Etiquettes and Rulings concerning Eid – a summary

Praise be to Allah,

Eid is a joyous day in our Islamic calendar, and before we prepare to celebrate Eid, it is important to remind ourselves about some of the rulings that Allah has set out concerning Eid. We have summarised a number of the most important points below.

  1. It is unlawful to observe fasting on the Eid day, due to the Hadith narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon him, forbade fasting on two days: the day of Al-Fitr and the day of An-Nahr. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
  2. It is out of Sunnah to eat before the prayer of Eid Al-Fitr, as it is reported that the “The Prophet would not go out on the festival of breaking the fast until he had eaten an odd number of dates.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari: Vol 2, No 73]
  3. It is recommended to recite Takbeer on the night prior to the Eid day, beginning from the sunset of that night until the Eid prayer. It is recommended that men should raise their voices with Takbeer in the mosques, markets, streets and houses, out of acknowledgement of servitude (of people to Allah), and demonstration of delight and pleasure. The format of the takbeer is as follows:

    Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god except Allaah, Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, and all praise be to Allaah). 
    Or you can say Allaahu akbar three times, so you say:Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god except Allaah, Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great , Allaah is Most Great, and all praise be to Allaah). Both are permissible.
  4. It is recommended to make ghusl for the Eid prayer, because it is narrated that some of the Salaf did this. Making ghusl for Eid prayer is mustahabb, just as it is prescribed for Jumu’ah because one is going to meet people. So if one makes ghusl, that is good.
  5. It is recommended to apply perfume and that you should wear your best clothes before the Eid prayer – With regards to men, they apply perfume and they should beware of letting their garments hang down below their ankles as this is prohibited. With regard to women, they should not apply perfume and they should beware not to wear clothes that draw attention to themselves when they go out to the Eid prayer, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Let them go out looking decent” i.e. in regular clothes that are not fancy. It is haraam for them to go out wearing perfume and makeup.
  6. It is Sunnah to delay the prayer of Eid Al Fitr slightly, in order that the Muslims would be able to distribute Zakat Al-Fitr.
  7. The description of the Eid prayer. The Muslims are unanimously agreed that the Eid prayer is prescribed in Islam. Some of them say that it is Sunnah, some say that it is fard kafaayah (a communal obligation) and some say that it is fard’ayn (an individual obligation), and that not doing it is a sin. They quoted as evidence the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded even the virgins and women in seclusion, i.e. those who did not ordinarily come out to attend the Eid prayer place, except that those who were menstruating and should keep away from the prayer-place itself, because it is not permissible for a menstruating woman to stay in the mosque; it is permissible for her to pass through but not to stay there.Based on the evidence, the correct view is that it is fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation) and that every male is obliged to attend the Eid prayer except for those who have an excuse. This was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him).

    In the first rak’ah, the Imam should recite Surat Al A’la (87) and in the second rak’ah he should recite Surat Al Ghaashiyah (88). Or he may recite Surat Qaaf (50) in the first and Surat Al Qamar (54) in the second. Both options are narrated in Saheeh reports from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

    The Eid prayer consists of two rak’ahs:
     the first is inaugurated with seven Takbirs, other than the Takbir of assuming the prayer; and the second with five Takbirs other than the Takbir of standing. When the prayer is concluded after finishing from the two rak‘ahs, with Taslim, the Imam should stand and deliver two Khutbahs, with a short interval between them in which he sits, as is the case with the Friday Khutbah.

  8. If Jumu’ah and Eid fall on the same day, the Eid prayer should be held, as should Jumu’ah prayer. Those who attend the Eid prayer with the Imam may attend Jumu’ah if they wish, or they may pray Zuhr.
  9. It is prescribed for the one who goes out to the Eid prayer to go by one route and return by another, following the example of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This Sunnah does not apply to other prayers, Jumu’ah or anything else, it only applies to Eid.
  10. No supererogatory prayer is valid under Shari‘ah to be offered before or after the Eid prayer, except Tahiyatul-Masjid if due to a need the prayer is held inside the Masjid.
  11. There is no blame that Muslims should congratulate each other about Eid, as it is one of the noble manners. People should greet one another, without it resulting in haraam actions like shaking hands with unveiled women who are not mahram.
  12. It is recommended to enlarge sustenance on the family and children in food, drink and clothes, but without extravagance or lavishness; and to maintain kinship ties, and exchange visits between the relations.
  13. The Eid prayer should be outside of the town and not in the mosques unless there is a need.The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did so, and did not take a pulpit in the Eid praying place. There is no doubt that prayer in the Masjid is still valid and accepted.
  14. Some people have the custom of visiting graveyards on the day of Eid. The occupants of the graves have no need of any greeting or congratulations, because they do not fast or pray qiyaam. Visiting the graves is not something to be done especially on the day of Eid or Friday or any particular day. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) visited the graves at night, as mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah narrated by Muslim. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Visit the graves for they will remind you of the Hereafter.”Visiting graves is an act of worship, and acts of worship are not acceptable unless they are in accordance with sharee’ah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not single out the day of Eid for visiting the graves, so we should not do so either.

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