Our Two Eids and their Etiquettes

Anas bin Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) came to Madinah and the people had two days when they would play and have fun. He said, ‘What are these two days?’ They said, ‘We used to play and have fun on these days during the Jaahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Allah has given you something better than them, the day of (Eid) Adhaa and the day of (Eid) Fitr.’”

[Sunan Abu Dawood - Classed as Sahih by Shaykh al-Albaani]

Commentary:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) has told us in this Hadith us that we have two festivals which are Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhaa.

These two Eids are among the signs or symbols of Allah which we must celebrate and understand the aims and meanings behind them.

The Sunnahs that the Muslim should observe on the day of Eid are as follows:

1. Doing ghusl before going out to the prayer:

It was narrated in a sahih hadith in al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) used to do ghusl on the day of al-Fitr before going out to the prayer-place in the morning. [Al-Muwatta’ 428]

Imam Al- Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said that the Muslims were unanimously agreed that it is mustahabb (recommended) to do ghusl for Eid prayer.

The reason why it is mustahabb is the same reason as that for doing ghusl before Jumu’ah and other public gatherings. Rather on Eid the reason is even stronger.

2. Eating before going out to pray on Eid al-Fitr and after the prayer on Eid al-Adha:

Part of the etiquette is not to go out to pray on Eid al-Fitr until one has eaten some dates, because of the Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari from Anas ibn Maalik (radi Allahu anhu), who said that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used not to go out on the morning of Eid al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… of which he would eat an odd number.  [Sahih al-Bukhari]

It is mustahabb to eat before going out to emphasise the fact that it is forbidden to fast on that day and to demonstrate that the fast has ended.

Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) suggested that the reason for that was so as to ward off the possibility of adding to the fast, and to hasten to obey the command of Allah. [Al-Fath]

Whoever does not have any dates may break his fast with anything that is permissible.

But on Eid al-Adha it is mustahabb not to eat anything until one comes back from the prayer, so he should eat from the udhiyah if he has offered a sacrifice. If he is not going to offer a sacrifice there is nothing wrong with eating before the prayer.

3. Takbeer on the day of Eid:

This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of Eid because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him” [Al-Baqarah 2:185]

It was narrated that al-Waleed ibn Muslim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: I asked al-Awzaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) and Maalik ibn Anas (may Allah have mercy on him) about saying Takbeer out loud on the two Eids. They said, Yes, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) used to say it out loud on the day of al-Fitr until the imam came out (to lead the prayers).

It was narrated in a sahih report that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sulami (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “They emphasised it more on the day of al-Fitr than the day of al-Adha.”. Wakee’ (may Allah have mercy on him) said, this refers to the takbeer. [See Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 3/122/]

Al-Daaraqutni (may Allah have mercy on him) and others narrated that on the morning of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, Ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) would strive hard in reciting takbeer until he came to the prayer place, then he would recite takbeer until the imam came out.

Ibn Abi Shaybah (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated with a sahih isnaad (chain) that al-Zuhri (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The people used to recite Takbeer on Eid when they came out of their houses until they came to the prayer place, and until the imam came out. When the imam came out they fell silent, and when he said takbeer they said takbeer. [See Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1/121]

Saying takbeer when coming out of one’s house to the prayer place and until the imam came out was something that was well known among the salaf (early generations). This has been narrated by a number of scholars such as Ibn Abi Shaybah, ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and al-Firyaabi in Ahkaam al-Eidayn from a group of the salaf (may Allah have mercy on all of them). For example, Naafi’ ibn Jubayr (may Allah have mercy on him) used to recite takbeer and was astonished that the people did not do so, and he said, “Why do you not recite takbeer?”

Ibn Shihaab al-Zuhri (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say, “The people used to recite takbeer from the time they came out of their houses until the imam came in.”

The time for takbeer on Eid al-Fitr starts from the night before Eid until the imam enters to lead the Eid prayer.

In the case of Eid al-Adha, the takbeer begins on the first day of Dhu’l-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of tashreeq.

Description of the takbeer:

It was narrated in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah (may Allah have mercy on him) with a sahih isnaad (chain) from Ibn Mas’ood (radi Allahu anhu) that he used to recite takbeer during the days of tashreeq:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is most Great, there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, Allah is Most great, Allah is most great, and to Allah be praise).

It was also narrated elsewhere by Ibn Abi Shaybah (may Allah have mercy on him) with the same isnaad, but with the phrase “Allahu akbar” repeated three times.

Al-Mahaamili (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated with a sahih isnaad also from Ibn Mas’ood (radi Allahu anhu): “Allahu akbar kabeera, Allahu akbar kabeera, Allahu akbar wa ajallu, Allahu akbar wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allah is Most Great indeed, Allah is Most Great indeed, Allah is most Great and Glorified, Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise).” [See al-Irwa’, 3/126]

4. Offering congratulations :

The etiquette of Eid also includes the congratulations and good wishes exchanged by people, no matter what the wording, such as saying to one another Taqabbala Allah minna wa minkum (May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you)” or “Eid mubaarak” and other permissible expressions of congratulations.

It was narrated that Jubayr ibn Nufayr (radi Allahu anhu) said: When the companions of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) met one another on the day of Eid, they would say to one another, “May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.” [Ibn Hajar said, its isnaad (chain) is hasan. Al-Fath]

Offering congratulations was something that was well known among the Sahaabah (radi Allahu anhum), and scholars such as Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) and others allowed it. There is evidence which suggests that it is prescribed to offer congratulations and good wishes on special occasions, and that the Sahaabah congratulated one another when good things happened, such as when Allah accepted the repentance of a man, they went and congratulated him for that, and so on.

Undoubtedly these congratulations are among the noble characteristics among the Muslims.

5. Adorning oneself on the occasion of Eid:

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said that ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) took a brocade cloak that was for sale in the market and brought it to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), and said, “O Messenger of Allah, buy this and adorn yourself with it for Eid and for receiving the delegations.” The Messenger of Allah  (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said to him, “Rather this is the dress of one who has no share (of piety or of reward in the Hereafter)…” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) agreed with ‘Umar  (radi Allahu anhu) on the idea of adorning oneself for Eid, but he denounced him for choosing this cloak because it was made of silk.

It was narrated that Jaabir (radi Allahu anhu) said: The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) had a cloak which he would wear on the two Eids and on Fridays. [Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 1756]

Al-Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated with a sahih isnaad that Ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) used to wear his best clothes on Eid.

So a man should wear the best clothes that he has when going out for Eid.

With regard to women, they should avoid adorning themselves when they go out for Eid, because they are forbidden to show off their adornments to non-mahram men. It is also haram (prohibited) for a woman who wants to go out to put on perfume or to expose men to temptation, because they are only going out for the purpose of worship.

6. Going to the prayer by one route and returning by another:

It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (radi Allahu anhu) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to vary his route. [Sahih al-Bukhari]

It was said that the reason for that was so that the two routes would testify for him on the Day of Resurrection, for the earth will speak on the Day of Resurrection and say what was done on it, both good and bad.

It was also said that it was in order to manifest the symbols of Islam on both routes, or to manifest the remembrance of Allah (dhikr), or to annoy the hypocrites and Jews, and to scare them with the large number of people who were with him.

It was also said that it was in order to attend to the people’s needs, to answer their questions, teach them, set an example and give charity to the needy, or to visit his relatives and uphold the ties of kinship.

And Allah knows best!

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