RAMADAN 1438H (2017CE): According to the decision of Saudi Arabia, 'Eid ul-Fitr (1 Shawwal 1438H) will be on Sunday 25 June 2017. May Allah accept all of our fasting, recitation of the Qur'an, prayers and good deeds during the month of Ramadan and allow us to see the next one.
Website note: Please note this, as in all areas of fiqh, is a topic with valid differences of opinion. We recommend you consult the Imam of the mosque you intend to pray the 'Eid prayer at for further guidance on how they will be leading the prayer.
The 'Eid Prayer Described
First: The 'Eid prayer is two raka'at and this is taken from the narration of 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "The prayer of travelling is two raka'at, the prayer of 'Adha is two raka'at and the prayer of Fitr is two raka'at. They are complete, not shortened and this is taken from the word of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam)." [Reported by Ahmad (1/37), An-Nasa'i (3/183), At-Tahawi in Sharh Ma'ani al-Athar (1/421), Al-Bayhaqi (3/200) and its chain of narration is sahih]
Second: The first raka'at begins, just like all other prayers, by the Takbiratul-Ihram (the first takbir made by the praying person, and by which he begins the prayer), then by making seven more takbirat, and in the second raka'at - five takbirat are made excluding the takbir of standing back up.
'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in the Fitr and 'Adha prayers used to make takbir - in the first raka'at seven takbirat and in the second rak'ah five takbirat other than the two takbirat of ruku'." [Reported by Abu Dawud (1150), Ibn Majah (1280), Ahmad (6/70), Al-Bayhaqi (3/287) and its isnad is sahih. Note: The Sunnah with respect to the takbir is that it be before reciting, as in the hadith reported by Abu Dawud (1152), Ibn Majah (1278), Ahmad (2/180), from 'Amr ibn Shuayb from his father, from his grandfather, who said: "The Messenger of Allah made takbirat in the 'Eid prayer - seven times in the first (rak'ah) he then recited and then went into ruku', he then made sujud and then he stood up and made five takbirat and then recited, he then made takbir and ruku' he then made sujud ... " The hadith is hasan due to its supporting narrations. Refer to Irwa al-Ghalil (3/108-112). And I say: That which contradicts this is not authentic as has been explained by the renowned scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim in Za'ad al-Ma'ad (1/443-444)]
Imam Al-Baghawi said: "This is the opinion of the majority of the people of knowledge from the Companions and those after them - that one makes takbir in the 'Eid prayer; in the first rak'ah seven times other than the opening takbir and in the second rak'ah five times other than the takbir of standing back up before reciting. This is reported upon Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Ali and ... " [He related the names holding this view, as in Sharh as-Sunnah (4/309). Refer to Majmu' al-Fatawa (24/220-221)]
Third: It has not been authentically reported from the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) that he used to raise his hands with the takbirat of 'Eid. [It is essential to refer to Irwa al-Ghalil (3/112-114)]
However Ibn Al-Qayyim said: "Ibn 'Umar with his adherent following of the Sunnah used to raise his hands with each takbir." [Za'ad al-Ma'ad (1/441)]
I say: The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam).
Our Shaykh - Al-Albani said in Tamam al-Minnah p. 348: "That fact that it is reported from 'Umar and his son does not make it a sunnah, especially when the reports from 'Umar and his son are not authentic. As for what is reported from 'Umar then it is transmitted by Al-Bayhaqi with a weak chain of narration and as for what is reported for his son, then as of yet I have not come across it."
Our Shaykh also says in Ahkam al-Jana'iz (p. 148) in a matter similar to this: "He who thinks that he - Ibn 'Umar - would not do this except by permission from the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) then he should raise his hands."
Fourth: No specific supplication in between the 'Eid takbirat has been authentically reported from the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). However it has been established upon Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said regarding the 'Eid prayer: "In between every two takbirat, is the praising of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, and the sending of praise upon Allah." [Reported by Al-Bayhaqi (3/291) and its isnad is strong]
Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: "He (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to pause for a little while in between every two takbirat; but no specific supplication in between the takbirat has been preserved from him. However it is mentioned upon Ibn Mas'ud that he said: 'One praises Allah, exalts Him and sends Salah (du'a) upon the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam)." [Za'ad al-Ma'ad (1/443)]
I say, what I said regarding the issue of raising the hands with the takbirat, ie. that the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam).
Fifth: When he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) completed the takbirat he would begin reciting the opening of the Book (Al-Fatihah), and after it read: "Qaf, by the Glorious Qur'an ... " (Surah Qaf) in one of the two raka'at and in the other rak'ah: "The Hour has drawn closer, and the moon has been cleft asunder ... " [Surah Al-Qamar] [Reported by Muslim (891), An-Nasa'i (3/84), At-Tirmidhi (534), Ibn Majah (1282) on the authority of Abu Waqid al-Laythi (may Allah have mercy upon him)] And he sometimes read in the two raka'at: "Glorify the name of your Lord the Most High ... " [Surah Al-'Ala] and, "Has there come to you the narration of the Overwhelming ... " [Surah Al-Ghashiyyah]. [Reported by Muslim (878), At-Tirmidhi (533), An-Nasa'i (3/184), Ibn Majah (1281) from the hadith of Nu'man ibn Bashir]
Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: "Both have been authentically reported from the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and nothing other than this has been authentically reported fron him." [Za'ad al-Ma'ad (1/443). Refer to Majallat al-Azhar (7/194)]
Sixth: The manner of the remaining part of the 'Eid prayer is like other customary prayers - it does not differ a single bit from them. [For knowledge about it with its proofs refer to what our teacher Al-Albani has written in his book The Prophet's Prayer Described - it is printed and widely available. Publisher's note: Available in English published by Al-Hanif Publications. Also refer back to my treatise At-Tazkirah fi Sifat Wudhu wa Salat an-Nabi for it is concise]
Seventh: One who missed the 'Eid prayer in congregation should pray two raka'at. Imam Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him), said: "Chapter: If one misses the 'Eid (prayer) he should pray two raka'at." [Sahih Al-Bukhari (1/134-135 Indian print)]
Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr said in Fath al-Bari (2/550) after this heading: "This heading has two rulings: a) The legality of making up the 'Eid prayer if the congregation 'Eid prayer is missed, regardless of whether one is compelled to miss it or it happens out of choice, and b) that one makes up two raka'at." [ibid] and 'Ata said: "If he misses the 'Eid prayer he prays two raka'at."
The renowned scholar Waliullah ad-Dihlawi said: "This is the opinion of Ash-Shafi'i, that if a man misses the 'Eid prayer with the Imam, he should pray two raka'at so that he can catch some of the merits of the 'Eid prayer, even though he will miss the merits of the congregational (prayer) with the Imam. As for the Hanafees, then their opinion is that there is no Qada (making up - this is not called Qada unless the time for praying has elapsed) of the 'Eid prayer. Thus if one misses the prayer with the Imam, one has missed it." [Sharh Tarajim Abwab Al-Bukhari (p. 80) and refer to Al-Majmu' (5/27-29)]
Al-Malik said in Muwatta, "All those who pray the two 'Eid prayers for themselves - man or woman - then I say that they should make seven takbirat in the first rak'ah, before recitation and five takbirat in the second before recitation." [Number 592 by the narration of Abu Mus'ab]
The one late for the 'Eid prayer prays what he has missed in its manner, just as other prayers.
Eight: The takbir is a sunnah. The prayer, without difference of opinion [Al-Mughni (21244) of Ibn Qudamah], is not nullified by intentionally leaving it or by forgetfully leaving the takbir. However those who leave it (the takbir) have without doubt opposed the sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam).
The Sermon After the Prayer
The Sunnah with respect to the 'Eid sermon is that it should be after the prayer. Al-Bukhari has titled a chapter in his book, Sahih, with: "Chapter: The sermon after the 'Eid prayer." [Kitab al-'Eidayn, chapter 8 and refer to Fath al-Bari (2/453)]
Ibn 'Abbas said: "I witnessed 'Eid with Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them all) and they all used to pray before the sermon." [Reported by Al-Bukhari (962), Muslim (884) and Ahmad (1/331, 346)]
Ibn 'Umar reported: "That the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), Abu Bakr and 'Umar used to pray the 'Eid prayer before the sermon." [Reported by Al-Bukhari (963), Muslim (888), At-Tirmidhi (531), An-Nasa'i (3/183), Ibn Majah (1276) and Ahmad (2/12, 38)]
Waliullah ad-Dihlawi, when explaining the previous chapter headings of Al-Bukhari said: [Sharh Tarajim Abwab al-Bukhari (P.79)] "i.e. this is the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and that which was acted upon by the rightly guided Khulafa. The changes that occurred - I mean bringing the sermon before the prayer, which is based on analogous deductions from the Friday prayer - is an innovation that emanated from Marwan." [He is Marwan ibn Hakam ibn Abi'l-'As, the 'Amawi Khalifah. He died in the year 65H. His biography is present in Al-'Alam (7/207) by Az-Zirkili]
Imam At-Tirmidhi said (in his Sunan (2/411)): "The people of knowledge, from the Prophet's Companions and others, acted upon this, that the 'Eid prayer precedes sermon. It is said that the first person to give the sermon before the prayer was Marwan Ibn Hakam." [Refer to Kitab al-Umm (1/235-236) by Imam Ash-Shafi'i and to 'Arida al-Ahwadhi (313-6) by Qadhi Ibn Al-Arabi al-Maliki]
The Sermon and Choosing to Attend It
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to proceed to the musalla on the day of 'Eid ul-Fitr and 'Adha and the first thing that he would begin with was the prayer. After the prayer he would move and stand in front of the people - the people being seated in their rows - and he would admonish, advise and command them ... " [Reported by Al-Bukhari (956), Muslim (889), An-Nasa'i (3/187), Al-Bayhaqi (3/280) and Ahmad (3/36,54)]
The 'Eid sermon is just like all other sermons - opened by praising and exalting Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: "He (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to begin all his sermons by praising Allah. However not a single hadith has been preserved from him saying that he used to begin the 'Eid sermons with takbir. Rather Ibn Majah relates in his book As-Sunan [Number (1287) in his Sunan and reported by Al-Hakim (3/607), Al-Bayhaqi (3/299) from 'Abdur-Rahman ibn Sa'ad ibn 'Ammar ibn Sa'ad al-Muadhin: reported to me by my father, from my grandfather ... and he mentioned the hadith. The isnad for the hadith is da'if (weak) as 'Abdur-Rahman ibn Sa'ad is a weak narrator and his father and grandfather are majhul (unknown)] upon the authority of Sa'ad al-Quradh the Prophet's mu'adhin (the title (mu'adhin) given to one who gives the call to prayer) - that he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to make the takbir frequently in between the sermons, and he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam), also made the takbir in the 'Eid sermons. However this does not indicate that he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to begin the 'Eid sermon with it ... " [Za'ad al-Ma'ad (1/447-448)]
It has not been authentically reported in the sunnah that the sermon of 'Eid is two sermons divided by sitting down between them!
Since, that which is found regarding this is a very weak hadith transmitted by Al-Bazzar in his Musnad (no. 53 from the Musnad of Sa'ad) from his teacher, 'Abdullah ibn Shabib with his chain of narration of Sa'ad (may Allah be pleased with him). That the Prophet used to give two sermons and separate them by sitting down (between them).
Al-Bukhari said about 'Abdullah ibn Shabib, "He is munkar al-hadith (makes a hadith munkar)."
Thus the 'Eid sermon remains on the original basis, which is as one sermon.
Attending the 'Eid sermon is not obligatory, unlike the 'Eid prayer, which is obligatory. This is due to what is established from 'Abdullah ibn Sa'ib, who said: "I witnessed 'Eid with the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and when he finished praying he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: 'Verily we shall give a sermon, so whoever wishes to stay for the sermon then let him stay and whoever wishes to depart then let him depart.' " [Reported by Abu Dawud (1155), An-Nasa'i (3/185), Ibn Majah (1290), Al-Hakim (1/295) and its isnad is sahih refer to Irwa al-Ghalil (3196-98)]
Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: [Za'ad al-Ma'ad (1/448)] "He (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) gave permission for those who attended the 'Eid prayer to stay for the sermon or to leave." [Refer to Majmu' al-Fatawa by Shaykh ul-Islam (24/214)]
The Greetings and Congratulations of 'Eid
Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah was asked about the greetings/congratulations of 'Eid so he answered: [Majmu' al-Fatawa (24/253)] "As for the greetings on the day of 'Eid, then it is by saying to one another when meeting after the prayer:
'Taqabbalallaha minna wa minkum'
"May Allah accept it from you and us and may Allah make it return to you, and other things of this nature. Indeed it has been reported that a group of the Companions used to do this. The A'immah, like Ahmad and others permitted this.
"However Ahmad said: 'I do not initiate greeting anybody but if they begin I answer them and that is because answering a greeting is obligatory. As for initiating greetings (of 'Eid) then it is not from the requested Sunnah and neither is it from that which is prohibited. Therefore whosoever does it, has a precedent and whosoever leaves it, also has a precedent - and Allah knows best.' " [As-Suyuti in his treatise Wusul al-Amani bi Usul at-Tahanni has gathered the sayings from many of the Salaf mentioning the 'Eid greetings. It is printed within his book Al-Hawi lil-Fatawa (1/81-82), refer back to it and to the book Al-Masnu' fi M'arifat al-Hadith al Mawdu' (p. 88) by the renowned scholar 'Ali al-Qari and the footnotes by its checker]
Hafidh Ibn Hajr said: [Fath al-Bari (2/446)] "We have related in Mahamiliyyat with a chain of narration that is hasan, from Jubayr ibn Nufayr, who said: 'The Companions of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to, when they met on the day of 'Eid used to say to each other:
'Taqabbalallaha minna wa minkum' - 'May Allah accept it from you and us.' "
Ibn Qudamah mentioned in Al-Mughni (2/259) that Muhammed ibn Ziyad said: "I was with Abi Umamah al-Bahili and other companons of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and when they returned from the 'Eid they said to each other:
'Taqabbalallaha minna wa minkum' - 'May Allah accept it from you and us.' "
Ahmad said the chain of narration of the hadith of Abu Umamah is good [Refer to Al-Juwhar an-Naqi (3/320)], as for the saying, by the general populus of Muslims, who say to each other: "Hope you are well and you have a good year", and other similar sayings are rejected. Rather regarding this Allah - Mighty and Sublime, says:
"Do you exchange that which is better for that which is lower?"
From Rulings Concerning the Two 'Eids from the Purified Sunnah, The