By Sharia Staff at OnIslam.net
Eid Al-Fitr is the day of bounties and blessings for all fasting Muslims, as they are promised a great reward by Almighty Allah for their righteous observance of the fast. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims express their gratitude to Allah, Who enabled them to observe the fast and, at the same time, granted them abundant provision during this blessed month. Eid Al-Fitr, therefore, is a day of joy, acts of worship, thanksgiving to Allah, cooperation, solidarity, brotherhood, unity, and spiritual provision.
Significance of Eid Al-Fitr
Shedding more light on this issue, the late Sheikh Sayyed Ad-Darsh, former Chairman of the UK Sharia Council, said:
True joy is our Eid; it is our feast. During the month of Ramadan, Allah puts us through a test. At the end of the month there is a great sense of achievement, of coming closer to the Almighty. It is the joy of spiritual fulfillment. It is a time for celebration, not a time to indulge in insulting or abusing others or detracting from the achievements of the month of Ramadan; it’s a day of real happiness and joy.
When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, entered the house of the Prophet on the day of Eid, he found two young girls playing music and singing. Abu Bakr asked them, “You are doing this in the house of the Prophet, how come?” But the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, told Abu Bakr to leave them, for Eid is a day of merriment and joy.
It is important for us to let our young and our neighbors understand that our religion is not boring and just a matter of prohibitions. We must show that Islam is the way of moderation, of tolerance, and of beauty, sharing and laughter on the appropriate occasion.
However, Eid is not simply a matter of celebration and joy. It is also a chance to share the feelings of those around us. That is why the sacrifice is offered and shared with friends, even with non-Muslims. There is no law that stops us from sharing gifts with those of our neighbors who are non-Muslim. Charity is very important and meritorious on the two Eids. It is an affirmation of our responsibility to the community in which we are living.
Moreover, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, President of the Fiqh Council of North America, stated:
At the conclusion of the month of Ramadan, on the first day of the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar occurs Eid Al-Fitr. This is one of two main festivals of Islam and is celebrated by all Muslims throughout the world.
The ceremony of Eid Al-Fitr starts early in the morning with collective worship. This service is generally held in a large open place and is attended by thousands of Muslims. After the Prayer the leader of the prayer delivers a short sermon and then people greet each other. The rest of the ceremonies are generally held privately with families and friends.
The significance of Eid Al-Fitr is that it is a day of thanksgiving to Allah for giving the opportunity to the Muslims to benefit from and enjoy the blessings of the month of Ramadan.
Rulings of Eid
Elaborating on the rulings of Eid, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Islamic lecturer and author, stated:
Fasting: It is prohibited to fast on the days of Eid because of the hadith of Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he said that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, prohibited fasting on the day of breaking fast and the day of sacrifices. [Reported by Muslim]
Offering Eid Prayers: Some of the scholars say that Eid prayers are obligatory – this is the view of the Hanafi scholars and of Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah. Some scholars say that Eid Prayer is a collective obligation, binding on the Muslims as a group, which is fulfilled if a sufficient number of people perform it, thereby absolving the rest of sin. This is the view of the Hanbalis. A third group says that Eid prayer is Sunnah Mu’akkadah (a Sunnah that the Prophet constantly performed) and this is the view of the Malikis and Shafi’ees.
Offering Supererogatory Prayers: There are no Supererogatory prayers to be offered either before or after the Eid prayer, as Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to go out on the day of Eid and pray two cycles with nothing before or after them. This is the case if the prayer is offered in an open area. If, however, the people pray the Eid prayer in a mosque, then they should pray two cycles for Tahiyat Al-Masjid (greeting the mosque).
Women attending the Eid Prayers: According to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, everyone is urged to attend Eid Prayer and to cooperate with one another in righteousness and piety. The menstruating woman should not forsake the remembrance of Allah or places of goodness such as gatherings for the purpose of seeking knowledge and remembering Allah – apart from mosques. Women, of course, should not go out without a Hijab.
Etiquette of Eid
Elaborating on the etiquette of Eid, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, stated:
Ghusl (taking a ritual bath): One of the good manners of Eid is to take a bath before going out to the Prayer. It was reported that Sa’id ibn Jubayr said:
سنة العيد ثلاث المشي والاغتسال والأكل قبل الخروج
Three things are Sunnah on Eid: to walk to the prayer, to perform a ritual bath, and to eat before going out.
Eating before going out: One should not go out to the prayer-place on Eidul-Fitr before eating some dates, because of the hadith reported by Al-Bukhari from Anas ibn Malik who said:
كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَا يَغْدُو يَوْمَ الْفِطْرِ حَتَّى يَأْكُلَ تَمَرَاتٍ
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, would not proceed on the day of breaking fast until he had eaten some dates.
[Sahih Bukhari, Book 15, Number 73]
On Eid Al-Adha, on the other hand, it is recommended not to eat until after the prayer, when one should eat from the meat of one’s sacrifice.
Takbir (declaration of Allah’s greatness) on the day of Eid: This is one of the greatest Sunnan of this day. Al-Daraqutni and others reported that when Ibn Umar went out on Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha, he would constantly make Takbir until he reached the prayer-place, then he would continue making Takbir until the Imam came.
Congratulating one another: People may exchange congratulations and good greetings on Eid, no matter what form the words may take. For example they may say to one another, “May Allah accept from us and from you our good deeds.” Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: At the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him, when people met one another on the day of Eid, they would say:
تَقَبَّلَ اللَّهُ مِنَّا وَمِنْكَ
May Allah accept from us and from you our good deeds.
Taqabbal Allahu minnaa wa minka.
[Ibn Hajar, Fath ul-Bari, Book of Eid]
Wearing one’s best clothes for Eid: Jabir ibn Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, had a cloak that he would wear on Eid and on Fridays.” Al-Bayhaqi reported that Ibn Umar used to wear his best clothes on Eid, so men should wear the best clothes they have when they go out for Eid.
Changing the route on returning from the prayer-place: Jabir reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to take different routes on the day of Eid, going to and returning from the Eid prayer. It is said that the wisdom behind this is that he would be able to greet more people when taking different routes. [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
(www.faithinallah.org / 16.08.2012)