Compiled by Shawana A. Aziz
Eid - a Mercy of Allah:
Anas (radhi allahu anhu) said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) came to Madeenah and the people of Madeenah had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement (they are the day of Niarooz (New Years Day) and the day of Maharajaan (Final Day of the Year). So, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “I came to you and you had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement. Indeed, Allah has replaced them for you by that which is better than them: The day of Nahr (slaughtering) and the day of Fitr (breaking fast).” [(saheeh) Musnad Ahmad (3/103, 178, 235 and others)]
Shaikh Ahmad Abdur-Rahmaan al-Banaa said: “This is because the two days, the day of Fitr and of Nahr are from the legislation of Allah, the Most High, His choice for His creation and because they succeed the performance of two great pillars of Islam, which are Hajj and Fasting. In them, Allah forgives the pilgrims and those who fast, and spreads His Mercy over all His obedient creation. As for the days of Nairooz and Mahrajaan, then they were chosen by the wise men of that era, either because of the mildness of the climate and season or because of other transitory virtues. Thus, the difference between them is clear for those who contemplate.” [Fath ur-Rabaanee (6/119)]
Eid - a day of gathering:
Eid (pl. 'Ayad') is any day of gathering. It is derived from 'ada' (meaning returned), because people return to it periodically. Ibn ul-Arabi says: “It is called Eid because it returns every year with renewed happiness. Some scholars say it is derived from ‘adah’ (custom or practice) because people are accustomed to celebrating it.
Ibn Abidayn said: “The Eid days are thus named because Allah renews His Bounties in them; and He distributes His blessings to His worshipers. From these are Fitr (eating), after food had been prohibited and Sadaqaat al-Fitr (the charity of breaking the fast) to the needy. And on Eid al-Adha, the completion of Hajj with the final Tawaaf of visiting; the meat from sacrifices and many other acts. Also because the custom in Eid is joy, happiness, cheerfulness and gladness.” [Hashiyah Ibn Abidayn (2/165)]
Recommended Acts on Eid:
Eid is a purely religious occasion, since it is granted by Allah through the revelation and when Allah grants something, he grants it complete and perfect. Thus, He granted us Eid and instructions to celebrate it.
1 - Ghusl (bathing): It is recommended to take bath on the morning of Eid. Nafi reports: “Abdullah bin Umar (radhi allahu anhu) used to bathe on the day of Fitr before setting out to the Musallah.” [(saheeh) Reported by Malik (1/177) Shafi'ee (73)]
2 - Adornment and beautifying Oneself for Eid: Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: “Umar (radhi allahu anhu) bought a silk outer-garment that was being sold in the market. He came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: “Take this garment, to adorn (yourself) with on Eid and for meeting delegations with. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: “Indeed, this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter.” Umar remained as long as Allah willed him to remain and then left. Then, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) sent to him the silk garment. So Umar came with it to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)! You said indeed this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter but you sent this garment to me!” So the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Sell it and fulfill your needs with its profit.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (886, 947, 2104, 3054, 5841) and Saheeh Muslim (2068) and others]
Haafidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) said: “The evidence derived from this Hadeeth is that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) approved Umar on the basic principle of beautifying oneself for Eid and restricted him to wear garment made of silk.” [Fath al-Baree 2/234]
From beautifying oneself on Eid is wearing Kohl (surmah), perfumes and oil, wearing turban, caps etc. It is also recommended to wear best clothes on Eid.
3 - Eating some dates on the morning of Eid: Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (radhi allahu anhu): “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would not leave (his house) on the day of Fitr until he ate some dates.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and others]
Imaam al-Muhallab said: “The wisdom in eating before the prayer is to avoid the assumption that one must continue to fast until the Eid prayer is over.” [Fath al-Baree (2/447)]
4 - Proceeding to the Musallah: The Sunnah is to hold the Eid prayer in the open. The outdoor place is known as the Musallah. Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (radhi allahu anhu) said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) on the day of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha would go to the Musallah and the first thing that he would begin with is the prayer.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (957) and Saheeh Muslim (889) and an-Nisa'ee (3/187)]
The renowned scholar Ibn Hajee al-Maalikee said: “The Sunnah with regards to the Eid prayer is to perform it at the Musallah. This is because the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Prayer in my Masjid is a thousand times better than a prayer anywhere else except the Masjid al-Haraam.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (1190) and Saheeh Muslim (1394)] Despite this great excellence his Masjid, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) went out (to the Musallah) and left his Masjid.” [al-Maadhkal (2/283)]
He, who is unable to proceed to the Musallah, due to illness or old age can pray in the mosque and there is no blame on him, Insha'Allah. [Refer to al-Mughnee (2/230)]
5 - Going to and returning from the Musallah: Jabir Ibn Abdullah (radhi allahu anhu) said: “When it was the day of Eid, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would alter his routes (of returning).” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (986)]
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzeeyah said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to change his route on the days of Eid, such that he went by one route and returned by another. It is said (he did this) to give salaams upon the people of both routes. Or so that both groups get some of his blessings. Or so that anybody who has a need can take care of it. Or to make manifest the ruling of Islam… and this is the most correct opinion for all these reasons and for other reasons of wisdom which his actions contain.” [Zaad al-Maad 1/449]
Imaam an-Nawawi after mentioning the previous sayings writes: “Even if the reason is not known, it is still definitely preferred to make it a ruling guideline to be followed and Allah knows best.” [Rawdat ul-Taalibeen (2/77)]
6 - The goal of offering the prayer in the Musallah is to gather the majority of Muslims in one place. However, we see that many countries today have established many Musallahs, even without the need for them. The scholars have warned people against such a thing. [Nihayat al-Muhtaj by ar-Ramli (2/375)] And these numerous Musallahs have turned into podiums set up to declare loyalty to different parties and divide the word of Muslims. Indeed, there is no Might or Power except Allah!
7 - Going Early: Imaam al-Baghawee said in Sharh us-Sunnah (4/302 - 303): “It is preferred that the people leave for the Musallah after praying the dawn prayer (Fajr), so that they can take their places and make Takbeer. While the Imaam proceeds when it is time for the prayer.”
8 - Walking to the Musallah: It is recommended to walk to the Musallah, if it is at a short distance. Alee Ibn Abee Talib (radhi allahu anhu) said: “From the sunnah is to proceed to the Eid (Musalaah) by foot.” [at-Tirmidhee (530)]
9 - Takbeer: Allah says: “…you must exclaim Allah's greatness for having guided you, so that you may be grateful.” [ (2): 185]
Takbeer is a distinctive feature of Muslim Eid celebration. It starts from the time one leaves his house heading towards the Musallah. It is established that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would emerge on the day of Eid al-Fitr and say the Takbeer until he reached the Musallah and until he had performed the prayer. So, when he had performed the prayer, he stopped saying the Takbeer.” [Silsilah Ahadeeth as-Saheehah (170)]
Shaikh al-Albanee (rahimahullah) said: “This hadeeth contains evidence concerning legality of the common practice of Muslim of saying the Takbeer aloud on route to Musallah. Even though many people are now neglecting this Sunnah so much that it is almost totally forgotten! It would be useful at this point to remind that saying the Takbeer in unison (in groups), is not permissible. This applies as well to any other form of Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), whether it is supposed to be said loudly or secretly. Let this be a warning for us, and let us keep in our minds that the best guidance is of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).” [As Saheehah 1/121]
Wisdom in Takbeer: Muslims are instructed to proclaim the Takbeer frequently, especially in situations, which might imply feelings of arrogance in the heart. For example; when a person slaughters an animal, he may feel arrogant because he has the power to kill, but when he says: 'Allah is the Greatest', he remembers his true position, and that no matter how great and mighty he thinks himself, Allah is Greater and Mightier, and He is the One Who provided him with the animal and gave him the strength to slaughter it. Similarly, throwing stones in Mina is an act of power and aggression. But when the pilgrims say: 'Allahu Akbar', they remembers Allah's Power and Might.
In their travels, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and his companions used to say, 'Allahu Akbar' when they ascended a hill. Rising to a high place is another act that may cause arrogance in the heart. By applying this Sunnah, one controls himself and remembers that Allah is Greater and Higher.
Likewise, celebrations are occasions of rejoice and happiness. People tend then to be arrogant. But when they remember Allah's greatness so very frequently, they retain their position of submission and servitude before Him.
Furthermore, saying the Takbeer loudly and frequently makes people remember that the Eid is a gift granted by Allah, He is greater than worries and fears, which could mar the Eid spirit; He is the One who guides them, and who is capable of protecting them, removing their worries, and accepting their acts of worship that precedes the Eid.
The Words of Takbeer: No authentic saying of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is found describing the exact words of the Takbeer. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu):
1. Ibn Mas'ood (radhi allahu anhu): “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd.” [(Saheeh) Irwaa al-Ghaleel (650), Daraqutne, Ibn Shaibah] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises)
2. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu): “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu akbaru ala ma hadana.” [(saheeh) - Bayhaqee (3/315)](Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to)
3. Salman (radhi allahu anhu): “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabeera.” [(saheeh) - Bayhaqee (3/316)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest)
Many people have differed from the pious predecessors in this Dhikr, adding innovations and pronouncing the Takbeer in unison which have no basis. Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) said: “Some additions to the Takbeer have been innovated in these times for which there is no basis.”
It is permissible for Muslims to greet each other on the day of Eid with specific greetings, which have been reported from the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu). Responding to a question in this regard, Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said: “As for the greetings on the day of Eid, then it is by saying to one another when meeting after the prayer: “'TaKabbala Allahu minnaa wa minkum wa Ahaala Allaahu 'alaika' [Majmoo al-Fatawa (24/253)] “May Allah accept it from you and us and may Allah make it return to you, and other things of this nature.”
Haafidh Ibn Hajr said: “We have related in 'Mahaamiliyaat' with a chain of narration, which is hasan, from Jubair bin Nufair, who said: “The Companions of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) when they met on the day of Eid, would say to each other: ‘Taqabbala Allahu minna wa minkum' “May Allah accept it from you and us” [Fath al-Baree (2/446)]
This is the greeting with which the Sahabah (radhi allahu anhu) used to greet each other with. Therefore, greeting one another in this manner is a part of the religion and thus one will be rewarded for it by Allah.