The Sunna of Eid

Islamic Eid

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Sunnah Practices for Celebrating Eid

There are several practices recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for Muslims to observe during the joyous occasions of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. These practices, known as Sunnah, enhance the experience and deepen the spiritual significance of these holidays.

  1. Performing Ghusl (ritual bathing) before the Eid prayer:

Taking a ritual bath before heading to the Eid prayer is a recommended practice. This is supported by the narration that Abdullah ibn Umar used to perform Ghusl on the day of Eid al-Fitr before going out for the prayer (Al-Muwatta 428). Scholars widely agree on the recommendation of Ghusl for Eid, similar to the recommendation for Friday prayers and other significant gatherings.

  1. Eating before Eid al-Fitr prayer and after Eid al-Adha prayer:

It is considered good practice to have a light meal, such as dates, before going out for the Eid al-Fitr prayer. This tradition stems from the narration that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would not leave for the Eid al-Fitr prayer until he had eaten some dates (Sahih Bukhari 953). This signifies the breaking of the fast and the commencement of Eid festivities. If dates are unavailable, consuming anything permissible is acceptable.

For Eid al-Adha, it is recommended to delay eating until after returning from the prayer. If a sacrifice has been made, it is preferred to consume some of the meat. In the absence of a sacrifice, there is no harm in eating before the prayer.

  1. Saying Takbeer on the day of Eid:

Reciting the Takbeer (expressions of glorifying Allah) is a hallmark of Eid celebrations, as mentioned in the Quran: “And to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful” (Quran 2:185). Narrations tell us that Abdullah ibn Umar would recite Takbeer throughout the day of Eid al-Fitr until the Imam emerged for the prayer (Al-Irwa’ 3/122).

The timeframe for reciting Takbeer differs between the two Eids. For Eid al-Fitr, Takbeer begins the night before Eid and continues until the Imam commences the Eid prayer. For Eid al-Adha, Takbeer starts on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and concludes at sunset on the last day of Tashreeq.

  1. Exchanging greetings and good wishes:

Sharing well wishes and greetings on Eid is a recommended practice, exemplified by the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Common expressions include “May Allah accept from us and from you” and “Eid Mubarak.”

  1. Dressing nicely for Eid:

While men are encouraged to wear their best clothes on Eid, women should ensure their attire adheres to Islamic guidelines regarding modesty when venturing outside. This practice is based on the narration where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) disapproved of Umar ibn al-Khattab wearing a silk garment specifically for Eid (Sahih Bukhari 948).

  1. Taking different routes to and from the prayer place:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have taken different routes when traveling to and from the Eid prayer location. The reasons behind this practice could be multifaceted, including:

  • Having both routes serve as a testament on the Day of Judgment.
  • Displaying the symbols of Islam along both paths.
  • Encouraging mindfulness of Allah.
  • Discouraging the presence of hypocrites or those with ill intentions.
  • Facilitating interaction and charitable acts within the community.