Every year, Eid comes around, we stand behind the Imam to pray and find ourselves in Ruku’u when everyone else around us is still standing. We perform the Eid prayer every year, yet we make the same mistakes. This ultimate guide to Eid covers it all, from the origins and dates of Eid to the details of the Eid prayer to help you finally get it right!
Anas ibn Malik reported, The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) arrived in Medina during two days in which they were celebrating. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “What are these two days?” They said, “We would celebrate these two days in the time of ignorance.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah has replaced these two days with two better days: Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 1134)
Islam has two specific days of celebration each year: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. These are days of festivities, worship, generosity and spending time with family.
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated after the holy month of Ramadan, and it is translated to mean “the festival of breaking the fast”. Eid al-Adha is celebrated on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar.
The day of Eid al-Fitr is determined when the crescent moon for the month of Shawwal is sighted on the 29th night or 30th night of Ramadan. The dates of events in Islam are measured using the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar and follows the phases of the moon.
Eid al-Adha is the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah, so when the crescent for this month is sighted, the tenth day afterwards is celebrated as Eid.
Both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are celebrated by Muslims wearing their best clothes, greeting each other and most importantly performing the Eid prayer in the morning.
Each Eid also has specific acts of worship related to it. For example, on Eid al-Fitr, muslims pay an obligatory charity called Zakat al-Fitr. This helps the less fortunate Muslims in our community to have enough food to celebrate Eid too. The required amount for Zakat al-Fitr is one saa’ of staple food such as rice or grains for each member of the family. Watch this step-by-step guide on paying Zakat al-Fitr.
Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) obligated Zakat al-Fitr as purification of the fasting person from vain talk and misbehavior, as food for the poor. Whoever pays it before the Eid prayer, it is accepted as Zakat. Whoever pays it after the Eid prayer, it is part of voluntary charity. (Sunan Abi Dawud 1609)
On Eid al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice an animal to commemorate the story of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his readiness to sacrifice his son Ismail when commanded to do so. Allah (Exalted is He) provided a ram to sacrifice in place of Ismail, and this sacrifice continues as part of our Eid celebrations.
The Eid prayer is a special congregational prayer performed in the morning of Eid. Everyone is encouraged to join the community at the musalla (the prayer space) even if you’re not praying.
Umm ‘Atiyyah reported, “We were ordered to come out on the day of Eid, even the young girls and menstruating women from their houses. We would stand behind the men and declare the greatness of Allah along with them, and supplicate to Allah along with them, hoping for the blessings of that day and its purification from sin.” ( Sahih Bukhari 971)
The Eid prayer is two units of prayer (rak’ahs) and here are the steps to perform it:
It is recommended to recite Surah Qaf and Surah al-Qamar in the Eid salah as this Hadith states:
‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar reported that (his father) ‘Umar b. Khattab asked Abu Waqid al-Laithi what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to recite on ‘Eid-al-Adha and ‘Eid-al-Fitr. He said,
“He used to recite in them ‘Qaf. By the Glorious Qur’an’ (Surah Qaf), and ‘The Hour drew near, and the moon was rent asunder’ (Surah al-Qamar). (Sahih Muslim 891)
While there is a difference of opinion on how this prayer is performed, no madhab is definitively more correct than the other in this regard, as these groups of scholars have come to these conclusions through ijtihad (striving and reasoning) and their extensive knowledge of the religion.
While Eid is a day of celebration, worship and joy, we can get extra rewards by doing the sunnah acts the Prophet ﷺ performed on this day. Here are some actions you can perform to enhance your Eid day:
I hope this guide to Eid was beneficial and useful. May Allah grant us a blessed Ramadan and a joyous Eid!
By Ammarah Ahmed
By Amaliah Anonymous