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Eid ul Fitr

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah
(swt), the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful

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The Nature of the Eid Prayer – Sunnah or Fard?

The scholars differed concerning the ruling on Eid prayers. There are three scholarly points of view:

1. That Eid prayer is Sunnah Mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah). This is the view of Imam Malik (r) and Imam al-Shafi’I (r).
2. That it is a communal obligation (Fard Kifayah), which if performed by some people others are exempt from it (i.e. Jihad fisabililLah). This is the view of Imam Ahmad (r).
3. That it is a duty for each Muslim and is obligatory for men; those who do not do it with no excuse are sinning thereby. This is the view of Imam Abu Hanifah (r), and was also narrated from Imam Ahmad. Among those who favoured this view were Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (r) and al-Shawkaani (r).

Those who held the third view quoted several texts as evidence, including the following:

1. The Verse in which Allah (swt) says: “Therefore pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice.” [Al Qur’an – Surah al Kawthar (108:002)]

Ibn Qudaamah (r) said in al-Mughni: The well known view is that what is meant by this is the Eid prayer.

Some of the scholars were of the view that what is meant in this Verse is prayer in general, not just Eid prayer, so what the Verse means is that we are commanded to devote our prayer and sacrifice to Allah (swt) Alone, so it is like the Verse in which He says: “Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” [Al Qur’an – Surah al Anam (006:162)]

This view concerning this meaning of the verse was shared by Ibn Jareer and Ibn Katheer.

2. The fact that the Prophet (saws) commanded the people to go out to it (the Eid prayer) and even commanded the women to go out too.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Umm ‘Atiyyah (r) said: The Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded us to bring them (women) out on (Eid) al-Fitr and (Eid) al-Adha, and to bring out adolescent girls, menstruating women and virgins, but the menstruating women were to stay away from the prayer, but were to witness goodness and the gathering of the Muslims. I said: “O Messenger of Allah, what if one of us does not have a jilbab?” He said: “Let her sister lend her a jilbab.”

The evidence of this Hadith that the Eid prayer is obligatory is stronger than the evidence of the Verse quoted above.

Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa]:
What I think is that the Eid prayer is Fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation), and that it is not permissible for men to miss it, rather they have to attend, because the Prophet (saws) enjoined that. He even commanded the women – including virgins and those who usually stayed in seclusion – to come out to the Eid prayer, and he commanded menstruating women to come out to the Eid prayer, but told them to keep away from the prayer-place itself. This indicates that it is confirmed.

He also said:
What seems more likely to be correct in my view, based on the evidence, is that it is fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation), and that it is obligatory for every male to attend the Eid prayer apart from those who have an excuse.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (13/7)] concerning the view that it is Fard ‘ayn:
This view is more likely to be correct, based on the evidence.

Eid Salaat and the Women

It is better for women to go out to the Eid prayer. This was enjoined by the Prophet (saws).

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Umm ‘Atiyyah (r) said: The Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded us to bring them (women) out on (Eid) al-Fitr and (Eid) al-Adha, and to bring out adolescent girls, menstruating women and virgins, but the menstruating women were to stay away from the prayer, but were to witness goodness and the gathering of the Muslims. I said: “O Messenger of Allah, what if one of us does not have a jilbaab?” He said: “Let her sister lend her a jilbab.”

Al-Haafiz said:
This shows that it is mustahabb for women to come out and attend the Eid prayers, whether they are young or not.

Al-Shawkaani said:
This and similar Hadiths indicate that it is prescribed in Shari’ah for women to come out to the prayer-place, with no differentiation between virgins and non-virgins, young or old, menstruating or otherwise, so long as they are not going through ‘iddah (following divorce or death of their husband) or their coming out will be a cause of fitnah or they have an excuse.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: what is better for a woman, to come out to the Eid prayer or to stay at home?

He replied:
It is better for them to go out to Eid prayer, because the Prophet (saws) enjoined that the women go out to the Eid prayer, even the adolescent girls and virgins – i.e., women who do not ordinarily go out. He commanded them to go out, and he told the menstruating women to go out but to keep away from the prayer-place. So menstruating women should go out with other women for Eid, but they should not enter the place where the Eid prayer is offered, because the Eid prayer-place is a mosque and it is not permissible for a menstruating woman to stay there, but it is permissible for her to pass through or to take something she needs from it, without staying there. Based on this we say: women are commanded to go out to the Eid prayer and join the men in this prayer, because of the goodness, dhikr and du’aa’ they may experience there.

He also said:
But they must go out looking decent, not wearing adornment, makeup or perfume, so that they may combine following the Sunnah with avoiding fitnah.

What some women do of wearing adornment, makeup and perfume is because of their ignorance and negligence on the part of their guardians. This does not cancel out the general shara’i ruling, which is that women are commanded to go out to the Eid prayer.

Takbeer of Shawwaal

At the end of Ramadaan Allah (swt) has prescribed that His slaves should recite takbeer. Allah (swt) says:
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and (He desireth) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful.“ [Al Qur’an – Surah al Baqarah (002:185)]

“That you must magnify Allah (swt)” means venerating Him in your hearts and on your lips, by pronouncing the takbeer.

So you should say: Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god except Allah, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, and all praise be to Allah).

Or you can say Allah u akbar three times, so you say:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god except Allah, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great , Allah is Most Great, and all praise be to Allah).

Both 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 (saws) said: “If you notice something during the prayer, men should say ‘SubhanAllah (swt)!’ and women should clap.” So women should say the takbeer quietly and men should say it out loud.

The time for this takbeer begins when the sun sets on the night of Eid (i.e. the night before) if it is known that the new month has begun when the sun sets, such as when the people have completed thirty days of Ramadaan, or when it is proven that the new moon of Shawwaal has been sighted. And it ends when the prayer begins (i.e., when they start the Eid prayer then the time for the takbeer ends).

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Written by al Muddaththir

June 4, 2008 at 9:16 pm

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