With this year’s Ramadan fasting ending on Wednesday and the 1st Shawwal 1442 and the eid-el-fitri day being Thursday, here are some of the etiquettes of eid for Muslims.
The Zakat al-Fitr (obligatory charity) should have been fulfilled, or given out one or two days before eid or on eid day, on the morning of the 1st Shawwal, before the commencement of the eid prayers.
If it is given after the Eid prayer, it will be considered as a ‘Sadaqah’ and not Zakat al-Fitr.
The eid-el-fitr is also known as the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ or lesser eid.
Why is eid Celebrated?
Eid-el-fitr is celebrated following a successful month of abstaining from both food and drink during daylight hours; this takes a lot of self-control and dedication to bring oneself spiritually closer to Allah through prayer and worship in commemoration of the blessed month of Ramadan when the Qur’an was first revealed.
To celebrate a full month of fasting in this way, eid-el-fitr is a joining together of family, friends, and communities to feast and enjoy the food that has been provided by Allah.
Dos and don’ts of eid
According to scholars, the various dos and don’ts relating to what a Muslim should observe on the day of eid as taken from the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.
Doing ghusl (bathing) before going out to the prayer
It was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth in al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar used to do ghusl on the day of eid-el-fitr before going out to the prayer in the morning.
Also, Imam Al- Nawawi said that Muslims were unanimously agreed that it is mustahabb (recommended) to do ghusl for eid prayer.
It was explained that the reason why it is mustahabb is the same reason as that for doing ghusl before Jumu’ah and other public gatherings and that for eid the reason is even stronger.
Eating before going out to pray on eid-el-fitr
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, that Prophet Muhammad used not to go out on the morning of eid-el-fitr until he had eaten some dates… of which he would eat an odd number.
Scholars said that though it is mustahabb (recommended) to eat before going out to edi-el-fitr, the fact is that it is forbidden to fast on that day and eating other halal (permissible)
foods, if there are no dates, is to demonstrate that the Ramadan fast has ended.
However, this is different from the eid-el-adha (the eid of animal sacrifice in the Haj period of the month of Dhul-Hijja), wherein it is mustahabb not to eat anything until one comes back from the prayer, so he should eat from the udhiyah (the permissible slaughtered animals) if he has offered a sacrifice.
It was also stated that the person is not going to offer a sacrifice, there is nothing wrong with eating before the eid prayer.
Going to eid grounds for prayers
The main sunnah for eid is to go to eid prayers as Prophet Muhammad encouraged everyone to go, including men, women, children, even the women who are menstruating are encouraged to go and listen to the prayers and khutbah.
Adorning oneself on the occasion of eid
It was narrated that Jaabir said: Prophet Muhammad had a cloak which he would wear on the two eids and on Fridays. Also, Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a saheeh isnaad that Ibn ‘Umar used to wear his best clothes on eid.
So, it is expected that worshipers should wear the best clothes that he has when going out for eid, if the person cannot afford a new cloth.
With regard to women, they should avoid adorning themselves (to show off to non-mahram men) when they go out for eid, because they are forbidden to show off their adornments to non-mahram men.
It is also haraam (forbidden) 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.
Takbeer (Praising Allah) on the eid day
This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of eid. It was narrated that al-Waleed ibn Muslim said: I asked al-Awzaa’i and Maalik ibn Anas about saying Takbeer out loud on the two eids. They said, yes, ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar used to say it out loud on the day of al-fitr until the imam came out (to lead the prayers).
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).
There was an example of Naafi’ ibn Jubayr who used to recite takbeer and was astonished that the people did not do so, and he said, “Why do you not recite takbeer?”
The time for takbeer on eid-el-fitr starts from the night before eid until the imam enters to lead the eid prayer.
However, in the case of eid-el-Adha, the takbeer begins on the first day of Dhu’l-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of tashreeq.
Description of the takbeer
It was agreed upon that and also an example from Ibn Mas’ood that he used to recite takbeer during the days of tashreeq as:
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is Most great, Allah is most great, and to Allah be praise).
Greetings and offering congratulations
Another etiquette of eid includes the congratulations and good wishes exchanged by people, no matter what the wording, such as saying to one another Taqabbala Allah minna wa minkum (May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you” or “Eid mubaarak” and other permissible expressions of congratulations.
It was narrated that Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: When the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) met one another on the day of eid, they would say to one another, “May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.”
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 Allah accepted the repentance of a man, they went and congratulated him for that, and so on.
How eid prayers are offered
Firstly, there is no adhan, no iqamah and when the imam is reciting, you just listen and then follow through with the movements. The actual prayer is a two rak’ahs prayer done in congregation but it is different from the Fajr (dawn) prayer. In the first rak’ah there are seven takbir and in the second rak’ah there are five takbir, not including the takbir that you say before each movement.
In the first rak’ah you do the opening with takbir with your hands up and then you put your hands on your chest.
After that recite the opening du’a and then the imam starts with the takbir and you say the takbir after him. Then the imam will start the prayer with the opening (Al-Fatihah) and other chapter.
When you stand up for the second rak’ah, the imam will again recite the takbir and you respond five times. Then you will go through chapter Al-Fatihah and a chapter, just like in the normal prayer, until you finish with salams.
When the ‘Eid prayers are finished, worshipers basically should sit down and listen to the khutbah.
We must know that there is no talking during the Khutbah! We are all expected to just listen to the message of the imam and take in those blessings.
It is after this that the greetings and congratulations follow: “Taqabbala Allah minna wa minkum” (May Allah accept from us the good deeds and also from you). The easiest response to this is to say “Ameen”.
Going to the prayer by one route and returning by another
One of the etiquettes consider as the last Sunnah is leaving the place where you had eid prayers and taking a different route while returning home.
When Prophet Muhammad wanted to go home after eid prayers, he actually took a different route. However, he went to the place where he had the prayers, he would take a different route back home.
As narrated by al-Bukhaari, it was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah said: On the day of eid, Prophet Muhammad used to vary his route.
It was said that the reason for that was so that the two routes would testify for the worshipers 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.