The Sunnah of Eid
Wake up early on the day of Eid in order to prepare for the prayer and other activities of the day.
Prepare by making ghusl, wearing nice clothing and wear perfume.
Leave for the place where prayer is taking place early.
On the way to the prayer, recite the takbir (Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. Wa-lilahill hamd. (Allah is greater, Allah is greater. There is no god but Allah. Allah is greater, Allah is greater. And all praises are for Allah).
The takbir starts from Maghrib on the 9th Thul Hijjah and last until the Asr on the 12th Thul Hijjah.
It is important that the Eid be made in an open place other than the usual mosque if possible (in case of inclement weather like rain, snow; etc.).
Make the Eid prayer in congregation.
Upon completing the prayer, take a different route than you took to arrive at the prayer grounds.
According to Imam Abu Hanifah, the slaughtering is a wajib. For Abu Hanifah, a wajib is more than a sunnah and less than a fard. The other Imams consider a wajib to mean fard (obligatory).
Therefore, he sees that it is wajib for those people who are capable to do it according to the hadith, Whoever has the ability to slaughter and he doesnt, then let him not come near our prayer area. So Abu Hanifa took from this hadith that it was a wajib. If we cant consider it as a wajib, at least it is a sunnah muakkadah and in it is a great bounty.
Its time of occurrence is after Salat al-Eid, meaning the earliest salat ul-Eid that has been performed in your area. After which, it is permissible to make the sacrifice. If it is done before that, it is not considered an Eid sacrifice.
For the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) commanded the one who performs the slaughtering before the Eid prayer to consider his sheep as a sheep of meat and not as a sheep of worship. Even if he gave all of it in charity he will only be rewarded for it the reward of charity, not the reward for slaughtering for the Eid. For slaughtering is a an act of worship and the acts of worship if they have a fixed time and condition then it is not befitting for it to be performed early or late, like the daily prayers. Is it permissible for you to pray Dhuhr before its appointed time? So it is with the slaughtering of the Eid, it has its specified time too.
Some people in certain places slaughter the night before the Eid. This is incorrect and a misplacement of the Sunnah, as well as a loss of the reward that it contains. If this person realizes his mistake in time, especially if he made a vow to slaughter (then it is obligatory for him), he should repeat it in the correct time after the Eid prayer. It is also permissible to slaughter on the second and third days of the Eid.
It is best to slaughter before the sun reaches its zenith. If the time for Dhuhr comes and he has not performed the slaughter it is better to wait till the second day to do it. Some of the Imams have said that it is permissible after that during the day or even the night. For this reason I see that it is not absolutely necessary that everybody slaughters on the first day because there will be a lot of crowding at the site of the slaughtering. So, it is possible that some people can delay their slaughtering until the second or third day.
What is the Proper Animal for Slaughter?
Camels, cows, sheep and goats are the proper animal to use for slaughtering because they are considered livestock (anam). So it is permissible to slaughter from any of these types. The sheep can be used for one, meaning a man and the members of his household. As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, This is on behalf of Muhammad and his family.
Abu Ayyub has said, During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a man used to slaughter one sheep for himself and his family until it came to the point that people competed with each other and they became what you now see. This is the Sunnah.
As for cows and camels, 1/7 of either of them is sufficient for one person, so it is possible that 7 people could share one camel or one camel or one cow with the condition that the cow is not less than 2 years old or the camel less than 5 years old.
The better the quality of the animal that is used for slaughtering, with regards to its size and condition, the better. That is because it is a gift to Allah, Mighty and Majestic. Therefore, it is befitting for the Muslim to present to Allah the best possible thing. As for one giving to Allah what he himself would dislike, then no, this is not appropriate. But in the end, It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, rather, it is the piety of the hearts that reaches Him.
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