Fiqh As-Sunnah
Prayer (Salah)

Id prayers (Salatul 'Idain):
The prayers of the two 'ids was prescribed in the first year after the migration. It is a sunnah mu'kkadah as the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam always performed these prayers and he ordered the men and women to go out to attend them.

Grooming for the two 'ids:
It is preferred to make the ghusl, perfume one's self and don one's best attire on the occasions of the two 'ids.

Ja'far ibn-Muhammad relates from his father on the authority of his grandfather who reported that the Prophet would wear a Yemeni cloak on every 'id. This is related by ash-Shaf'i and al-Baghawi. Al-Hassan as-Sibt says: "The Messenger of Allah ordered us to wear the best clothes we could find for the two 'ids and to apply the best perfume we could find and to sacrifice the best animal we could find." This is related by al-Hakim and in its chain is Ishaq ibn Barzakh whom al-'Azdi declares to be weak while Ibn Hibban says he is trustworthy.

Ibn al-Qayyim writes: "The Prophet used to wear his most beautiful clothes for them and he had a special cloak that he would wear on the two 'ids and Jumu'ah.

Eating on the two 'ids:
One is to eat before going to the salah for 'idul fitr, (the end of Ramadan) but not do so on the occasion of the 'idul adha (commemmorating Prophet Ibrahim's sacrifice). For 'idul fitr, it is a sunnah to eat an odd number of dates before going to pray salatul 'id while for 'idul adha the eating should be delayed until one returns from the 'id prayers and then he may eat of his sacrifice if he has sacrificed an animal.

Anas reports: "The Prophet would not go out on the festival of breaking the fast until he had eaten an odd number of dates." This is related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari.

Buraidah reports: "The Prophet would not go out on the day of breaking the fast ('idul fitr) until he had eaten and on the day of sacrifice ('idul adha) he would not eat until he had returned [from salah]." This is related by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and also by Ahmad who added: "And he would eat from his sacrifice."

In al-Muwatta' it is recorded from Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab that the people were ordered to eat before they go out on the day of breaking the fast.

Ibn-Qudamah said: "I do not know of any difference of opinion over the fact that one should hasten in eating [eat early] on the day of breaking of the fast."

Going out to the musalla (place of prayer):
Salatul 'id can be performed in the mosque but it is preferred to perform in a place outside the city as long as there is no excuse or reason to do otherwise (e.g., rain and so on) as the Prophet would pray the two 'ids in the outskirts of Medinah and he never prayed it in his mosque, except once and because it was raining.

Abu Hurairah reports that it was raining on the day of 'id, so the Prophet led them in salatul 'id in the mosque. This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim, and its chain contains an unknown narrator. Al-Hafiz says in at-Talkhis: "Its chain is weak," and adh-Dhahabi asserts: "This hadith is rejected."

Women and children going out to attend 'id prayer:
Shari'ah requires women and children to go out and attend the salatul 'idain. This includes married, single, young, old, or menstruating women.

Umm 'Atiyah reports: "We were ordered to go out with the single and menstruating women to the two 'ids in order to witness the good and the supplications of the Muslims. The menstruating women would be separate from the others." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Ibn 'Abbas says that the Prophet would take his wives and daughters to the two 'ids. This is related by Ibn-Majah and al-Baihaqi.

Ibn 'Abbas further reports: "I went out with the Prophet on the day of breaking the fast or of the sacrifice, and he prayed and gave a khutbah, and then he went to the women and admonished them, reminded them of Allah, and ordered them to give charity." This is related by al-Bukhari.

Taking different routes to and from musalla:
Most of the people of knowledge are of the opinion that it is preferred for a person to go to the salah by one route and then to return home through another route, regardless of whether he be the imam or a member of the congregation.

Jabir reports: "On the days of 'id, the Prophet would take different routes." This is related by al-Bukhari. Abu Hurairah says: "When the Prophet went to salatul 'id, he would return through a different route." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and at-Tirmidhi .

It is permissible to return through the same route by which one goes to the musalla. Bakr ibn Mubashir says: "I used to go with the companions of the Prophet to the musalla on 'idul adha and on 'idul fitr, and we passed through a specific valley in Medinah until we came to the place of salah and prayed with the Messenger of Allah, and then we would return to our houses through the same valley." This is related by Abu Dawud, al-Hakim, and by al-Bukhari in his Tarikh. Ibn as-Sakin says that its chain is acceptable.

The time of 'Id prayers:
The time for salatul 'id begins from the time the sun is three meters above the horizon until the sun reaches its meridian.

Ahmad ibn Hassan al-Bana' records that Jundub said: "The Prophet prayed the 'idul fitr prayer while the sun was [approximately] six meters above the horizon and the 'id of the sacrifice while the sun was three meters above the horizon."

Ash-Shaukani says: "That is the best of what has been related concerning the specific time of salatul 'idain and the hadith shows that it is preferred to hasten in praying salatul adha and to delay the salatul fitr."

Ibn Qudamah says: "It is a sunnah to pray salatul adha early in order to allow more time for the people to perform the sacrifice, and the salatul fitr is to be delayed in order to give people time to pay zakat al-Fitr. I know of no difference of opinion on this point."

The adhan and iqamah for salatul 'idain:
Ibn al-Qayyim writes: "When the Messenger of Allah went to the musalla (place of prayer), he would perform the salah without any adhan or iqamah and without saying 'as-salatu jami'ah' (prayer in congregation). The sunnah is not to do any of that."

Ibn 'Abbas and Jabir both report that there was no adhan on the day of the breaking of the fast or on the day of sacrifice. This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim. Muslim records that 'Ata said: "Jabir informed me that there is no adhan for the 'id of breaking the fast, neither when the imam arrives nor afterward. And there is no iqamah or call of any kind."

Sa'd ibn abi-Waqqas reports: "The Prophet prayed salatul 'id without any adhan or iqamah. He would deliver two khutbahs standing and would seperate them by sitting between them.' This is related by al-Bazzar.

The takbir during salatul 'idain:
The 'id prayer consists of two rak'at during which it is sunnah to pronounce the takbir seven times, after the opening takbir and before the Qur'anic recital in the first rak'ah. During the second rak'ah, one makes takbir five times after the takbir which is customarily made for standing after the prostration. One is to raise one's hands during each pronouncement of the takbir. This is based on a report transmitted from 'Umar and his son Abdullah.

'Amr ibn Shu'aib reports from his father on the authority of his grandfather that the Prophet would make twelve takbirat during the 'id prayer, seven in the first rak'ah and five in the second. He did not pray before or after the 'id. This is related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah. Ahmad says: "I follow that."

Abu Dawud and ad-Daraqutni report that the Prophet said: "The takbirat during the ['id of breaking the fast are seven in the first rak'ah and five in the second, and the Qur'anic recital comes after them in both the rak'at." This is the strongest opinion and it is the opinion of the majority of the people of knowledge from among the companions, the successors, and the imams. Ibn Abdul-Barr commenting on the number of takbirat, says: "It has been related through many good chains that the Prophet made seven takbirat in the first rak'ah and five in the second. Such has been related from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr, Ibn 'Umar, Jabir, 'Aishah. Abu Waqid, and 'Amer ibn 'Auf al-Mazni. Nothing that has been related from him, either through a stonger or weaker chain, differs from that, and it was the first to be practiced."

As to the pause between takbirat, it is said that the Prophet would be silent for a short period of time between the takbirat, and nothing has been related from him concerning exactly what he said during that pause; however, at-Tabarani and al-Baihai relate, with a strong chain, that Ibn Mas'ud would praise and extol Allah, the Exalted, and make prayers upon the Prophet during such intervals. The same has been recorded from Hudhaifah and Abu Musa. Pronouncing the takbirat are a sunnah even though the salah is not invalidated if one neglects them, either intentionally or out of forgetfulness. Ibn Qudamah says: "I know of no difference of opinion on that point." Ash-Shaukani states that the strongest opinion is that if one does not perform the takbirat out of forgetfulness, he is not to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness.

Prayer before or after salatul 'id:
It is not established that there is any sunnah prayer before or after the 'id prayer. The Prophet never performed any such prayer, neither did his companions upon arrival at the musalla (prayer place). Ibn 'Abbas reports: "The Messenger of Allah went out to the site of the 'id prayer and prayed two rak'at [i.e., the 'id prayer] without praying anything before or after it." This is related by the group.

It is reported that Ibn 'Umar did the same and he stated that this was the practice of the Prophet. Al-Bukhari records that Ibn 'Abbas disliked that one should perform a prayer before salatul 'id. Concerning voluntary prayers at such a time, Ibn Hajar has stated in Fath al-Bari that there is no evidence to show that it is not allowed, unless it is at the times in which it is disliked to pray on any day.

For whom the performance of salatul 'id is valid:
The 'id prayer is valid for men, women, children, travellers, residents, people in congregation, and people praying individually. It is also valid if performed in a house, mosque, or a distant place designated for the salah, and so on.

Whoever misses salatul 'id with the congregation may pray two rak'at:
In Sahih al-Bukhari we find in the chapter entitled: "If one misses salatul 'id he may pray two rak'at and the same is the case for the women or people in their houses or in the countryside. This is based on the Prophet's words: 'O Muslims, this is our festival."' Anas ibn Malik ordered his protege Ibn abi-'Utbah, [who lived] in a remote area, to gather his family and children and to pray [the 'id prayer] like the people in the city and with takbirat similar to theirs. 'Ikrimah said: "The people of the country should gather for the 'id and pray two rak'at as the imam does." 'Ata says: "If you miss the 'id [salah], pray two rak'at."

Making up a missed 'id prayer:
Abu 'Umair ibn Anas reports: "My Ansari uncles from among the companions of the Messenger of Allah said to me: 'The moon for the month of Shawwal was hidden from us and, therefore, our companions fasted. Then at the end of the day, riders came and they bore witness to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam that they had seen the moon the previous night. The Prophet ordered the people to break their fasts and to go out to the site of the salatul 'id on the next day.'" This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, and Ibn Majah with a sahih chain. In this hadith there lies evidence for those who say that if the people miss salatul 'id due to some excuse, then they may go out and pray it the next day.

Playing, amusements, singing, and eating on the days of 'id:
Recreation, amusements, and singing, if they stay within the moral bounds, are permissible on the days of 'id.

Anas reports: "When the Prophet came to Medinah they had two days of sport and amusement. The Prophet said: "Allah, the Exalted, has exchanged these days for two days better than them: the day of breaking the fast and the day of sacrifice." This is related by an-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban with a sahih chain.

'Aishah says: "The Abyssinians were preforming in the mosque on the day of 'id. I looked over the Prophet's shoulders and he lowered them a little so I could see them until I was satisfied and left." This is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim.

Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and Muslim also record that she said: "Abu Bakr entered upon us on the day of 'id and there were some slave girls who were recounting [in song the battle of] Bu'ath in which many of the brave of the tribes of Aus and Khazraj were killed. Abu Bakr said: 'Slaves of Allah, you play the pipes of the Satan!' He said it three times. The Prophet said to him: 'O Abu Bakr, every people have a festival and this is our festival."' In al-Bukhari's version, 'Aishah said: "The Messenger of Allah, entered the house and I had two girls who were singing about the battle of Bu'ath. The Prophet lied down on the bed and turned his face to the other direction. Abu Bakr entered and spoke harshly to me, 'Musical instruments of the Satan in the presence of the Messenger of Allah!' The Messenger of Allah turned his face to him and said: 'Leave them.' When Abu Bakr became inattentive I signaled to the girls to leave. It was the day of 'id and the Africans were performing with their shields and spears. Either I asked him or the Prophet asked if I would like to watch them [I don't recall now]. I replied in the affirmative. At this the Prophet made me stand behind him and my cheek was against his. He was saying: 'Carry on, O tribe of Arfadah,' until I tired. The Prophet asked: 'Is that enough for you?' I replied: "yes," so he said: 'Leave [then].'"

Ibn Hajar writes in Fath al-Bari, "Ibn as-Siraj related from Abu az-Zinad on the authority of 'Urwah from 'Aishah that the Prophet said that day: 'Let the Jews of Medinah know that our religion is spacious [and has room for relaxation] and I have been sent with an easy and straight forward religion. "' Ahmad and Muslim record from Nubaishah that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The days of tashriq (i.e., the days in which the 'id is celebrated) are days of eating and drinking [non alcoholic drinks] and of remembering Allah, the Exalted."

The excellence of good deeds in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah:
Ibn 'Abbas reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days [meaning the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah]." The companions asked: "O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the way of Allah?" He said: "Not even jihad, save for the man who puts his life and wealth in danger [for Allah's sake] and returns with neither of them." This is related by the group save Muslim and an-Nasa'i.

Ahmad and at-Tabarani record from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: "There is no day more honorable in Allah's sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days. So say tahlil ["There is no God but Allah"], takbir [Allah is the greatest] and tahmid ["All praise is due to Allah"] a lot [on those days]."

Ibn 'Abbas says about the 'ayah, "Remember Allah during the well known days," that it refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. This is related by al-Bukhari. Sa'id ibn Jubair would push himself very hard [to do good deeds] during these ten days.

Al-Auza'i says: "It has reached me that a deed on one of the ten days is similar to fighting in the way of Allah, fasting during its days and guarding during its nights, except for him who becomes a martyr." As to its source, he adds: "A man from the tribe of Bani Makhzum related that to me from the Prophet." Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet said: "There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of DhulHijja. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [i.e., Lailatul Qadr]." This is related by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi.

Congratulating one another on the days of 'id:
It is commendable to congratulate one another on the days of 'id.

Jabir ibn Nafir reports: "When the companions of the Prophet met each other on the day of 'id, they would say to each other, 'taqabbal minna wa minka [May Allah] accept it from us and you.'" Ibn Hajar said that its chain is hasan.

Takbirat during the days of 'id:
It is a sunnah to pronounce the takbirat on 'id days. Concerning the 'id of breaking the fast, Allah says "you should complete the prescribed period and that you should glorify Allah [i.e., say takbirat] for having guided you and that you may give thanks." Concerning the 'id of the sacrifice, Allah says: "that you may remember Allah during the well known days;" and: "He has made them subject to you, that you may glorify Allah for His guidance to you. The majority of the scholars say that the time for the takbirat during the 'id of breaking the fast is from the time one goes to the 'id prayer until the khutbah begins. Weak hadith have been recorded stating this, but there are also authentic reports from Ibn 'Umar and other companions that they did so. Al-Hakim says: "This sunnah has been practiced by ahl-il hadith. Malik, Ahmad, Ishaq, and Abu Thaur [have made statements concurring that practice] ."

Some say that the takbirat are from the night before the 'id, when the moon is seen, until the person goes to the musalla and the imam arrives. The time for the takbirat during the 'id of the sacrifice is from the day of 'Arafah until the time of the 'asr on the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah.

Ibn Hajar writes in Fath al-Bari: "None of that has been confirmed from the Prophet. The most authentic report from the companions is that 'Ali and Ibn Mas'ud would make the takbirat from the day of 'Arafah to the 'asr of the last day of Mina. Ibn al-Mundhir and others reported it. AshShaf'i, Ahamd, Abu Yusuf, and Muhammad follow that report and it is also the view of 'Umar and Ibn 'Abbas."

There is no specific time for the takbirat during the days of tashriq (three days after 'idul adha). In fact, it is preferred to pronounce takbirat during every moment of those days.

Al-Bukhari recorded: "During 'Umar's stay at Mina, he would say takbirat in his tent [so loud] that the people in the mosque would hear it and then they would start doing it also and the people in the market place would do the same and all of Mina would resound with the takbirat. Ibn 'Umar used to say the takbirat, during those days of Mina, after the prayers and while on his bed, in his tent, while sitting and while walking during all of those days. Maimuna would say the takbirat on the day of sacrifice. The women used to say takbirat behind Abban ibn 'Uthman and 'Umar ibn 'Abdulaziz along with the men in the mosque during the days of tashriq." Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar said: "These reports show that the takbirat are made during all the times of these days, after salah and all other times. Some say the takbirat are made only after the salah, and some say they are to be made only after the fard prayers and not after nawafl, others declare them to be for men and not for women, while some say that they are only to be said in congregations and not individually, while others reserve them only for those who perform the salah on time and not for those who are making up a missed prayer, and some say only for residents and not travellers, whereas others think they are only for the people of the city and not for the people of the countryside. Apparently al-Bukhari is of the opinion that it is for all people and the reports that he has transmitted support his opinion."

These takbirat can be made in many different forms. The most authentic form is that which has been recorded with a sahih chain by 'Abdurrazaq from Salman, who said: "They made takbirat with: 'Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar kabeera."' From 'Umar and ibn Mas'ud the following is related: "Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar. La ilaha illallah. Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar wa lillahil-hamd." Translation: Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no God but Allah. Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. All praise belongs to Allah.

Click here for Fiqh As-Sunnah Page

© copyright Arabic Paper