بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ; وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ; وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي ; يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي
As Ramadan comes to end, Muslims start preparing for the month of Shawwāl. The month of Shawwāl is marked by the festival of Eid, known as Eid Al-Fitr. As per authentic narrations found in ahadith, Al-Fitr is the day that the people break fast. So, Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated on the day just after when the month of fasting ends i.e. the first day of the month of Shawwāl. This day is confirmed by sighting of moon. Following hadith explains to us the Sunnah way of confirming the day of Eid Al-Fitr.
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu): Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) mentioned Ramadan and said:
“Do not observe fasting unless you see the crescent moon (of Ramadan), and do not give up fasting till you see the crescent moon (of Shawwāl); but if the sky is overcast and you can’t see the moon, then act on estimation (i.e. count 30 days each for Shaban & Ramadan).”
This hadith emphasizes the importance of moon-sighting for confirming the day of Eid Al-Fitr. And this criterion is followed by whole Muslim community till date.
Eid Al-Fitr is one of the two festivals of Muslims (other being Eid Al-Adha) and all are encouraged to celebrate it with full enthusiasm. It is recommended to present ourselves with clean (or new) dresses; go out to social gatherings and meet relatives, friends and neighbours; embrace fellow Muslims (embracing is a widely accepted gesture among Muslims on the days of Eid); cook delicacies (your favourite foods) at home; invite people to your homes over meals; exchange gifts with your children, family members and others, etc. However, it should be kept in mind that no act of our celebrations on Eid should violate any Islamic ruling. For example, when attending gatherings, women and men should maintain Hijab; it should be ensured that we do not end up doing extravagance; manners of entertaining guests are not forgotten, etc. Above all, one should not forget Remembrance of Allah while busy in celebrations of Eid.
Now let us shift our attention to the Sunnah way of celebrating Eid Al-Fitr. This is very important for each one of us that we celebrate our Eids as our beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and his companions used to.
1. No fasting on Eid Al-Fitr
It is not allowed for a Muslim to observe fast on the day of any of the Eids (Eid Al-Fitr as well as Eid Al-Adha). This is clearly mentioned in following hadith.
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (RadiyAllahu Anhu) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) prohibited two fasts: Fasting the ‘Day of Adha’ and the ‘Day of Fitr’.[Hadith No. 772, Chapters on Fasting, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2]
2. Paying Sadaqat-ul-Fitr (or Zakat-ul-Fitr)
Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is obligatory and is to be paid by every Muslim who falls under the Nisāb, before leaving the house for Eid prayers. Rasool-Allah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was very particular about this, as is evident from the hadith given below:
Ibn Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) would order paying Sadaqat-ul-Fitr before going to Salat on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr.[Hadith No. 1509, Book of Zakat, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 677, Chapters on Zakat, Jami’-At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2]
We have discussed the details associated with payment of Sadaqat-ul-Fitr in one of our previous discussions under the subject heading of Sadaqat-ul-Fitr, and the same may be referred for the details regarding Nisāb, calculation, timings etc. for Sadaqat-ul-Fitr.
3. Salat on the day of Eid Al-Fitr
The first thing on the morning of Eid Al-Fitr is to offer Salat of Eid. This is one of the voluntary Salats, but the significance associated with this Salat shall be obvious in due course of our discussion. Let us understand this in further sub-classifications.
3.1. It is recommended to eat something before leaving for Salaton the morning of Eid Al-Fitr.
Narrated Anas bin Mālik (RadiyAllahu Anhu): Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) never proceeded for Salat on the Day of Eid Al-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas (RadiyAllahu Anhu) also narrated: The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to eat odd no. of dates.[Hadith No. 953, Book of The Two Eid Festivals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2]
This narration highlights the act of eating before proceeding for Salat, in order to prove that this is the ‘Day of breaking fast’. This is yet another example of Hikmah of our beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).
3.2. Women are encouraged to join Salat of Eids (Eid Al-Fitr as well as Eid Al-Adha).
Islam encourages all of us to offer Salat of Eid in congregation and take our families along with us. This is very important in the essence of unity of Muslims. Refer to following hadith:
Narrated Umm Atiyya (RadiyAllahu Anha): We were ordered to go out (for Eid) and also take along with us the menstruating women, mature girls and virgins staying in seclusion. The menstruating women could present themselves at the religious gathering and invocation of Muslims, but should keep away from their Musalla.[Hadith No. 981, Book of The Two Eid Festivals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2]
The very fact that all family members, even the menstruating women, are supposed to go out for Eid gatherings, highlights the importance of Eid prayer. However, it is clear that menstruating women may join in invocation but cannot offer Salat.
3.3. Time of Salat for Eid
It is recommended not to delay Eid Salat and offer it on the morning of Eid, as early as the time for voluntary prayers starts (i.e. just after sunrise). This is the Sunnah way, as is clear from following hadith:
Yazid bin Khumair Ar-Rahabi said: Abdullah bin Busr, the companion of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), once went with the people on the day of Eid (Fitr or Adha). He criticized the delay of Imam and said, “We used to be finished at this hour (and that was the time one could pray voluntary prayers i.e. just after sunrise).”[Hadith No. 1135, Book of Salat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1]
3.4. No Salat just before or after Eid prayer
Narrated Ibn Abbas (RadiyAllahu Anhu): The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) offered a two raka’at Salat on the day of Eid Al-Fitr and he did not offer any Salat before or after it. Then he went towards women along with Bilal (RadiyAllahu Anhu) and ordered them to give alms and so they started giving their ear-rings and necklaces (in charity).[Hadith No. 964, Book of The Two Eid Festivals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2]
In other places it is mentioned that Ibn Abbas (RadiyAllahu Anhu) disliked offering any Salat before Eid prayer. Therefore, we should not pray any other prayer just before or after Eid prayer. It is not a prohibition, but a disliked thing.
3.5. There is no Adhan and/or Iqamah for Eid prayer.
It is very clear from almost all collections of ahadith and there is a consensus of all scholars about this ruling. Refer to following hadith:
It was narrated from Ibn Juraij, who said: Atā informed me from Ibn Abbas (RadiyAllahu Anhu) and Jabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari (RadiyAllahu Anhu), who said: ‘There was no Adhan called on the day of Al-Fitr or Al-Adha’. I asked him about that later on and he said: ‘Jabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari (RadiyAllahu Anhu) informed me that there was no Adhan for the prayer on the day of Al-Fitr, neither before the Imam came out nor afterwards, and there was no Iqamah or call or anything; no call on that day and no Iqamah.’[Hadith No. 2049 (886), Book of The Two Eid Prayers, Sahih Muslim,Vol. 2]
3.6. No. of raka’at and Takbirs in Eid prayer
The hadith mentioned in Section 3.4 above tells us that Eid prayer comprisesof two raka’at. However, there are some additional Takbirs in this prayer, the details of which are evident from following narration:
Kathir bin Abdullah narrated from his father, from his grandfather:
“The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said the Takbir in first (raka’at) seven (times) before recitation, and in the last, five (times) before recitation.”[Hadith No. 536, Chapters on TheTwo Eid, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 1]
The jurists of Al-Madinah, Imam Mālik and Imam Ahmad are of the view that there are Takbirs including the opening Takbir in the first raka’at before recitation, and five Takbir in second raka’at before recitation. Now if others disagree and chose a different procedure of Takbirs, which is not authenticated by ahadith, it cannot be justified.
3.7. There is a Khutba after Eid prayer.
Salat of Eid is followed by a Khutba (i.e. a religious sermon).
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu): Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to offer As-Salat of Eid Al-Adha & Eid Al-Fitr, and then deliver the Khutba after As-Salat.[Hadith No. 957, Book of The Two Eid Festivals, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2]
3.8. What shall one do if he misses Eid prayer?
Whoever misses Eid prayer, should offer two raka’at his place or anywhere he/she can. This is another ruling that highlights the importance of Eid prayer, as there is no such requirement of offering any other voluntary prayer if someone misses that on prescribed time.
4. Amusements are a part of Eid celebrations.
It is unanimously accepted that indulgence in amusements like music, games etc. in exceeding limits is considered to be wastage of time and is discouraged in Islam. And the limits for indulgence in such things are very strict. However, Eid is one of the occasions on which it is allowed to indulge in these amusements etc., for the sake of celebrations, but in such a manner that they do not make us forget any of the obligatory duties of us as a Muslim. Go through the following narration:
It was narrated that Aishah (RadiyAllahu Anha) said: “Abu Bakr (RadiyAllahu Anhu) entered upon me and there were two of the young girls of the Ansar with me who were singing the verses that the Ansar had recited on the day of Bu’ath.”
She said: “But they were known to be singers.”
Abu Bakr (RadiyAllahu Anhu) said:
“Wind instruments of the shaitan in the house of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)?”
That was the day of Eid. Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“O Abu Bakr! Every people have their Eid and this is our Eid.”
In another narration it is said that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Let them be O’ Abu Bakr, for these are the days of Eid.”[Hadith No. 2061 (892), Book of Two Eid Prayers, Sahih Muslim,Vol. 2]
There are several lessons to be learnt for us after having gone through so many narrations related to this auspicious festival of Eid Al-Fitr. Let me name a few of them:
1. It teaches us to START OUR FESTIVAL BY PRAYING TO ALLAH.
2. It teaches us to BE TOLERANT. This is evident from the narration regarding Abu Bakr (RadiyAllahu Anhu) being angry on Ansar girls who were singing near Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam); the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) asking Abu Bakr (RadiyAllahu Anhu) to let them enjoy as it was Eid.
3. Another important thing to learn is that ISLAM ENCOURAGES UNITY AMONG IT’S FOLLOWERS; this is evident from the narrations related to encouragement of all family members to attend Eid prayers out in congregation.
4. Another lesson to be learnt is that ISLAM IS NOT AGAINST JOY OR CELEBRATIONS. BUT ALL THIS HAS TO BE OBSERVED IN PROPER MANNER i.e., SUNNAH WAY. Muslims should be very careful about their actions on days like Eid, so that they give a positive image of Islam to the people of other religions. This is very important for Muslims who live in places where there are inhabitants of other religions also in abundance (for example India).
I wish to emphasize the message of unity a little bit more, and let me quote a hadith in this regard:
Aishah (RadiyAllahu Anha) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Al-Fitr is the day that people break fast and Al-Adha is the day that the people sacrifice.”[Hadith No. 802, Chapters on Fasting, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2]
This hadith gives an insight that we all should maintain unity in celebrating the days of Eid; one should not be stubborn about one’s personal and individual opinion. As much as possible, Muslims should start fasting together and celebrate Eid(s) together. It is Allah’s ita’at and His Messenger’s (Mohammad, SAWS) ita’at that matters; leave all other reasoning behind and stick to following verse of Qur’an:
وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنْ كُنتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
“Do ita’at of Allah & Rasool-Allah (SAWS), if you are Mu’mineen.”
(Aayah No. 1, Surah Al-Anfal, Chapter No. 8, Holy Qur’an).
May Allah make the day of Eid Al-Fitr beneficial to all of us in terms of His Blessings, His Mercy and His Rahmah.May we all celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with full vigour and enthusiasm, keeping in mind that we follow the Sunnah way, while doing so. May Allah help us keeping ourselves away from all types of wrongs which may tarnish our Eid(s). May we all be blessed by Allah to see more Ramadan(s) and enjoy many more Eids to come in our lives….Ameen.
HAPPY EID AL-FITR TO ALL!
And Allah knows best.
May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ ; وَسَلامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ ; وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّالْعَالَمِينَ.