Abdullah Ibn As-Sa’ib (radi Allahu anhu) said: I prayed the Eid prayer with the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and when he finished the prayer He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “We will be delivering a Khut’ba. Whoever wishes to stay for the Khut’ba may stay. Whoever would like to leave may leave.”
[Sunan Abu Dawood - Classed as Sahih by Shaykh al-Albaani]
The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in the above Hadith granted a concession allowing those who attended the Eid prayers either to sit and listen to the khutbah, or to leave. Imam Al-Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in ‘al-Nayl: al-Musannif ’ said: “This (Hadith) shows that the khutbah is Sunnah; if it is was obligatory, it would be obligatory to sit and listen to it.”
So what is the description of the Eid Prayer which is before the Khutbah?
The Eid prayer is one where the imam attends and leads the people in praying two rak’ahs. ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said: “The prayer of al-Fitr is two rak’ahs and the prayer of al-Adha is two rak’ahs, complete and not shortened, on the tongue of your Prophet, and the one who fabricates lies is doomed.” [Sunnan al-Nasaa’i, 1420 and Ibn Khuzaymah. Classed as Sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Nasaa’i]
It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed (radi Allahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to come out on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha to the prayer place, and the first thing he would do was to offer the prayer. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
In the first rak’ah he should say Takbeerat al-ihraam (say “Allahu akbar” to start the prayer), after which he should say six or seven more takbeers, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (radi Allahu anha), “The takbeer of al-Fitr and al-Adha is seven takbeers in the first rak’ah and five takbeers in the second, apart from the takbeer of rukoo’.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood and classed as Sahih by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 639]
Then he should recite al-Faatihah, and recite Soorat Qaf in the first rak’ah. In the second rak’ah he should stand up saying takbeer, and when he has stood up completely he should say takbeer five times, and recite Soorat al-Faatihah then Soorat al-Qamr. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to recite these two soorahs during the two Eids. Or if he wishes he can recite Soorat al-A’la in the first rak’ah and Soorat al-Ghaashiyah in the second, because it was narrated that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to recite al-A’la and al-Ghaashiyah in the Eid prayer.
The imam should revive the Sunnah be reciting these soorahs so that the Muslims will become familiar with the Sunnah.
After the prayer, the imam should address the people. Part of the khutbah should be addressed specifically to the women, telling them of the things that they should do and warning them against the things that they should avoid, as the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to do.
One of the rulings of Eid is that the prayer comes before the khutbah, because of the Hadith of Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (radi Allahu anhu) who said, The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) came out on the day of al-Fitr and started with the prayer before the khutbah. [Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]
As Eid is approaching, we would like to point out some things that some people do out of ignorance of the laws of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam).
These include the following:
1. The belief of some that it is prescribed to spend the night of Eid in worship:
Some people believe that it is prescribed to spend the night of Eid in worship. This is a kind of innovation (bid’ah) that is not proven from the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). Rather it was narrated in a da’eef (weak) hadeeth which says, “Whoever stays up on the night of Eid, his heart will not die on the day when hearts die.” This hadith is not sahih. It was narrated via two isnaads, one of which is mawdoo’ (fabricated) and the other is da’eef jiddan (very weak). [See Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Da’eefah wa’l-Mawdoo’ah by al-Albaani, 520, 521]
It is not prescribed to single out the night of Eid to pray qiyaam to the exclusion of all other nights, unlike the one whose habit it is to pray qiyaam, in which case there is nothing wrong with him praying qiyaam on the night of Eid.
2. Visiting graves on the two Eid days:
This is contrary to the purpose of Eid which is to express joy and happiness, and it goes against the teaching of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and the actions of the salaf. It comes under the general meaning of the Prophet’s prohibition on visiting graves on a specific day and making that like a festival, as the scholars stated. [See Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz wa Bida’uha by al-Albaani, p. 219, 258.
3. Forsaking the jamaa’ah and sleeping late and missing the prayer:
Unfortunately you see some of the Muslims missing the prayer and forsaking the jamaa’ah. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The covenant that stands between us and them is the prayer; whoever forsakes it is a kaafir.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2621; al-Nasaa’i, 463; classed as Sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi]
He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) also said: “The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are the ‘Isha’ and Fajr prayers. If they knew (what goodness) there is in them, they would come to them even if they had to crawl. I had thought of ordering the call to prayer to be given, then I would tell a man to lead the people in prayer, then I would go, taking some men with me carrying bundles of wood, to people who do not attend the prayer, and would burn their houses down around them.” [Sahih Muslim]
4. Women mixing with men in the prayer place, the streets and elsewhere, and crowding together with men in those places:
This is a source of great fitnah (temptation) and serious danger. Both women and men should be warned against that, and the necessary means should be taken to prevent that as much as possible. Men and youth should not leave the prayer place or the mosque until after the women have dispersed completely.
5. Some women going out wearing perfume and makeup, and without veils:
This is a problem which is widespread, and many people take this matter lightly. Allah is the One Whose help we seek. Some women – may Allah guide them – even dress up in their finest clothes and put on the best perfume when they go to the masjid to pray Taraweeh or go to the Eid prayers, etc. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Any woman who puts on perfume and passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.” [Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 5126; al-Tirmidhi, 2783; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Sahih al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 2019]
It was also narrated that Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen. People with whips like the tails of cattle with which they beat the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, going astray and leading others astray, with their heads looking like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will not enter Paradise nor even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.” [Sahih Muslim]
The guardians of women must fear Allah with regard to those who are under their care, and fulfil the duty of protecting and maintaining that which Allah has enjoined upon them, because:
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other” [Al-Nisa’ 4:34 – interpretation of the meaning]
So they must guide them and show them that which will lead to their salvation and their safety in this world and in the Hereafter, by means of keeping away from that which Allah has forbidden and striving for that which will bring them closer to Allah.
6. Listening to singing and haram things:
Among the evil things that are widespread in these times is music and singing. They have become very widespread and people take this matter lightly. It is on TV and radio, in cars, homes and marketplaces. There is no power and no strength except with Allah. Even cell phones are not free of this evil. There are companies which compete in putting the latest music on the ringers of their cell phones, and in this way music has even reached the masaajid, may Allah protect us… This is a great problem and a great evil whereby music is heard in the houses of Allah.
This confirms the words of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), “There will be among my ummah people who will regard adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
The Muslim has to fear Allah and realise that the blessing of Allah means that he is obliged to give thanks to Him. It is not gratitude for the Muslim to disobey his Lord, when He is the One Who has bestowed this blessing upon him.
One of the righteous passed by some people who were engaged in idle entertainment on the day of Eid and said to them, “If you did well in Ramadan, this is not the way to give thanks for that. If you did badly in Ramadan, this is not the way that the one who did badly should behave.”
And Allah knows best!