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Section I: Rulings Related to the Eid Prayers

Firstly: The Meaning of Eid
‘Eid’ means ‘a repeated time’ and any day when people are gathered. Thus, it is a term for general gatherings that refers to specific usage. These events repeat annually, monthly, weekly, etc.
Secondly: The Number of Eids for Muslims
Muslims have two eids: Eid al-Fitr, which is the first day of Shawwal, and Eid al-Adha, the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. Muslims do not have any other eid other than Friday. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Hazm.
Thirdly: The Wisdom Behind the Legislation of the Two Eids
Allah has legislated that this Ummah experience happiness and jubilation through His consummate blessings and His perfect mercy. As such, Eid al-Fitr occurs after completing the fast that He prescribed for them every year. When they complete their fast, He frees them from the the Fire, so He decreed an eid for them after the completion of fasting. He made it a day of awards, whereupon they return from the prayer and charity with forgiveness. Sadaqah al-Fitr and the Eid prayer are gratitude for this. He also legislated for them Eid al-Adha after their having completed hajj by standing at `Arafah – the day of freedom from the Fire, for freedom from the Fire and forgiveness of sins and wrongdoings is never greater on any day of the year than it. Thus, Allah made an eid after it. Indeed, it is the Greater Eid, for the season’s people (i.e. those performing hajj) complete their rites during it.
Fourthly: Among the Wisdoms of the Eid Prayer A tribute to the rites of Islam. The Eid prayers are one of its greatest rites, for people gather for it more than they do for the Friday prayers. Furthermore, saying Allahu Akbar is legislated during it. Every ummah must have a public event in which its people gather to demonstrate their strength and show their numbers. For this reason, it is mustahabb that everyone attend, including children, women, virgins in concealed quarters, and menstruating women. It is also mustahabb to take a different path when going and returning such that those in both paths might see the might of Muslims. Thanking Allah the Exalted for the blessing of completing the acts of worshipped tied to these eids. For Eid al-Fitr is gratitude to Allah the Exalted for having fasted Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha is gratitude to Allah for acts of worship performed during the ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah, the greatest being the performance of hajj.
Fifthly: The Ruling of Offering the Eid Prayer
Scholars have differed regarding the ruling of the Eid prayer, [590] As for its being legislated, consensus on this was related by al-Juwayni, Ibn Qudamah, al-Nawawi, and Ibn Daqeeq al-`Id. being of three positions:
The first position: The Eid prayer is individually wajib. This is the position of the Hanafi school, Ibn Habib the Maliki. It is also one narration from Ahmad. It is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-San`ani, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
The second position: It is a confirmed sunnah. This is the position of the Maliki and Shafi`i schools, one position among Hanafis, and one narration from Ahmad. Dawud al-Zahiri reached the same conclusion. It is the position of the generality of scholars from the Salaf and the Khalaf.
The third position: The Eid prayer is a communal obligation (fard kifayah). This is the position of the Hanbali school and one position among Hanafis, Malikis, and Shafi`is. The Permanent Council’s verdict is in accordance with this position.
Sixthly: Women Attending the Eid Prayer
It is sunnah for women to attend the Eid prayer. This is the position of the Maliki [591] Malikis explicitly mention that it is mustahabb but limited it to old women. and Shafi`i [592] The position of the Shafi`i school is that attending the Eid prayer is mustahabb for women who do not have attractive figures; i.e. not those who are desirable for their beauty.  For them, it is makruh to attend. schools, one narration from Ahmad chosen by Ibn Hamid. It is also the position of al-Majd. It is the position of choice of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Seventhly: Sending Children to the Eid Prayer
It is mustahabb to send children to the Eid prayer. This is explicitly mentioned by Malikis and Shafi`is.
Eighthly: Conditions for the Validity of the Eid Prayer Is the permission of the leader required for holding the Eid prayer?
The permission of the leader is not required for holding the Eid prayer. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis according to their soundest position. Permanent residence [593] Permanent residence (isteetan) is taking a place to be one’s home (i.e. where one is settled and permanent) and to reside in a land with the intention of staying there forever.
One of the conditions of the Eid prayer is permanent residence. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Hanbalis. It is the old position of al-Shafi`i as well as the position of the majority. The existence of a congregation
One of the conditions of the Eid prayer is that it be offered in congregation. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, Hanbalis, and al-Shafi`i in his old position. The time for the Eid prayer
The starting time for the Eid prayer
The time for the Eid prayer begins when the sun has risen a spear’s length. [594] A spear is twelve hand spans (i.e. approximately a metre). Using modern units, it is 10-15 minutes after sunrise. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, Hanbalis, and one opinon among Shafi`is.
The ending time for the Eid prayer
The time for Eid prayer lasts until the sun passes its zenith. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Hazm, Ibn Rushd, al-Khatib al-Shirbini, and al-Shawkani.
Hastening the Adha prayer and delaying the Fitr prayer
It is mustahabb to offer the prayer of Eid al-Adha at the start of its time and to delay the prayer of Eid al-Fitr beyond the start of its time. [595] Ibn Rajab says: “That is because by delaying the Eid al-Fitr prayer, there is more time to distribute the fitrah whose distribution is mustahabb at that time. By hastening the Eid al-Adha prayer, there is more time to sacrifice.” (Fath al-Bari, 6/105) This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and one position among Malikis.
Making up the Eid prayer for those who miss the congregation
Scholars are of two positions regarding making up the Eid prayer when it has been offered and some people have missed it:
The first position: The Eid prayer is made up by those who missed the congregation. [596] It is prayed as two units in the same manner as the prayer of the imam. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is according to their sound position, Hanbalis, and a group of the Salaf.
The second position: The Eid prayer is not made up by those who missed the congregation. This is the position of the Hanafi school and Dawud al-Zahiri. It is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn `Uthaymin.
When the Eid prayer is not offered in congregation during its allotted time
It is legislated to offer the Eid prayer on the next day if the sighting of the new moon is not confirmed before the sun passes its zenith. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and most scholars.
Ninthly: Where to Offer the Eid Prayer The Eid prayer at an external location
It is mustahabb to offer the Eid prayer in a place in the desert outside of city limits. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, Hanbalis, and one position among Shafi`is. The Eid prayer in Mecca
The optimal place for residents of Mecca to hold the Eid prayer is in al-Masjid al-Haram. Consensus on this was related by al-Shafi`i, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, and al-Nawawi. Offering the Eid prayer in a mosque
It is permissible without being makruh to offer the Eid prayer in a mosque if there is a reason to do so. Consensus on this was related by al-Nawawi.
Tenthly: The Call for the Eid Prayer The adhan and iqamah for the Eid prayer
Neither the adhan nor the iqamah are legislated for the Eid prayer. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Baji, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Qudamah, and al-Nawawi. The ruling of calling people to stand for the Eid prayer by saying: “The prayer is being congregated”
Saying “the prayer is being congregated” is not legislated for the Eid prayers. This is the position of Hanafis, Malikis, and one narration from Ahmad. It is the position of choice of Ibn Qudamah, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-San`ani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Eleventhly: What is and isn’t Sunnah for the Eid Prayers The early arrival of believers to the Eid prayer after fajr
It is mustahabb for believers to arrive early for the Eid prayer after fajr. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. Walking to the Eid prayer
It is mustahabb to walk to the Eid prayer. [597] As for when one returns, there is no harm in riding. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. Most scholars apply this ruling. Going from one path and returning from another
It is mustahabb to take one route going and another returning. [598] Scholars have differed on interpreting the wisdom of the Prophet ﷺ taking a different path when returning from the Eid prayer and have reached many different conclusions. Some say it is so that both paths bear witness on his behalf. Some say it is to increase his reward by giving salams to people on the other path. Some say it is so that the poor might receive charity from people on both paths. Some say it is to manifest the mark of Islam on both. Some say it is to manifest the remembrance of Allah. Some say it is to vex the hypocrites or Jews. Some say it is to scare them by virtue of his numerous followers. Some say it is for all of these reasons. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. It is also the position of many scholars. Sunnah prayers before and after the Eid prayer
There is no specific sunnah prayer that is offered before or after the Eid prayer. Consensus on this was related by al-Nawawi. Praying before the sermon
The Eid prayers are offered before the sermon. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Battal, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Qudamah, and Ibn Juzayy. The imam delaying his arrival until the time of prayer
It is mustahabb for the imam to delay his arrival at the place of prayer untl such time as he will lead the people in prayer.
Twelfthly: How to Offer the Eid Prayers The number of units for the Eid prayer
The Eid prayer is two units. Consensus on this was related by al-Mawardi, Ibn Hazm, al-`Umrani, Ibn Qudamah, al-Nawawi, and al-San`ani. The ruling of saying Allahu Akbar additional times
The additional utterances of Allahu Akbar in the Eid prayer are sunnah, not wajib. [599] The extra utterances of Allahu Akbar are the additional times one says Allahu Akbar. They occur after the opening Allahu Akbar in the first unit. In the second unit, they occur after saying Allahu Akbar when rising for it and before starting recitation. This is the positon of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. The number of times to say Allahu Akbar in the Eid prayer
It is sunnah to say Allahu Akbar seven [600] Seven utterances of Allahu Akbar including the opening Allahu Akbar. times during the first unit and five [601] Five utterances of Allahu Akbar not including the Allahu Akbar of rising. times during the second. This is the position of the Maliki and Hanbali schools. It is the position of choice of al-Bukhari, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin. When to say the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar
During the first unit, the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar are recited after the opening supplication and before seeking refuge in Allah and reciting al-Fatihah. In the second unit, they are recited after the Allahu Akbar of rising and before seeking refuge in Allah and reciting al-Fatihah. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. Raising the hands during the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar
It is mustahabb to raise the hands during the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar in the Eid prayer. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, Hanbalis, and one narration from Malik. Invocations between the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar
It is not sunnah to recite any invocations between the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar. Rather, they should be performed in quick succession without pausing. This is the position of the Hanafi and Maliki schools as well as that of al-Awza`i. Al-Nawawi ascribed this position to the majority of scholars. It is the position of choice of Ibn Hazm and al-San`ani. Forgetting the extra utterances of Allahu Akbar
If one forgets the extra utterances of Allahu Akbar until one begins recitation of al-Fatihah, then the opportunity to recite them has passed, he should not repeat them. This is the sound position of the Shafi`i school and the position of the Hanbali school. It is also the position of al-Hasan ibn Ziyad al-Lu’lu’i, the companion of Abu Hanifah. It is the position of choice of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin. The ruling of the prostration of forgetfulness for one who forgets the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar
One does not prostrate out of forgetfulness due to omitting the additional utterances of Allahu Akbar whether deliberately or forgetfully. This is the position of the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools, and one position among Malikis. Making up missed utterances of Allahu Akbar in the Eid prayer
A latecomer [602] A latecomer (masbuq) is one who misses the start of the imam’s prayer. utters whatever he catches of Allahu Akbar with the imam. What he missed is not called for, and he does not make up for them. This is the position of the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools. It is the position of choice of Ibn `Uthaymin and the verdict of the Permanent Council. Reciting Surah al-A`la and Surah al-Ghashiyah
It is sunnah to recite Surah al-A`la and Surah al-Ghashiyah [603] It is said that the wisdom of reciting Surah al-A`la in the Eid prayers is that it encourages prayer and zakah al-fitr according to what has been said regarding the tafseer of the word of Allah the Exalted: “Prosperous is he who has cleansed himself / and mentions the Name of his Lord, and prays.” (Al-A`la, 14-15). Thus, virtue is distinguished through it like the distinction of Friday with its surah. As for Surah al-Ghashiyah, it is recited due to it coming after after Surah al-A`la like the sequencing between Surah al-Jumu`ah and Surah al-Munafiqun. in the Eid prayer by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. [604] According to Malikis, one recites either Surah al-A`la or Surah al-Ghashiyah in the first unit and either Surah al-Shams or Surah al-Layl in the second. This is the position of the most scholars. Reciting Surah Qaf and Surah al-Qamar
It is sunnah to recite Surah Qaf and Surah al-Qamar in the Eid prayer. This is explicitly mentioned by Shafi`is and is one narration from Ahmad. Reciting out loud in the Eid prayer
It is sunnah to recite out loud during the Eid prayer by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Thirteenthly: The Eid Sermon The ruling of the Eid sermon
The Eid sermon is sunnah by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. The number of sermons for Eid
It is sunnah to deliver two sermons for Eid by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. What is mustahabb during the Eid sermon
It is mustahabb that people be taught the rulings of Eid. The preacher admonishes them and advises them to give charity. During the sermon of Eid al-Adha, he teaches them the rulings related to sacrifice. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. How to start the Eid sermon
The Eid sermon is not commenced by saying Allahu Akbar. Rather, it is started by saying Alhamdulillah like all other sermons. [605] Ibn Rajab says: “Similarly, a group of our mentors have mentioned that the outward purport of Ahmad’s words is that he say Allahu Akbar when sitting on the minbar before the sermon, and that this is not part of the sermon. When he then stands, he starts the sermon with Alhamdulillah.” (Fath al-Bari, 5/485) This is the position of some Shafi`is. It is the position of choice of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Rajab, and Ibn Baz.


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