate these occasions of joy. Their spirit is to remember Allah's bounties, that is why the major part of the celebration is an extra prayer. It is an occasion to increase good dEids at the conclusion of a significant worship. It is not an occasion to sin and disobey Allah by listening to songs, watching the latest movie released, to have mixed gatherings, or to waste time.

The following are some recommended acts to be performed on Eid:

(a)   Ghusl: Ibn 'Umar used to take a bath on the day of Fitr before procEiding to the musalla. (Malik, Abd al-Razzaq, etc)

(b)  Beautifying oneself: The Prophet used to wear his best clothes to go  the Eid prayer. He had a cloak that he wore specifically on the two Eid's and Friday. Ibn 'Umar also used to wear his best clothes on he two Eid's. Men may put on perfume, wear a kufi or an imama and not shave their beards while women must observe proper purdah and not put on perfume.

(c)   Eating on the morning of Eid: Allah's Messenger would not leave his house on the Day of Fitr until he had ate some dates. (Bukhari)

(d)  Prayer in the Musalla: The Sunna is to hold the Eid prayer in the open. This outdoor place is called the musalla.

(e)   Taking different routes: The Prophet would take different routes on the day of Eid (Bukhari)

(f)    Walking: Ali said it is Sunna that you goto Eid walking (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

(g)   Saying Takbeer: is a distinctive feature of Eid.

"…And that you must exclaim Allah's greatness for having guided you, so that you may be grateful." (Surah al-Baqara; 2: 185)

The time for Eid takbir's starts from the time a person leaves his house heading towards the musalla. The Prophet would leave his house on the Day of Fitr saying takbeer until he reached the musalla and until he performed the prayer. Once he had performed the prayer, he would stop saying the takbeer.

Unfortunately, these days people have limited saying takbeer only while waiting for the Imam. There is no evidence from the Sunna or the practice of the Sahaba to say it in unison in a loud voice while waiting for the Imam!

We don’t know of any authentic hadith from the Prophet as to what should be said in the takbeer, but we find three reports from the Sahaba:

(a)   Ibn Mas'ud:  Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akar, La-il-la ha il-Allah, wa-Allahu Akbar,  Allahu Akbar, wa lil-laahil-Hamd.

(b)  Ibn Abbas: Allahu Abkar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa-lil-laahil-Hamd. Allahu Akbar wa-Ajall, Allahu Akbar 'ala ma Hadana.

(c)   Salman: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbaru Kabira.

It is not correct to say: Takbir will start at 9:00, and the prayer will be at 9:30.

Eid Greetings: When the Sahaba of the Prophet met on the day of Eid they would say to each other: Taqabbal-Allahu Minkum.

(A) The Eid prayer is wajib according to the majority of scholars (Ahmad, Shaf'I, Abu Hanifa). 'Umm 'Atiyya reports the Prophet commanded,
"The Prophet commanded the free women, the virgins, and the menstruating women to go out to attend the Eid prayer and witness the good and the supplications of the believers. As for the menstruating women, they should stay away from the musalla (i.e. they should not pray). I said, "O Messenger of Allah, one of us does not have a jilbaab." The Prophet said, "Let her borrow the jilbaab of her sister."
(Bukhari, Muslim, etc)

This hadith shows the following:

(a)   Eid prayer is obligatory.

(b)  All women, young, old, or menstruating must attend it in the musalla. Menstruating women do not pray of course but they join in the khutba and du'a. If Eid prayer is held in a masjid then they stay outside without entering the masjid hall, listen to the khutba and join in the du'a.

(c)   The women must wear a jilbaab when they come to the prayer, be they young or old. It is wajib to wear it. Why? The Prophet commanded women to attend Eid prayer who did not have a jilbabb presented it as an excuse. The Prophet did not tell her to come anyways without jilbabb, but he instructed her to borrow it from her sister.

(B) No prayer before or after it: There is no Sunna prayer before or after sala al-Eid, except if it is held in a masjid, then one must pray two rak'at of tahiyya al-masjid before sitting down. Ibn Abbas: "The Prophet went out (of his house) on the day of fitr, prayed two rak'aat, and did not pray before or after it."[4]

(C) No Adhan or Iqama

Jabir ibn Samura reports:
"I prayed Eid prayer with Allah's Messenger on more than one occasion, withour Adhan or Iqama." [5]

(D) Description of Prophet's Eid prayer

Like any prayer, the prayer began with Takbir al-Ahram followed by the opening supplication. It is followed by seven takbee-raat in the first rak'at and five additional takbee-raat in the second rak'at. Aisha said, "Allah's messenher would say Takbir in both Fitr and Adha; seven in the first, and five in the second - other than the two Takbir's of ruku'."


"In the Eid prayer Allah's messenger said seven takbee-raat in the first rak'at, recited Qur'an, said the takbir and bowed, prostrated himself, then he stood, said five takbee-raat, recited, said takbir, bowed, and prostrated. “ [7]

Ibn al-Qayyim writes in Zaad al-Ma'aad: "The Prophet would remain silent between the two takbee-raat, and nothing is reported from him regarding Dhikr between them."

But Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said: "Between every two takbir's is a praise of Allah and a salah upon the Prophet."

After reciting al-Fatiha, the Prophet would recite either Surah Qaaf in first rak'at and al-Qamar in the second, or al-'Ala in first and al-Ghashiya in the second rak'at. [9]

Rest of the prayer is like any other prayer.

(E) Khutba

The Prophet would give the Khutba after the prayer
. [10]

The Eid khutba of the prophet would be one unit, unlike the Jumu'ah Khutba which is two.
He would give a choice to either listen to the khutba or leave. After finishing the prayer, the Prophet would say,

"We shall give the khutba - so let whoever wishes to sit for khutba do so, and whoever wishes to leave, leave."


[1] Abu Daud, Ibn Majah, Darqutni, Hakim
[2] according to Hanafis, but fard according to rest
[3] Bukhari, Muslim
[4] Bukhari, Muslim
[5] Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi
[6] Abuu daud, Ahmad, Ibn Majah
[7] Abu Daud, Ahmad, Ibn Majah
[8] Baihaqi
[9] Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nisai, Ibn Majah
[10] Bukhari, Muslim
[11] Abu Daud, Ibn Majah, Nisai, Hakim



To purify the person who fasted and cleanse him of indecent talk and minor sins performed during Ramadan.

(b)  To Eid poor Muslims so they have enough food during Eid.

This statement also indicates that paying zakat al-Fitr is obligatory (wajib).[2]  It is wajib on every Muslim capable of giving for himself and on behalf of every member of his family under his care. The proof for this in the hadith of Ibn 'Umar:

"Allah's Messenger has made obligatory zakat al-Fitr in the amount of sa'a of dates or one sa'a of barley, for the Muslims - slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered it to be given before the people went out to the Eid prayer. We would give it out before Eid by a day or two."[

This hadith tells us four things: the quantity of food to be given out, the type of food that can be given out, the best time to give it out, and the permissible time to give it out.

(a)   The quantity of food to be given out is one sa'a of food stuff. One sa'a is roughly equal to four handfuls of an average man put together. It's weight will be different for different foodstuffs. Some scholars allow giving money also, but it is safest to limit oneself to giving foodstuff only as held by the majority of scholars.

(b)  The strongest opinion as far as what type of food may be given out is whatever is the staple food of the people where one is living. Dates, barley, wheat, olives, raisins, wheat, and dried yogurt used to be commonly eaten food in the time of the Prophet. Today in America cereals, rice, beans, cheese, and other food is more common.

(c)   The best time for it to be given out is on Eid before going to the prayer.

(d)  Permissible time as proven by the action of the Sahaba in the presence of the Prophet was one or two days before Eid.

(e)   If it is delayed after Eid prayer, then it is a mere sadaqah or charity, and it is not permissible to do so.

The last matter is who should it be given to? The masakeen as the hadith of Ibn Abbas indicated - not someone in complete poverty, but rather with limited financial means. It can not be given to non-Muslims

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