Ramadan, ‘Eid and ‘Eid Prayer, May 2020

‘Eid Al-Fitr, May 2020

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In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Current circumstances have driven us into a different lifestyle, but not without teaching us life lessons about ourselves, the environment we live in and the Supreme Divine Will of Allah.

This Ramadan has been unique for the entire Muslim world. Customs and rituals long adopted have been set aside for new norms such as reduced mixing with people (qillat anām) and seclusion (khalwa). These have been the immediate solutions prescribed by governments across the globe.

This is a Ramadan the world will forever remember. It is one that taught us about change and about the sanctity and value of the simplest of things. It is a month in which families bonded in a way that recent history has not witnessed. It is a month of double gratitude (shukrān); gratitude for life itself as well as gratitude for the time of breaking fast (iftār). It is also a month of double patience (sabrān); patience for doing without our normal routine within the ambit of siyām (fasting) and patience for doing without our normal routine outside the ambit of siyām.

We are indeed learning lessons that could very well not be taught to us outside the institution of Ramadan.

In a few days time we will celebrate the joyous occasion of ‘Eid al-Fitr. It will no doubt be a unique experience for the majority of Muslims, as once again, customs like hand shaking, hugging, kissing and all these simple acts of mercy will not be permitted.

But ‘Eid, which comes from the word, ‘āda, meaning, to return, will come again and again as a reminder that when moments seem so bleak, divine dhikr echoes optimism: “Verily, after difficulty comes ease (and again) after difficulty comes ease.” (fa inna ma’al ‘usri yusrā, inna ma’al ‘usri yusrā.) – Inshirāh 6-7.

One of the special moments of the Day of ‘Eid is the Sunnah Congregational Prayer (‘Eid Salah), performed in every single mosque around the world. This ‘Eid will be different though, as public gatherings are not permitted and mosques are temporarily closed. Again, the words of the Prophet of optimism calls out to us: “God has made the entire earth a mosque for my ummah.”
These curbs and restrictions are not in vain, but rather seek to fulfil a universal principle; the preservation of life (hifdh al-hayāt). This is the foundation (asl) within which the seeds of faith and all goodness is planted.

After the preservation of life comes the preservation of religion (hifdh al-dīn). Islam is referred to as the natural, pure religion (al-dīn al-fitrah). It is one firmly rooted within the earth of “difference of opinion.” It is precisely this difference of opinion that pervades the jurisprudential side of Islam, referred to as the branches (al-furū’).

Parts of these branches are the emphasised voluntary acts of the Prophet, which includes the joyous day of ‘Eid and the ‘Eid Salah. There is no doubt that this ‘Eid will be an emotional one where Muslims will naturally yearn to uphold the great Sunnah of the ‘Eid Salah.

Here are a few points on how we can fulfil this blessed Sunnah amidst the circumstances we find ourselves in.

‘Eid Salah – Legal ruling

Scholars differed concerning the ruling on ‘Eid Salah. Some considered it an emphasised prophetic practise (sunnah mu’akkadah) because the Prophet, peace be upon him, performed it without fail. Others considered it a communal obligation (fard kifāyah).
Who is permitted to perform the ‘Eid Salah

– It can be performed by an individual, male or female alone.
– It can be performed in congregation (jamā’ah).
– It can be performed by the traveller as well as the resident.

‘Eid Salah – The Madhab of the Shāfi’īyyah

It is permissible according to the Madhab of Sayyidunā Imam al-Shāfi’ī for Muslims to perform the ‘Eid prayer at home in the same way it is normally offered. It is also permissible to perform it in congregation with one’s family, or individually. Imam al-Bayhaqī narrated that ‘Ubaydullah ibn abi Bakr ibn Anas ibn Mālik, the servant of God’s Messenger, peace be upon him, said, “When Anas missed the ‘Eid Prayer with the Imam, he would assemble his family members and lead them in prayer similar to that performed by the Imam.”
Time (Waqt) of the ‘Eid Salah

The ‘Eid Prayer time is the same as that of the Salah al-Duhā (Late Morning Prayer), which starts approximately 20 minutes after sunrise and extends until approximately 20 minutes before the Dhuhr Prayer. Once the Dhuhr Prayer is due, the ‘Eid prayer may not be performed, for its time would have already expired.

Imam Al-Nawawi said, “If a Muslim misses the ‘Eid Prayer with the Imam, he may pray individually within its time which extends until the sun reaches its meridian; but after this point the prayer time would have already expired.”

If a Muslim performs the prayer individually or in congregation, he performs two rak’ahs including the extra takbirāt of the ‘Eid Prayer.

The Additional Takbīrāt

Seven takbīrāt (Allahu Akbar) in total is to be observed after the initial ‘Ihrām takbīrah in the first rak’ah, and five after the Ihrām takbīrah at the beginning of the second.

Abū Dawūd narrated, on the authority of ‘Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said “Allāhu Akbar” seven times at the beginning of the first rak’ah and five at the beginning of the second during the ‘Eids of Fitr and Adhā.

The ‘Eid Khutbah (Sermon)

The sermon (khutbah) is not compulsory, but rather one of the sunnahs of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Delivering the sermon is therefore not a condition for the validity of the ‘Eid prayer; so if a man offers it in congregation with his family members, it is enough for them to perform the prayer without a sermon.

‘Eid Salah – The Madhab of the Hanafiyyah

According to the Hanafi madhab, instead of performing the ‘Eid Salah, it is advised to pray Salah al-Duha (the mid-Morning Prayer) in place of the ‘Eid prayer, if one has missed the Eid prayer. There is agreement on this opinion. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ūd (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “One who missed the ‘Eid prayer should perform four units of Salah al-Duhā. Whoever who does this will receive a great reward.” (Tabrānī).
Takbīrāt for the Day of ‘Eid

الله أكبر، الله أكبر، الله أكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر، الله أكبر، ولله الحمد، الله أكبر كبيرًا،

والحمد لله كثيرًا، وسبحان الله بكرة وأصيلا، لا إله إلا الله وحده، صدق وعده، ونصر عبده،

وأعز جنده، وهزم الأحزاب وحده، لا إله إلا الله، ولا نعبد إلا إيَّاهُ، مُخْلِصِين له الدين ولو كره الكافرون،

اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد، وعلى آل سيدنا محمد، وعلى أصحاب سيدنا محمد،

وعلى أنصار سيدنا محمد، وعلى أزواج سيدنا محمد، وعلى ذرية سيدنا محمد وسلم تسليمًا كثيرًا

‘Eid Salah transcript, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah (Arabic)

صلاة العيد في البيت تكون بنفس صفة صلاة العيد المعتادة، فيُصلي المسلم ركعتين بسبع تكبيرات بعد تكبيرة الإحرام في الأولى قبل القراءة، وخمس تكبيرات في الثانية بعد تكبيرة القيام قبل القراءة، ثم يجلس للتشهد ويُسلم، ولا خطبة بعد أداء الصلاة

يبدأ وقت صلاة العيد من وقت ارتفاع الشمس، أي: بعد شروقها بحوالي ثلث الساعة، ويمتد إلى زوال الشمس، أي: قبيل وقت الظهر

Sh. Allie Khalfe
IslamicText Institute,
Cape Town, South Africa.
Endorsed by:

– Dr. Ibrahim Negm, Senior Advisor, Grand Mufti of Egypt.
– Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks, Azzawia.
– Dr. Tarek Elgawhary, Making Sense of Islam.

Reviewed by:

– Abdurahman Dollie.
– Shafiq Morton.
– Rashied Hendricks.

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