Etiquette and Rulings
Eid, in Islam, is a day of joy, thanksgiving, worship, brotherhood, solidarity, and morality. A Muslim should take the advantage of this day to bring himself nearer to Allah, Most High.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Every nation has its festival, and this is your festival.” Here, he referred to the fact that these two Eids are exclusively for the Muslims.
The Muslims have no festivals apart from Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) came to Al-Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) asked the Ansar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) told them: "Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha." (Reported by Abu Dawud)
These two Eids are among the signs of Allah, to which we must show consideration and understand their objectives. Below, we will elaborate the rulings and etiquette of Eid.
Rulings of Eid
1. Fasting: It is haram to fast on the days of Eid because of the hadith of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade fasting on the day of Fitr and the day of Adha. (Reported by Muslim)
2. Offering Eid Prayers: Some of the scholars say that Eid Prayers are Wajib (obligatory) – this is the view of the Hanafi scholars and of Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. Some scholars say that Eid Prayer is Fard Kifayah (a communal duty, binding on the Muslims as a group, and it is fulfilled if a sufficient number of people perform it, thereby absolving the rest of sin). This is the view of the Hanbalis. A third group say that Eid Prayer is Sunnah Mu`akkadah. This is the view of the Malikis and Shafi`is.
3. Offering Supererogatory Prayers: There are no Supererogatory Prayers to be offered either before or after the Eid Prayer, as Ibn `Abbas reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings 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 an open area. If, however, the people pray the Eid Prayer in a mosque, then they should pray two Rak`ahs for Tahiyat Al-Masjid.
4. Women attending the Eid Prayers: According to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) everyone is urged to attend Eid Prayer, and to co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety. The menstruating woman should not forsake the remembrance of Allah or places of goodness such as gatherings for the purpose of seeking knowledge and remembering Allah – apart from mosques. Women, undoubtedly, should not go out without the Hijab.
Etiquette of Eid
1. Ghusl (taking a bath): One of the good manners of Eid is to take bath before going out to the Prayer. It was reported that Sa`id 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 (if it`s Eidul-Fitr).”
2. Eating before coming out: One should not come out to the prayer-place on Eidul-Fitr before eating some dates, because of the hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari from Anas ibn Malik who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) would not go out in the morning of Eidul-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… and he would eat an odd number.” On Eidul-Adha, on the other hand, it is Mustahab (recommended) not to eat until after the Prayer, when one should eat from the meat of one’s sacrifice.
3. Takbir on the day of Eid: This is one of the greatest Sunnahs of this day. Al-Daraqutni and others reported that when Ibn `Umar came out on Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha, he would strive hard in making Takbir until he reached the prayer-place, then he would continue making Takbir until the Imam came.
4. Congratulating one another: 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 Allahu minnaa wa minkum (may Allah accept from us and from you our good deeds!)". Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when people met one another on the day of Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabbal Allahu minnaa wa minka.’” (Reported by Ibn Hajar)
5. Wearing one`s best clothes for Eid: Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had a Jubbah (cloak) that he would wear on Eid and on Fridays.” 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.
6. Changing route on returning from Prayer-place: Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to change his routes on the day of Eid. (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
The Eid prayer
The Eid prayer is one where the imam attends and leads the people in praying two rak’ahs. ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The prayer of al-Fitr is two rak’ahs and the prayer of al-Adha is two rak’ahs, complete and not shortened, on the tongue of your Prophet, and the one who fabricates lies is doomed.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 1420 and Ibn Khuzaymah. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.
It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to come out on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha to the prayer place, and the first thing he would do was to offer the prayer. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 956
In the first rak’ah he should say Takbeerat al-ihraam (say “Allahu akbar” to start the prayer), after which he should say six or seven more takbeers, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), “The takbeer of al-Fitr and al-Adha is seven takbeers in the first rak’ah and five takbeers in the second, apart from the takbeer of rukoo’.” Narrated by Abu Dawood and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 639.
Then he should recite al-Faatihah, and recite Soorat Qaf in the first rak’ah. In the second rak’ah he should stand up saying takbeer, and when he has stood up completely he should say takbeer five times, and recite Soorat al-Faatihah then Soorat al-Qamr. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite these two soorahs during the two Eids. Or if he wishes he can recite Soorat al-A’la in the first rak’ah and Soorat al-Ghaashiyah in the second, because it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite al-A’la and al-Ghaashiyah in the Eid prayer.
The imam should revive the Sunnah be reciting these soorahs so that the Muslims will become familiar with the Sunnah.
After the prayer, the imam should address the people. Part of the khutbah should be addressed specifically to the women, telling them of the things that they should do and warning them against the things that they should avoid, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do.
See Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him), p. 398; Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 8/300-316).
The prayer comes before the khutbah
One of the rulings of Eid is that the prayer comes before the khutbah, because of the hadeeth of Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah who said, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came out on the day of al-Fitr and started with the prayer before the khutbah. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 958; Muslim, 885.
Another indication that the khutbah comes after the prayer is the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to come out to the prayer place on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha, and the first thing he would start with was the prayer, then he would go and stand facing the people, while the people were sitting in their rows, and he would preach to them and advise them and command them. If he wanted to send out a military expedition he would do so and if he wanted to tell the people to do something he would do so, then he would leave.
Abu Sa’eed said: The people continued to do that until I went out with Marwaan – who was the governor of Madeenah – on Eid al-Adha or Eid al-Fitr, and when we came to the prayer-place, there was a minbar that had been built by Katheer ibn al-Salt. When Marwaan wanted to ascend it before he prayed, I grabbed his garment and he pushed me away and climbed up and delivered the khutbah before the prayer. I said, “You have changed it by Allah.”
He said, “O Abu Sa’eed, what you knew has gone.”
I said, “What I know, by Allah, is better than what I do not know.”
He said, “The people will not sit and listen to us after the prayer, so we did it before the prayer.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 956.
The word udhiyah means an animal of the ‘an’aam class (i.e., camel, cow, sheep or goat) that is slaughtered during the days of Eid al-Adha because of the Eid and as an act of worship, intending to draw closer to Allah thereby.
This is one of the rituals of Islam prescribed in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and according to the consensus of the Muslims.
In the Qur’aan:
1 – Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” [al-Kawthar 108:2]
2 – Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims” [al-An’aam 6:162]
The word nusuk (translated here as sacrifice) means sacrifice; this is the view of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr. And it was said that it means all acts of worship, including sacrifice, which is more comprehensive.
3 – Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God Allah), so you must submit to Him Alone (in Islam). And (O Muhammad) give glad tidings to the Mukhbitoon [those who obey Allah with humility and are humble from among the true believers of Islamic Monotheism]” [al-Hajj 22:34]
In the Sunnah:
1 – It was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (5558) and Saheeh Muslim (1966) that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sacrificed two white rams speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand, said ‘Allahu akbar’ and put his foot on their necks.”
2 – It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stayed in Madeenah for ten years, offering sacrifice (every year on Eid).” Narrated by Ahmad, 4935; al-Tirmidhi, 1507; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1475.
3 – It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) shared out sacrificial animals amongst his companions, and ‘Uqbah got a sheep that was six months old. He said, “O Messenger of Allah, I got a sheep that is six months old.” He said, “Offer it as a sacrifice.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5547.
4 – It was narrated from al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5545.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) offered sacrifices, as did his companions (may Allah be pleased with them). And he said that sacrifice is the way of the Muslims.
The Sunnah indicates that the one who wants to offer a sacrifice must stop cutting his hair and nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice." According to another report he said: "He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin." (reported by Muslim with four isnaads, 13/146)