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How to Pray Eid Salah

Eid Salah begins the festival of Eid for Muslims. Like other practices, Eid prayer involves the praise of Allah (SWT) by the believers as commanded in the Quran.

“So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.” [Al-Quran 69:52]

Eid Salah time is the morning of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It is the first thing that takes place on the first day of these annual celebrations. According to reports from the companions:

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) 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. [Bukhari, 956]

What is Eid Salah?

Eid Salah is the most distinguished feature of the celebration, which marks the beginning of the festivities. Eid Salah is prayed with the Imam in the congregation. The Sunnah practice is to observe Eid prayer out in the open, which is also the custom in many Muslim countries. The prayer consists of two rak’ahs and contains a prescribed number of takbirs in each rak’ah. It is established from authentic reports that the Prophet (SAW) used to lead Muslims in prayer first and then deliver the sermon of Eid. Also known as Khutbah, the sermon follows the salah of Eid by the Imam, and it is important for the attendees to listen to it attentively.

How to Pray Eid Salah

Eid Salah consists of two rak’ahs, as mentioned by a distinguished companion, Umar (RA):

“The prayer of al-Fitr is two rak’ahs, and the prayer of al-Adha is two rak’ahs, complete and not shortened.” [al-Nasai 1420]

Eid prayer contains extra Takbirs in each rak’ah, but the number of takbirs varies in different schools of thought. The Imam leads the congregation in Salah according to the method prescribed in his fiqh. It is common practice for Imams to explain the method of Eid Salah before starting the prayer.

It is important for Muslims to know how to perform Eid Salah. One method of performing Eid prayer is to say six or seven takbirs in the first rak’ah after the opening takbir and then to say five takbirs in the second rak’ah. In the second rak’ah, the takbirs are pronounced immediately after standing up for the second rak’ah. According to Hanafi fiqh, the Eid prayer contains three takbirs after the opening dua in the first rak’ah and then three takbirs before ruku in the second rak’ah. The prayer is followed by an address by the Imam. The congregation should pay attention to the address and join in the supplication.

Sunnahs Around Eid Salah

Sunnahs around the Salah of Eid include eating something sweet on the day of Eid al-Fitr before coming to the place of prayer and eating after the prayer on the day of Eid al-Adha. Another practice is to take different routes to and from the place of prayer. In addition to this, Muslims are encouraged to have a ritualistic bath, wear perfume and dress in their best clothes to attend the prayer place. Recitation of takbir on the way to the prayer place is also an established Sunnah and a matter of great reward.

Is Eid Salah (Fard) Obligatory?

Allah (SWT) commands the believers to humble themselves in prayer to their Lord, as implied in the following verse. 

“Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only).” [al-Kawthar 108:2]

The hadith of the Prophet (SAW) also emphasises the importance of observing Eid Salah with the Imam. According to authentic reports by a female companion:

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) commanded us to bring them (women) out on (Eid) al-Fitr and (Eid) al-Adha, and to bring out adolescent girls, menstruating women and virgins, but the menstruating women were to stay away from the prayer, but were to witness goodness and the gathering of the Muslims. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what if one of us does not have a jilbab?’ He said: ‘Let her sister lend her a jilbab’.” [Bukhari 324; Muslims 890]

According to the above hadith, the Prophet (SAW) commanded all women, young and old, to attend the prayer place and join in the collective supplication. This highlights the significance attached to Eid Salah as women, who are normally allowed to pray at home, are also instructed to attend Eid congregation.

With regards to the rulings, Eid Salah is the highly recommended Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) according to some scholars and an obligatory act in view of others. However, a believer should not miss Eid Salah without a valid excuse. It would amount to losing the blessings of Eid and ignoring the Sunnah of the holy Prophet (SAW).

Can You Pray Eid Salah at Home?

In light of the above-mentioned hadith, Eid Salah must be performed in congregation with other Muslims from the community. However, in case of a valid excuse like illness or other restrictions, the scholars allow praying at home in the congregation or individually. In such circumstances, an individual should consult the local Imam for further information on the accepted method of observing Eid Salah at home.

At the time of Eid prayer, many Muslims donate to help the less fortunate individuals. Support UKIM with your generous donations this Eid and brighten up someone’s day this Eid.

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