1.Ghusl (taking a bath)
One of the manners of Eid is to take a bath before going out to the prayer. It is reported in a saheeh (authentic) report in al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar used to take a bath on the day of al-Fitr before coming to the prayer-place. (al-Muwatta’ 428)
It was reported that Sa’eed 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.” This is what Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said, and he may have learned this from some of the Sahaabah (companions).
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned that the scholars were agreed that it is mustahabb (desirable) to take a bath before the Eid prayer.
The reason why it is mustahabb to take a bath before Friday prayer and other public gatherings also applies in the case of Eid, only more so.
2.Eating before coming out
One should not come out to the prayer-place on Eid al-Fitr before eating some dates, because of the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from Anas ibn Maalik who said:”The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not go out on the morning of Eid al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… and he would eat an odd number.” (al-Bukhaari, 953)
It is mustahabb to eat before coming out because this confirms that we are not allowed to fast on this day, and demonstrates that the fast is now over. Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) explained that this is to prevent people extending the fast and it also means obeying the commandment of Allaah. (Fath, 2/446). If a person does not have any dates, he can eat anything permissible for breakfast. On Eid al-Adhaa, on the other hand, it is mustahabb not to eat until after the prayer, when one should eat from the meat of one’s sacrifice.
3. Takbeer on the day of Eid
This is one of the greatest sunnahs of this day, because of the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“…(He [Allaah] wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah (say Takbeer-’Allaahu akbar’) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” [al-Baqarah 2:185]
Al-Waleed ibn Muslim said: “I asked al-Oozaa’i and Maalik ibn Anas about saying Takbeer aloud on Eid. They said, Yes, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar used to say it aloud on the day of Fitr until the imaam came out.”
Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Salami sai: “On Eid al-Fitr they would say it louder than on Eid al-Adhaa.” Wakee’ said, “i.e., the takbeer.”(Irwaa’, 3/122)
Al-Daaraqutni and others reported that when Ibn ‘Umar came out on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhaa, he would strive hard in making Takbeer until he reached the prayer-place, then he would continue making Takbeer until the imaam came.
Ibn Abi Shaybah reported with a saheeh isnaad that al-Zuhri said: “The people used to make Takbeer on Eid when they came out of their houses until they reached the prayer-place and until the imaam came out. When the imaam came out, they fell silent, until the imaam said Takbeer, then they said Takbeer.” (Irwaa’, 2/121).
The practice of making Takbeer from home to the prayer-place, and until the imaam comes in, was well-known among the salaf and was reported by a number of authors such as Ibn Abi Shaybah, ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and al-Firyaabi in his book Ahkaam al-‘Eidayn from a group of the salaf. An example of this is the report that Naafi’ ibn Jubayr used to make Takbeer and wondered why people did not do so. He would say to people, “Why do you not make Takbeer?” Ibn Shihaab al-Zuhri said, “The people used to make Takbeer from the time they left their homes until the imaam came in.”
The time for making Takbeer on Eid al-Fitr starts from the night of Eid until the time when the imaam comes in to lead the prayer.
The wording of the Takbeer
Ibn Abi Shaybah reported in al-Musannaf that Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to say Takbeer on the days of Tashreeq as follows:
“Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd”
(Allaah is Most Great… there is no god but Allaah, Allaah is Most Great, and to Allaah be praise).” Ibn Abi Shaybah reported it elsewhere with the same isnaad, but with the phrase “Allaahu akbar” repeated three times.
Al-Muhaamili also reported that Ibn Mas’ood used to say:
“Allaahu akbaru kabeeran, Allaahu akbaru kabeeran, Allaahu akbar wa ajall, Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd”
(Allaah is Most Great of All, Allaah is Most Great of all, Allaah is most Great and Most Glorious, and to Allaah be praise). (al-Irwaa’, 3/126).
Errors and Innovations in the Takbeer
There are various innovations and wrong practices relating to the Eid takbeer. The most notable is the addition of unauthentic wording to the takbeer.
For example, adding the words, “Allahu Akbary kabira, wal-hamdu lillahi kathira, wa-subhan Allahi wa-bi-hamdihi bukratan wa-asila,….” and so on. Even though these additional statements generally have good meanings, they should be avoided because the sahaabah did not say them. Similar to many other innovations, these statements have crept into the Muslims’ takbeer over the centuries.
Ibn Hajar (May Allah have mercy on him), who died as early as 857H (1453CE), said:
“Some baseless additions to the takbir have been innovated in our time” (Fath ul-Bari 2:595).
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 Allaahu minnaa wa minkum (May Allaah accept [the fast and worship] from us and from you” or “Eid mubarak” and other similar permissible greetings.
Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when people met one another on the day of Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabbal Allaahu minnaa wa minka (May Allaah accept from us and from you).’” (Ibn Hajar. Its isnaad is hasan. Fath, 2/446).
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 Allaah 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 Allaah have mercy on him) said: “If someone congratulates me, I return the greeting, but I do not initiate it.”
5.Looking one’s best for Eid
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “ ‘Umar picked up a jubbah (long outer garment) made of silk that was for sale in the market, brought it to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, buy this and wear it for Eid and when the delegations come.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “This is the clothing of the one who has no share of the Hereafter…” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 948).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of ‘Umar’s idea of looking one’s best, but he rejected and denounced the idea of buying this jubbah because it was made of silk.
Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had a jubbah that he would wear on Eid and on Fridays.” (Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 1765).
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.
Women, on the other hand, should avoid adornment when they go out for Eid, because they are prohibited from showing their adornment in front of non-mahrem men. A woman who wants to go out is forbidden to wear perfume or to show off in a tempting way in front of men, because she is only going out for the purpose of worship. Do you think that it is right for a believing woman to disobey the One Whom she is going out to worship and go against His commands by wearing attention-grabbing tight and brightly coloured clothes or by putting on perfume and so on?
6.Ruling on listening to the Eid khutbah (The Sermon)
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Kaafi (p. 234):
“When the imaam has said the salaam (at the end of the prayer), he should give a khutbah in two parts, like the two Friday khutbahs, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did this. (The Eid khutbah) differs from the Friday khutbahs in four ways … the fourth of which is: that it is sunnah and it is not obligatory to listen to it, because it was reported that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saa’ib said: “I attended Eid with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and when he had finished the prayer, he said: “We are going to give a khutbah, so whoever wishes to sit (and listen) to the khutbah, let him sit down, and whoever wants to leave, let him go.’”
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, p. 23: “It is mustahabb for people to listen to the khutbah, although the khutbah and listening to it are not essential conditions of the Eid prayer. But al-Shaafa’i said: ‘If someone does not listen to the khutbah of Eid, at the time of an eclipse, when prayers for rain are offered, or during Hajj, or he speaks during one of these khutbahs, or leaves, I would not like this, but he does not have to repeat the prayer.”
In al-Sharh al-Mumti’ ‘ala Zaad al-Mustanfi’ by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 5/192, it says:
“[Ibn Qudaamah’s] words, ‘like the two Friday khutbahs’ means that he should give two khutbahs, even though there is a dispute in this matter, as we have referred to above. The Eid khutbah is subject to the same rulings as the Friday khutbah, even to the point that speaking during it is haraam, but it is not obligatory to attend, whereas attendance at the Friday khutbah is obligatory, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! When the call for prayer on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday) is given, come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu’ah khutbah and prayer], and leave off business …” [al-Jumu’ah 62:9].
Attendance at the Eid khutbahs is not obligatory, and a person is allowed to leave, but if he stays he must not talk to anyone. This is what the author is referring to when he says ‘like the two Friday khutbahs’.”
One of the scholars said: “It is not obligatory to listen to the Eid khutbahs, because if it was obligatory to attend and listen to them it would be haraam to leave. But as it is permissible to leave, it is not obligatory to listen.”
Nevertheless, if talking disturbs those who are listening, it is haraam to talk because of this disturbance, not because of not listening. On this basis, if a person has a book with him during the imam’s Eid khutbah, it is permissible for him to read it, because this does not disturb anyone. But according to the madhhab followed by this author, it is obligatory to listen to the khutbah if one is present.
7.To go out one by one route and come back by another
Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to vary his routes on the day of Eid. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 986)
It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to go out walking, and he prayed without any adhaan or iqaamah, then he would come back walking by a different route. It was said that this was so that the two different routes would testify in his favour on the Day of Resurrection, because on that Day the earth will speak about everything that was done on it, good and evil. It was also said that this was done in order to demonstrate the symbols and rituals of Islam along both routes; to pronounce the remembrance of Allaah; to annoy the hypocrites and Jews and to scare them by the number of people who were with him; to meet the people’s needs by giving fatwas, teaching them and setting an example for them to follow; to give charity to those in need; or to visit his relatives and uphold the ties of kinship.
8.Warning against wrongdoing
1.Some people think that Islam tells us to stay up and pray on the night of Eid, quoting an unsound hadeeth which says that “whoever stays up and prays on the night of Eid, his heart will not die on the day when hearts die.” This hadeeth was reported with two isnaads, one of which is da’eef (weak), and the other is very da’eef. Islam does not tell us to single out the night of Eid for staying up and praying; if, however, a person habitually stays up and prays at night (qiyaam), there is nothing wrong with him doing so on the night of Eid as well.
2.Mixing of men and women in some prayer-places, streets, etc. It is a pity that this happens not only in mosques but even in the most sacred of places, al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah]. Many women – may Allaah guide them – go out uncovered ,wearing make-up and perfume, flaunting their adornment, when there is such serious overcrowding in the mosques – the dangers of this situation are quite obvious. So those who are in charge must organize the Eid prayers properly, by allocating separate doors and routes for women and delaying the men’s departure until the women have left.
3.Some people get together on Eid for the purpose of singing and other forms of idle entertainment, and this is not permitted.
4.Some people celebrate on Eid because Ramadaan is over and they no longer have to fast. This is a mistake, the believers celebrate at Eid because Allaah has helped them to complete the month of fasting, not because the fasting ,which some people regard as a heavy burden, is over.
We ask Allaah to accept our worship and our repentance. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.