What is Eid?
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 Year’s, 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 Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave the khilaafah to ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) and to the twelve imaams after him.
The Muslims are distinguished by their festivals
The Prophet’s 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, Labour Day, the Nile festival, Shimm al-Naseem (Egyptian spring holiday), teachers’ day, and al-Mawlood al-Nabawi (Prophet’s 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 of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and the people had two days when they would play and have fun. He said, ‘What are these two days?’ They said, ‘We used to play and have fun on these days during the Jaahiliyyah. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘Allaah has given you something better than them, the day of Adhaa and the day of Fitr.’” (Sunan Abi Dawood, 1134)
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 sharee’ah
1 – Ahkaam al-Eid (Rulings on Eid)
Fasting the day of Eid
It is haraam to fast on the days of Eid because of the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade fasting on the day of Fitr and the day of Sacrifice (Adhaa). (Reported by Muslim, 827)
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 Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) always prayed the Eid prayer and never omitted to do it, not even once. They take as evidence the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” [al-Kawthar 108:2], i.e., the Eid prayer and the sacrifice after it, which is an instruction, and the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that the women should be brought out to attend the Eid prayers, and that a woman who did not have a jilbaab should borrow one from her sister. Some scholars say that Eid prayer is fard kifaaya. This is the view of the Hanbalis. A third group say that Eid prayer is sunnah mu’akkadah. This is the view of the Maalikis and Shaafa’is. They take as evidence the hadeeth of the Bedouin which says that Allaah has not imposed any prayers on His slaves other than the five daily prayers. So the Muslim should be keen to attend Eid prayers, especially since the opinion that it is waajib is based on strong evidence. The goodness, blessings and great reward one gets from attending Eid prayers, and the fact that one is following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by doing so, should be sufficient motivation.
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 jamaa’ah (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.
How to offer Eid prayer
‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The prayer of Eid and al-Adhaa is two complete rak’ahs, not shortened. This is according to the words of your Prophet, and the liar is doomed.”
Abu Sa’eed said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to come out to the prayer-place on the day of Fitr and al-Adhaa, and the first thing he would do was the prayer.”
The Takbeer is repeated seven times in the first rak’ah and five times in the second, the Qur’aan is to be recited after each.
It was reported from ‘Aa’ishah: the Takbeer of al-Fitr and al-Adhaa is seven in the first rak’ah 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 Mas’ood, Hudhayfah and Abu Moosa were there, and said, “Eid is here, what should I do?” Ibn Mas’ood said: “Say ‘Allaahu akbar’, praise and thank Allaah, send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and make du’aa’, then say Say ‘Allaahu akbar’, praise and thank Allaah, send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)…etc.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani. It is a saheeh hadeeth that is quoted in al-Irwaa’ and elsewhere).
What to read in Eid prayers
It is recommended (mustahabb) that in the Eid prayers the imaam should recite Qaaf [soorah 50] and Aqtarabat al-saa’ah [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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite at [Eid] al-Adhaa and al-Fitr?” He said, “He used to recite Qaaf. Wa’l-Qur’aan al-majeed [Qaaf 50:1] and Aqtarabat al-saa’ah wa anshaqq al-qamar [al-Qamar 54:1].
Most of the reports indicate that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite Soorat al-A’laa  and Soorat al-Ghaashiyah , as he used to recite them in the Friday prayer. Al-Nu’maan ibn Bishr said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite on the two Eids and on Fridays, Sabbih isma rabbika’l-a’laa [al-A’laa 87:1] and Hal ataaka hadeeth al-ghaashiyah [al-Ghaashiyah 88:1].” (Saheeh Muslim, 878).
Samurah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite on the two Eids, Sabbih isma rabbika’l-a’laa [al-A’laa 87:1] and Hal ataaka hadeeth al-ghaashiyah [al-Ghaashiyah 88:1].” (Reported by Ahmad and others; it is saheeh. Al-Irwaa’, 3/116)
Eid prayer should be offered 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed before the khutbah on Eid, then he gave the khutbah.” (Musnad Ahmad, 1905. The hadeeth is also in al-Saheehayn).
Another indication that the khutbah should be after the prayer is the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed (may Allaah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to go out to the prayer-place on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adhaa, and the first thing he would do was to pray, then he would stand up facing the people, whilst they were still sitting in their rows, and would advise and instruct them. If he wanted to send out a military expedition, he would decide about the matter then, or if he wanted to issue a command, he would do it then.” Abu Sa’eed said: “This is what the people continued to do until I came out [to the Eid prayers] with Marwaan, when he was governor of Madeenah, on either Adhaa or Fitr. When we reached the prayer-place, we saw the minbar, which had been built by Katheer ibn al-Salt. Marwaan wanted to get on the minbar before the prayer. I pulled on his cloak, and he pulled on mine in return, then he got on the minbar and gave the khutbah before the prayer. I said, ‘You have changed it, by Allaah!’ He said, ‘O Abu Sa’eed, what you know is gone.’ I said, ‘What I know, by Allaah, is better than what I do not know.’ He said, ‘The people will not remain sitting after the prayer, so we made it [the khutbah] before the prayer.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 956).
Anyone who wants to leave during the khutbah is allowed to do so
‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saa’ib said: “I attended Eid with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and when he finished the prayer, he said: “We will give the khutbah, so whoever wants to sit (and listen to) the khutbah, let him sit, and whoever wants to leave, let him go.’” (Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel, 3/96)
Not delaying the prayer for too long
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Bishr, the companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), went out with the people on the day of Fitr or al-Adhaa, and objected to the fact that the imaam came very late. He said, “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) we would have finished by now,” and that was at the time of al-Tasbeeh .” (Reported by al-Bukhaari )
Should we offer Nafl prayers in the prayer-place?
There are no nafl prayers to be done either before or after the Eid prayer, as Ibn ‘Abbaas reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to come out on the day of Eid and pray two rak’ahs, with nothing before or after them.
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 rak’ahs for Tahiyat al-Masjid (“Greeting the mosque”) before sitting down.
If people did not know about Eid until the next day, what should they do?
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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that they had seen the new moon of Shawwaal the day before, so he told the people to stop fasting, and they went out to pray the Eid prayer the next day.” (Reported by the five. It is saheeh; al-Irwaa’, 3/102)
If someone misses the Eid prayer, the most correct view is that he may make it up by praying two rak’ahs.
Can women attend Eid prayer?
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 sister’s husband had taken part in twelve campaigns with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and [she said], ‘my sister was with him on six of them. She said, “We used to treat the wounded and take care of the sick. My sister asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) whether there was anything wrong with her not going out [on Eid] if she did not have a jilbaab. He said, ‘Let her friend give her one of her jilbaabs so that she may witness the blessings of Eid and see the Muslims gathering.’”’ When Um ‘Atiyah came, I asked her, ‘Did you hear the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [say this]?’ She said, ‘May my father be sacrificed for him’ – and she never mentioned him without saying ‘may my father be sacrificed for him’ – ‘I heard him saying that we should bring out the young girls and those who were secluded, or the young girls who were secluded, and the menstruating women, so that they could witness the blessings of Eid and see the gathering of the believers, but those who were menstruating were to keep away from the prayer-place itself.” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 324).
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 Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
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. haa’id – 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 odour.
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 ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: ‘If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had seen what has happened to women, he would have stopped them from going to the mosques, just as the women of Bani Israa’eel were stopped.’ It was reported that Sufyaan al-Thawri did not like women to go to the Eid prayers in his day.” (Al-Tirmidhi, 495).
Umm ‘Atiyah gave her fatwa in the hadeeth mentioned above a while after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had died, and it is not reported that any of the Sahaabah disagreed with this. The words of ‘Aa’ishah, “If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had seen what has happened to women, he would have stopped them from going to the mosques”, do not contradict this (provided that women are meeting the Islamic conditions attached to their going out)… It is better if permission is given only to those women who are not who are not going to look at men or be looked at, whose attendence will not lead to anything undesirable and who are not going to rub shoulders with men on the street or in the mosque. (i.e., women whose going out will not cause fitnah or temptation to her or to men).
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.
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 Sa’eed 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 Sa’eed 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not go out on the morning of Eid al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… and he would eat an odd number.” (al-Bukhaari, 953)
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 one’s 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-Oozaa’i 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 Mas’ood (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 Lillaahi’l-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 Mas’ood used to say: “Allaahu akbaru kabeeran, Allaahu akbaru kabeeran, Allaahu akbar wa ajall, Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahi’l-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 on Eid
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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when people met one another on the day of Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabbal Allaahu minnaa wa minka (May Allaah accept from us and from you).’” (Ibn Hajar. Its isnaad is hasan. Fath, 2/446).
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 person’s 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 one’s 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, buy this and wear it for Eid and when the delegations come.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “This is the clothing of the one who has no share of the Hereafter…” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 948).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of ‘Umar’s idea of looking one’s best, but he rejected and denounced the idea of buying this jubbah because it was made of silk.
Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had a jubbah that he would wear on Eid and on Fridays.” (Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 1765).
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 coloured 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did this. (The Eid khutbah) differs from the Friday khutbahs in four ways … the fourth of which is: that it is sunnah and it is not obligatory to listen to it, because it was reported that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saa’ib said: “I attended Eid with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and when he had finished the prayer, he said: “We are going to give a khutbah, so whoever wishes to sit (and listen) to the khutbah, let him sit down, and whoever wants to leave, let him go.’”
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 Qudaamah’s] 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 Jumu’ah (Friday) is given, come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu’ah khutbah and prayer], and leave off business …” [al-Jumu’ah 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 imam’s 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to vary his routes on the day of Eid. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 986)
It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to go out walking, and he prayed without any adhaan or iqaamah, then he would come back walking by a different route. It was said that this was so that the two different routes would testify in his favour on the Day of Resurrection, because on that Day the earth will speak about everything that was done on it, good and evil. It was also said that this was done in order to demonstrate the symbols and rituals of Islam along both routes; to pronounce the remembrance of Allaah; to annoy the hypocrites and Jews and to scare them by the number of people who were with him; to meet the people’s needs by giving fatwas, teaching them and setting an example for them to follow; to give charity to those in need; or to visit his relatives and uphold the ties of kinship.
Warning against wrongdoing
- 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 da’eef (weak), and the other is very da’eef. 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.
- 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 men’s departure until the women have left.
- Some people get together on Eid for the purpose of singing and other forms of idle entertainment, and this is not permitted.
- 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.