Authentic Narrations On The Sunnah Actions On The Day Of Eid

The Sunan (plural for Sunnah) 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 saheeh hadeeth in al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar used to do ghusl on the day of al-Fitr before going out to the prayer-place in the morning. Al-Muwatta’428.

Al- Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said that the Muslims were unanimously agreed that it is mustahabb 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 Eidal-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 hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from Anas ibn Maalik, who said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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. Al-Bukhaari, 953.

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

Ibn Hajar (may Allaah 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 Allaah.Al-Fath, 2/446

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) Saying The Takbeer:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

that you must magnify Allaah” means venerating Him in your hearts and on your lips, by pronouncing the takbeer.

So you should say: Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Allaahu akbar,Allaahu akbar, wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god except Allaah, Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, and all praise be to Allaah). [Narrated by Imaam Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf(saheeh)]

Or you can say Allaahu akbar three times, so you say:

Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Allaahu akbar,Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god except Allaah, Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great , Allaah is Most Great, and all praise be to Allaah). [Narrated by Imaam Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf(saheeh)]

Or

Al-Mahaamili narrated with a saheeh isnaad also from Ibn Mas’ood: “Allaahu akbarukabeera, Allaahu akbaru kabeera, Allaahu akbar wa ajallu, Allaahu akbar wa Lillaah il-hamd(Allaah is Most Great indeed, Allaah is Most Great indeed, Allaah is most Great and Glorified, Allaah is Most Great and to Allaah be praise).” See al-Irwa’, 3/126.

All the above are permissible.

This takbeer is Sunnah according to the majority of scholars. It is Sunnah for both men and woman, in the mosque, in the home and in the marketplace. Men should say it out loud, and women should say it quietly, because women are commanded to lower their voices. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If you notice something during the prayer, men should say ‘Subhan-Allaah!’ and women should clap.” So women should say the takbeer quietly and men should say it out loud.

The Time The Saying of Takbeer Begins and When It Ends

The time for takbeer begins when the sun sets on the night of ‘Eed (that is after the final iftaar/Maghrib salaah of Ramadaan). The time for takbeer ends after the ‘Eed salaah.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 16/269-272

Imaam Shaafa’i mentions in ‘Al Umm’:

‘…. I like all the people to recite takbeer together and individually in the masaajid, the marketplaces, the streets, the houses, travellers and non-travellers in all situations, no matter where they are’

Then he narrated from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, Abu Salamah and Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, that they used to recite takbeer on the night before Eid al-Fitr in the mosque, reciting the takbeer out loud.

It was narrated from ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr and Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan that they used to recite the takbeer out loud when they came to the prayer-pace in the morning, and that Naafi’ ibn Jubayr used to recite the takbeer out loud when he came to the prayer-place in the morning of the day of Eid.

It was narrated by Daaraqutni and others that Ibn ‘Umar used to come to the prayer-place on the morning of the day of Eid al-Fitr, when the sun had risen, and he would recite takbeer until he reached the prayer-place, then he would recite takbeer in the prayer-place until the imam sat down and stopped reciting takbeer.

Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated with a saheeh isnaad that al-Zuhri 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 a l-Razzaaq and al-Firyaabi in Ahkaam al-Eidayn from a group of the salaf. For example, Naafi’ ibn Jubayr used to recite takbeer and was astonished that the people did not do so, and he said, “Why do you not recite takbeer?”

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 Allaahminna wa minkum (May Allaah accept (good deeds) from us and from you” or “Eidmubaarak” and other permissible expressions of congratulations.

It was narrated that Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: When the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) met one another on the day of Eid, they would say to one another, “May Allaah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.” Ibn Hajar said, its isnaad is hasan. Al-Fath, 2/446.

Offering congratulations was something that was well known among the Sahaabah, and scholars such as Imam Ahmad 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 Allaah 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.

The least that may be said concerning the subject of congratulations is that you should return the greetings of those who congratulate you on Eid, and keep quiet if others keep quiet, as Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If anyone congratulates you, then respond, otherwise do not initiate it.

5) Adorning oneself on the occasion of Eid:

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that ‘Umar took a brocade cloak that was for sale in the market and brought it to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, buy this and adorn yourself with it for Eid and for receiving the delegations.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, “Rather this is the dress of one who has no share (of piety or of reward in the Hereafter)…” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 948.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) agreed with ‘Umar 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 (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two Eids and on Fridays. Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 1756

Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a saheeh isnaad that Ibn ‘Umar 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 haraam 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-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to vary his route. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 986.

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.

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

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