The Days of Eid

“And [Allah wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”

Qur’an [2:185]

Acts of worship & Permissibilities in the days of Eid

The days of the two Eids (Eid Al-Fitr & Eid Al-Adha) are days of joy and happiness, and these days are singled out for some acts of worship, special practices, and traditions, including the following:

1. Doing ghusl.

This is narrated in saheeh reports from some of the Companions.
Among them is that a man asked ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) about bathing and he said: Bathe every day if you wish. He said: “No, (I mean) bathing in the sense of ghusl (as an act of worship)”. He said: “(Do ghusl) on Fridays, the day of ‘Arafah, the Day of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) and the day of al-Fitr (Eid al-Fitr)”. [Al-Albani : Sahih]

2. Wearing new clothes to beautify oneself.

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) found a suit of brocade being offered for sale in the market, so he took it and brought it to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, buy this and adorn yourself with it for ‘Eid and for (meeting) the delegations. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “This is only a garment for the one who has no share in the Hereafter.”[Agreed Upon]

3. Putting on the best perfume.

It is narrated in a saheeh report from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to put on perfume on the day of al-Fitr, as it says in Ahkaam al-‘Eidayn by al-Firyaabi (p. 83).

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Maalik said: I heard the scholars describing it as mustahabb (encouraged) to adorn oneself and put on perfume on every Eid.
That was also regarded as mustahabb by Ibn Rajab (6/68).

With regard to women, if they go out they should not adorn themselves; rather they should go out in scruffy clothes and not wear beautiful clothes or put on perfume.

4. Takbeer.

It is Sunnah to recite takbeer on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr, for the one who sights the moon, because Allah, may He exalted, 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) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal) for having guided you…” [2:185]. Completing the same number of days means completing the fast. Recitation of Takbeer ceases when the imam comes out to deliver the khutbah [before the Eid prayer].

On Eid Al-Adha, the Takbeer begins on the morning of the day of ‘Arafah (10th of Dhul-Hijjah), until the last of the days of at-Tashreeq, which is the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah.
Takbeer in the days of Al-Adha is divided into two types; restricted Takbeer (i.e., restricted to certain times (which are after doing the Tasleem of the obligatory Prayers)), and the unrestricted Takbeer which may be done at any times,
Restricted & Unrestricted Takbeer are combined on five days, i.e., the Day of ‘Arafaah, the Day of Sacrifice and the three days of Tashreeq. With regard to the eighth day (of Dhu’l-Hijjah) and the days preceding it, Takbeer on those days may be done at any times, not only at certain times.
Al-Bukhaari mentioned in his Saheeh, in a mu’allaq report, that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with them both) used to go out to the market-place on first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people used to recite Takbeer because of their Takbeer.

The format of the takbeer is as follows:
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).
There are other formats of Takbeer but it is ok to commit to the only one mentioned.

This applies to those who are not on Hajj; for those who are on Hajj, they should concentrate on their ihraam and recite the Talbiyah, until they throw the stones at Jamarat al-‘Aqabah on the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm al-Nahr); after that they may recite Takbeer. The Takbeer should start with the first stone thrown at the Jamarah mentioned. If the pilgrim recites the Takbeer along with the Talbiyah, that is OK.

5. Eating an odd number of dates before leaving for the Eid prayer.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not set out on the day of Eid until he had eaten an odd number of dates. He should stick to an odd number as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did.

6. Eid Prayer.

It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded even the virgins and women in seclusion, i.e., those who did not ordinarily come out, to attend the Eid prayer place, except that those who were menstruating should keep away from the prayer-place itself, because it is not permissible for a menstruating woman to stay in the mosque; it is permissible for her to pass through but not to stay there.

Based on that evidence, every male is obliged to attend the Eid prayer except for those who have an excuse. This was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him).
Noting that the Scholars differed regarding the Ruling on Eid Prayer; some say that it is Sunnah, some say that it is fard kafaayah (a communal obligation) and some say that it is fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation), i.e, not doing it is a sin.

It is prescribed for the one who goes out to the Eid prayer to go by one route and return by another, following the example of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). This Sunnah does not apply to other prayers, Jumu’ah or anything else, it only applies to Eid.

If Jumu’ah and Eid fall on the same day, the Eid prayer should be held, as should Jumu’ah prayer, as is indicated by the apparent meaning of the hadeeth of al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer which was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. But those who attend the Eid prayer with the imam may attend Jumu’ah if they wish, or they may pray Zuhr.

The Scholars differed regarding whether one should pray two rak’ahs (Tahiyyat al-Masjid) if he comes to the Eid prayer-place before the imam comes, or to sit down without praying, but it is ok to pray it anyway.

7. Paying Zakaat al-Fitr before the Eid Prayer.

Zakaat Al-Fitr is due on the day of Eid Al-Fitr. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined that it should be paid before the Eid prayer.

It is permissible to pay it one or two days before they day of Eid Al-Fitr.

See Rulings on Zakaat Al-Fitr

8. Visiting one another and congratulating one another.

On Eid there is nothing wrong with visiting relatives, neighbours and friends. This is something that people are accustomed to doing on the Eids, and it was said that this is one of the reasons for changing one’s route when coming back from the Eid prayer place.

But that results in haraam actions on the part of many people, such as men entering houses and shaking hands with unveiled women without any mahram being present. Some of these evils are worse than others.

There is nothing wrong with what men do on the day of Eid of embracing one another.

This may be done in any permissible wording, the best of which is: “Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum” (May Allah accept it from us and from you), because this is what is narrated from the Sahaabah “Companions” (may Allah be pleased with them).

Some people have the custom of going out to the graveyard on the day of Eid to greet the occupants of the graves, but the occupants of the graves have no need of any greeting or congratulations, because they do not fast or pray qiyaam.
Visiting the graves is not something to be done especially on the day of Eid or Friday or any particular day.

9. Enjoying fine food and drink.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying fine food and drink, or eating good food, whether that is at home or at a restaurant outside the home, but it is not permissible for that to be in a restaurant in which alcohol is served, or a restaurant in which music is played or in which men can see non-mahram woman.

In some countries it may be better to go for a trip on land or on the water so as to get away from places in which there is free mixing between men and women, or in which there are other things that are contrary to Islamic teaching.

The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The days of at-Tashreeq (11th, 12th & 13th of Dhul Hijjah) are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah.” [Al-Albani : Sahih]

It is allowed to fast the days of Eid Al-Fitr apart from the first day. But with regard to Eid Al-Adha days, it is not permissible to fast any of them.

10. Permissible leisure activities.

There is nothing wrong with taking the family for a trip on land or on the water, or visiting scenic places, or going to a place where there are permissible leisure activities. There is also nothing wrong with listening to some nasheeds that are free of musical accompaniment.

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