Eid Celebrations

by Jalaal Abu Ar-Rubb 

"For every people there is a feast and this is our feast" said the Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) to Aboo Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). [Bukhaaree and Muslim]. "Our feast" has a great meaning for Muslims because it tells us that these are our own and derived from our Sharee'ah alone. Since holidays are usually based on religious traditions, it is very important that we demonstrate our celebrations with great joy and gathering to make us feel that they are our own, and to feel that they are different from the Mushriks' holidays. We do not celebrate Christmas, Hanuka or any other pagan festival s and our thanks are given to Allaah (ta'laa) alone. 

The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) has ordered us in numerous speeches to be different from the Mushrik's (pagans), and these two "Eeds" are among that the Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) wanted us to take special care of being different with them. That is why he said, after seeing that the people of Madeenah had two holidays which they celebrated before Islaam, "Allaah (subhanahu wa ta'laa) has given you better than those (feasts): The 'Eed-al-Adhaa (Sacrificing) and the 'Eed- al-Fitr". [Ahmad, Aboo Dawood and Nasaa'ee]. 

The 'Eed-al-Adhaa comes after completing the "Hajj" (Pilgrimage) and the 'Eed-al -Fitr comes after the fasting in the month of Ramadaan. So it is not surprising that we must show and demonstrate our holidays ('Eed). Due to these clear facts, Muslim scholars put great emphasis on the concept of being different from the Mushrik in our ceremonies. 

This is because ceremonies have great effect over the human mind and behaviour. Being different in our ceremonies means also that we must not participate in the Mushriks' ceremonies on their holidays. 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Do not learn the language of the Mushriks - without a necessity- nor enter the churches of Mushriks on their festivals because the anger of Allaah descends on them."[Bayhaqee]. 

We, Muslims, may even fast on the Mushriks' holidays. Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with him) said the Prophet (sallalhu alayahe wa sallam) used to fast on Saturdays and Sundays, and when asked he said:"They are two days of the Mushriks' holidays so I like to oppose them in their ceremonies "[Ahmad and Nasaaee] 

To assess this concept of being different from the Mushriks, it is very important to say that: In order to be different in our ceremonies in the way the Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) wanted us to be, we must follow the Sunnah literally. That would give us th e deeds of being true followers of the Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam). 

So if we want to be his followers we must be aware of Bid'ah in these ceremonies . Bid'ah comes at the expense of Sunnah which is replaced by it. Ibn Taymiyah says: "There is no place in the heart for both Sunnah and Bid'ah." [Al-Iqtidaa] .Allaah says (which means): 

{Say - O Muhammad - If you really do love Allaah follow me, Allaah will love you.} [Aali-Imraan, 3:31] 

We present to you, dear brothers and sisters, some of the Sunnahs of Eed so that you can try to implement them. Also presented are some of the Bid'ahs of Eed so that we can avoid them. It is of great importance to follow the Sunnah of Eed so we can truly say that our feasts are different from the Mushriks' feasts. 

Sunnahs of 'Eed

1) It is Sunnah to dress in the best clothes we have on Eed. It was narrated that Ibn 'Umar used to do that along with other Companions of the Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam). [Fat h al-Baaree] 

2) It is a must (Waajib) to pray Eed al-Fitr Prayer. The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) and his Companions never ceased doing it, and they even gathered the people for it including women who were having their menses, children and the elderly. [Bukhaaree and Muslim] 

3) It is Sunnah to eat dates before we leave for Eed prayer to show that we are not fasting. "The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) used not to leave for Eed Prayer (except) after eating some dates." [Bukhaaree and Ahmad] 

4) It is Sunnah to say Takbeer loudly when leaving our homes to go to Eed Prayer . The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) used to say this until he finished the Prayer. [Silsilat Al-ah adeeth As-Sunnah] 

5) There is no Hadeeth related to Rasoolullaah (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) as to what should be said whe n reciting Takbeer on the way to Prayer, but Ibn Mas'ood used to say the following: 

Allaahu Akbar (Twice) Allaah is great 

Laa Illaha Illa Allaah There is none worthy of worship except Allaah 

Allaahu Akbar (Twice) Allaah is great 

Wa Lillaahil Hamd And to Him belongs all Praise 

[Reported by Ibn Abee Sh aybah] 

6) The Sunnah for Eed Prayers is to pray in the Musallah (that is in an uncovered place) and not in the Masjid. The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) never prayed Eed Prayer in the Masjid. Aboo Sa'eed (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: "The Prophet (sallalhu alayhe wa sallam) used to go on the day of 'Eed -al-Fitr and Eed-al-Adhaa to the Musallah, and the first thing he did was to pray." [Bukhaaree and Muslim] 

7) Neither Adhaan nor Iqaamah are pronounced for Eed Prayer. [Muslim]

8) Ibn Abbaas reported: "The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) prayed two Raka'ahs for the Eed prayer and did not pray before it or after it." [Bukhaaree] 

9) Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: "The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) used to come back from 'Eed-al-Fitr on a path other than the one used in going to it." [Bukhaaree] 

10) It is permitted to listen to songs (without music) on 'Eed day especially for children. [Bukhaaree and Muslim] 

Bid'ahs of 'Eed

It is Bid'ah (innovation in Deen): 

1) To shave the beards especially for 'Eed. The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) has ordered us not t o shave our beards; so it is a shame that, on this great day of demonstrating our differences in ceremonies to those of the Mushriks, that some Muslim shaves his beard so that he looks "clean" like the Mushriks. 

2) To imitate the Mushriks in their practices and dress, and to shake hands with women. The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) said:"It is better that a man is hit with needle on his head than to touch a woman who is not lawful for him." [Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth a s-Sunnah] 

3) To listen to music on 'Eed. The Prophet (salallahu alayhe wa sallam) said: <span>"There will be some in my na tion who will regard adultery, men dressing in silk, drinking intoxicants (al-Kh amr), and musical instruments to be lawful."[Bukhaaree, Abu Dawood and Bayhaqee ] 

4) For women not to wear Hijaab. To do so is to celebrate 'Eed while committing a major sin. 

5) To visit the graveyard especially on Eed. It is permitted to visit the gravey ard all year long so we should not make a special case out of it on 'Eed; 

6) To waste money and being extravagant with food instead of giving them to poor 

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