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The Significance of Eid
By: Imam Ali Siddiqui
reported that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “For every people there is a feast and this is our
” Hadith, Sahih Al-BukhariHistorical
Anas (ra) reported that when the Prophet
Muhammad (saw) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to
have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. Prophet
Muhammad (saw) asked the Ansar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied
that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) told them: 'Instead of those two days, Allah
has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha
root word for Eid is ‘aa-da meaning he or it returned. Literally it means “the
time of return of joy and of grief
”. Therefore it signifies a festival. The
word Eid appeared in Sura al-Maida, Table Spread, chapter 5 meaning a solemn
Disciples of Isa (as) requested him to pray to his Lord to send down a Table
Spread with festive food to eat of it, satisfy their hear, and may be Witnesses
to the miracles (Q 5:115-6). Isa (as) prayed to Allah: “O Our Lord! Send us a
Table Spread with festive food, that there may be for us, for the first and
last of us - Eid, a solemn festival
and a Sign from You; and provide for
our sustenance, for You are the Best Sustainer.” (Q 5:117)
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of
Shawwal, at the completion of Ramadan. Shawwal is the 10th month of the Islamic
calendar. The Eid al-Fitr is a very joyous day; it is a true Thanksgiving Day
for the believing men and women. On this day Muslims show their real joy for
the health, strength and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to
them to fulfill their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the
blessed month of Ramadan.
EID al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Zulhijjah, the 12th and the last
month of the Islamic calendar. It is also very joyous day; it is a feast of
self-sacrifice, commitment and obedience to Allah. It commemorates the great
act of obedience to Allah by the Prophet Ibrahim (as) in showing his
willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael (as). Allah accepted his
sacrifice and replaced Prophet Ismael (as) with a lamb. Although Hajj has no
relation with the Eid-al-Adha, but the five days long rituals of Hajj are also
during this month culminating on 9th of Zdilhijjah. Many rituals of Hajj are
enactment of the struggle of the family Ibrahim (as) specially his second wife
Hajirah (as) and her son Prophet Ismael (as).
THE SUNNAH OF EID:
Keeping with the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (saw), Muslims are encourage to
prepare themselves for the occasion of Eid. Below is a list of things Muslims
should do in preparation for Eid:
Salat al-Eid Before Khutbah
- Wake up early.
- Offer Salat al-Fajr.
- Prepare for personal cleanliness take care of details of clothing, etc.
- Take a Ghusl (bath) after Fajr.
- Brush your teeth.
- Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old
- Use perfume (men only).
- Have breakfast on Eid al-Fitr before leaving for prayer ground. On
Eid-al-Adha, eat breakfast after Salaat or after sacrifice if you are doing a
- Pay Zakat al-Fitr before Salat al-Eid (on Eid al-Fitr).
- Go to prayer ground early.
- Offer Salat al-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is
not permitting like rain, snow, etc.
- Use two separate routes to and from the prayer ground.
- Recite the following Takbir on the way to Salaat and until the beginning of
Salat al-Eid. On Eid-al-Adha, Takbir starts from
Mughrib on the 9th Dhu al-hijah and last until the Asr on the 12th Dhu al-ilhijah:Allahu-Akbar,
Allahu-Akbar. La ilaha illa-lah.
Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar. Wa-lilahi al-hamd.(Allah
is greater. Allah is greater. There is no god but Allah. Allah is
greater. Allah is greater. And all praises are for Allah).
Ibn Abbass (ra) reported: “I participated in the Salat Eid al-Fitr with
the Messenger of Allah (saw), Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra) and Uthman (ra), and all
of them held Salat al-Eid before Khutbah, and then the Prophet Muhammad (saw)
delivered the Khutbah (sermon)”
. Hadith reported by Muslim
Should Observe Eid Prayer
Atiyah (ra) reported: 'The Messenger of Allah (saw) commanded us to bring out
on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, young women, hijab-observing adult women and
the menstruating women. The menstruating women stayed out of actual Salaat
but participated in good deeds and Du’a (supplication)
Atiyah) said to the Holy Prophet (saw): 'O! Messenger of Allah, one does not
have an outer garment
"Let her sister cover her with her garment.
" Hadith reported
On the Eid
day, every believing man, woman and child must go to the prayer ground and
participate in this joyous occasion.
How Salat al-Eid is Performed
Salat al-Eid is wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory). It
consists of two Rukat (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs. It
must be offered in congregation. The Salat is followed by the
Khutbah. The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is
Sunnah. During the Khutbah, the Imam must remind the community about its
responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow
human beings. The Imam must encourage the Muslims to do good and ward off
evil. The Muslim community must also be directed to the state of the community
and the Ummah at large and the feelings of sacrifice and struggle for Allah
should be aroused in the community.
conclusion of the Salaat the Muslims should convey greetings to each other,
give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their
homes. Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their
non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid
festivities to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture.
Sacrifice and Eid al-Adha
Those who have enough wealth to pay Zakaat must offer the sacrifice for
Allah. It is the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and a strongly recommended Sunnah.
A lamb, sheep, goat, cow, buffalo, or camel can be offered as the sacrifice.
There are seven shares in a cow, buffalo and camel. The sacrifice should be
accomplished by slaughtering the animal after Salaat-al-Eid. The sacrifice also
called Udhiyah or Qurbani last for three days from 10th Zdilhijjah until the
sunset of 12th Zdilhijjah. The meat should be divided into three shares: one
for the family the second for relatives and friend and the third share is for
the poor and the needy.
find additional information from
books of Hadith including Bukhari, Muslim,
Riadus-Salahin, and Mishkat-al- Masabih.
– Aly-his-salaam; Peace be upon him.
Used after the names of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah.
Radia-Allahu ‘an-hu; May Allah be pleased with him/her. Used after the names of
the companions and family of the Prophet Muhammad (saw)
saw – sallal-la-hu aly-he wa-sal-lum; Peace be upon
him. Used after the name of the Prophet Muhammad
About the author:
Imam Ali Siddiqui with 37 years of service, is a
Friday Khatib, Islamic teacher, Muslim Chaplain, youth advisor, family
counselor, educator, poet and writer with a vision who has been involved in the
teaching Islam, history, comparative religion, contemporary issues to Muslims
and non-Muslims. He is actively involved in the community service including
spiritual/educational development, service to the sick and the incarcerated;
and the interfaith work. Imam Siddiqui’s work has been successfully building
bridges between communities. email@example.com