Description of the ‘Eid Prayer

19 09 2009

DESCRIPTION OF THE ‘EID PRAYER

Source: The Two Eids and their Significance
Abdul-Majeed Alee Hasan

Every Muslim must pray ‘Eid prayer as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has prayed. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said: “Pray as you see me praying”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari: vol. 1, p. 345, no. 604.].

1: Sunnah before or after the ‘Eid prayer:

It is not established that there is any sunnah prayer before or after the ‘Eid prayer. The Prophet never performed any such prayer, neither did his companions upon arrival at the musalla (prayer place).

It was the practice of the Muslims at the time Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that they would not pray any sunnah or nafl prayers before or after the ‘Eid prayer. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never prayed any sunnah or nafl before or after the ‘Eid prayer.

‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas said: ” the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam offered a two Rak‘aat prayer on the day of ‘Eidul Fitr and he did not pray before or after it.” [Refer to Sahih Al-Bukhari: vol. 2, p. 43, no. 81].

2: The takbeer during salaatul ‘Eidayn:

The ‘Eid prayer consists of two rak’at during which it is sunnah to pronounce the takbeer seven times, after the opening takbir and before the Qur’anic recital in the first rak’ah. ‘Umar (may Allâh be pleased with him) said: “The prayer of ‘Eid and al-Adh-haa is two complete rak’ahs, not shortened. This is according to the words of your Prophet (Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam), and the liar is doomed.” [Refer to Irwaaul Ghaleel by Al-Albaanee: vol. 3, pp.105-6, no. 638.]

During the second rak’ah, one makes takbir five times after the takbeer which is customarily made for standing after the prostration. The difference between ‘Eid prayer and the Friday is that, in ‘Eid prayer the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made twelve additional takbeer, whereas it is not the same for Friday 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 completing the seven takbeer in the first raka‘ah, after the five takbeer in the second raka‘ah. ‘Aishah said: the Prophetsallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would say the takbeer seven times in the first raka‘ah and five times in the second raka‘ah on the day of the breaking of the fast and on the day of sacrifice on theoccasion of both the ‘Eid prayers, the two festivals. [Sunan Abu Dawud: (Eng.): vol. 1, pp. 296-7, no. 1145. Refer to the Saheeh Sunan Aboo Daawood: vol. 1, p. 213, no. 1018.]

In another version She said: “Except the two takbeers pronounced at the time of bowing.” [Sunan Abu Dawud: (Eng.): vol. 1, p. 297, no. 1146. Refer to the Saheeh Sunan Aboo Daawood: vol. 1, p. 213, no. 1019.]

‘Amr ibn Shu’aib reports from his father on the authority of his grandfather that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said : “There are seven takbeers in the first raka‘ah and five in the second raka‘ah of the prayer offered on the day of the breaking of the fast and then recitation of the Qur’aan after the additional takbeers”. [Sunan Abu Dawud: (Eng.): vol. 1, p. 297, no. 1147. Refer to the Saheeh Sunan Aboo Daawood: vol. 1, p. 213, no. 1020.]

NOTE: It is not the sunnaah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to raise the hands while saying additional takbeers and nothing besides takbeer should be uttered. [See Tamaamul Minnah: by Al-Albaanee: pp. 348-9.]

Ash-Shaukani states that the strongest opinion is that if one does not perform the takbeeraat out of forgetfulness, he is not to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness. [Naylul Awtaar: by Imaam Ash-Shaukaanee: vol.3, p. 300.]

3:Recitation of Qur’aan in ‘Eid prayers:

It is not restricted that one has to read particular soorah in the ‘Eid prayers. It is recommended (mustahabb) that in the ‘Eid prayers the imaam should recite Sooratu Qaaf [soorah 50] and Sooratul Qamar[al-Qamar, soorah 54], as it is reported that: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab asked Aboo Waaqid al-Laythee, “What did the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam 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]. [Sahih Muslim: vol. 2, p. 419, no.1936]

Most of the reports indicate that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to recite Soorat al-A’laa [87] and Soorat al-Ghaashiyah [88], as he used to recite them in the Friday prayer. Al-Nu’maan ibn Bishr said: “The Messenger of Allâh (peace and blessings of Allâh 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].” [Sahih Muslim: vol. 2, p. 414, no.1907]

4: The khutbah of salaatul ‘Eid:

The khutbah after salaatul ‘Eid is a sunnah and so is listening to it. It is not compulsory as with the case of Friday prayer. It is permissible to go back home without attending the sermon of the ‘Eid. The sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is to deliver the khutbah after the salaatul ‘Eid. [Al-Mughnee: vol. 2, p. 246.]

Abu Sa‘eed says: “On the ‘Eid of breaking the fast and of the sacrifice, the Prophet would go to the musalla (prayer place) and begin with the salah and when he finished, he would face the people while the people were sitting in rows, and he would admonish them, advise them, and exhort them [to do good deeds]. And if he wished to send off an army or order something, he would do so and then leave.” [This is related by Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 2, pp. 40-1, no. 76 and Sahih Muslim: vol. 2, p. 418, no.1931].

‘Abdullah ibn as-Sa’ib said: “I prayed the ‘Eid salaah with the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and when he finished the salaah he said: ‘We will be delivering a khutbah. Whoever wishes to stay for the khutbah may stay. Whoever would like to leave, may leave.’ ” [This is related by Abu Dawud: (Eng.) vol. 1, p. 298, no. 1151, Saheeh Sunan Aboo Daawood: vol. 1, p. 214, no. 1024.]

Ibn al-Qayyim writes: “The Prophet would begin all of his khutbahs with the praise of Allâh and there is no hadeeth from him that states that he began his ‘Eid khutbahs with takbeer. Ibn Majah recorded in his Sunan from Sa‘eed, the mu’ath-thin of the Prophet (Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam), that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would say the takeeir during his khutbahs and even more so during the ‘Eid khutbahs. Still, this does not prove that he began his khutbah with it! The people differ over the beginning of the ‘Eid and the khutbah for salaatul istisqaa’ (prayer for rain). Some say that they are to begin with takbeer. Some say that the khutbah for salaatul istisqaa’ begins with praying for forgiveness while others say it begins with praises of Allâh.” Shaikh al-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah says: “That is correct as the Prophet said: ‘Every affair that does not begin with the praise of Allâh is deficient.’ The Prophet began all of his speeches with praises of Allâh. Concerning the statement of many jurists, i.e.. he began the ‘prayer for rain’ by asking forgiveness from Allâh and the id speech with takbir, there is absolutely no proof for it in the Prophet’s sunnah. In fact the sunnah contradicts that statement as he began all of his speeches with the praises of Allâh.” [Zaadul Ma‘aad: vol. 1, pp. 447-8]

5: Congratulating one another on the days of ‘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 Allâhu minnaa wa minkum (May Allâh accept [the fast and worship] from us and from you” or “Eid mubarak” and other similar permissible greetings. [Al-Mughnee: by ibn Qudaamah: vol. 2, p. 259]

Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him), when people met one another on the day of Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabbal Allâhu minnaa wa minka (May Allâh accept from us and from you).’” (Ibn Hajar. Its isnaad is hasan. Fathul Baaree: vol.2, p. 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 Allâh 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 Allâh have mercy on him) said: “If someone congratulates me, I return the greeting, but I do not initiate it.”

6: Whoever misses salaatul ‘Eid with the congregation may pray two rak’at

In Sahih al-Bukhari we find in the chapter entitled: “Whoever missed the ‘Eid prayer should pray two Raka‘ah, and similarly the women and those who are at home and in the villages should do so, as is confirmed by the statement of the Prophet (Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam): “O Muslims, this our ‘Eid”. Anas ibn Maalik at Az-Zaawiyah ordered his slave ibn Abee Ghaneeyah to collect his (Anas’s) family and off-spring. Anas led prayer similar to that offered by townspeople and recited takbeer similar to theirs. ‘Ekrimah said: “The villagers should gather on the day of ‘Eid and offer two raka‘ah as the Imaam does.” ‘Ataa said, “Whoever misses the ‘Eid prayer should pray two raka‘ah.” [Sahih Al-Buukhari: vol. 2, p. 55, chapter. 25].

7. Making up a missed ‘Eid prayer on the next day:

Abu ‘Umair ibn Anas reports: “My Ansari uncles from among the companions of the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me: ‘The moon for the month of Shawwal was hidden from us and, therefore, our companions fasted. Then at the end of the day, riders came and they bore witness to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that they had seen the moon the previous night. The Prophet ordered the people to break their fasts and to go out to the site of the salaatul ‘Eid on the next day.'” [This is related by An-Nasaaee: (Eng): vol. 2, pp. 333-4, no. 1560, Saheeh Sunan An-Nasaaee: vol. 1, p. 341, no. 1466.]

In this hadeeth there lies evidence for those who say that if the people miss salaatul ‘Eid due to some excuse, then they may go out and pray it the next day.

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