The Fiqh of Eid 

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com
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Answered by Shaykh Ashraf Ali al-Thanawi

The Fiqh of Eid

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Fiqh of Eid

From Heavenly Ornaments of Imam Ashraf al-Tahanawi

(Allah have mercy on him)


1. The first of Shawwaal is known as Eid ul-Fitr, and the tenth of Zil Hijjah is known as Eid ul-Ad’haa. Both these days are days of festivity and celebration in Islam. On both these days it is necessary (wajib) to offer two rakaats of prayer as a form of gratitude. The prerequisites and conditions that have been mentioned for the validity and compulsion for Friday, apply for the Eid prayer as well. With the exception that for the Friday prayer the khutbah is a prerequisite and fard, while for the Eid prayers it is not fard but sunnah. Furthermore, the Friday khutbah is delivered before the prayer while for the Eid prayers, the khutbah is delivered after the prayer. However, listening to the khutbah of Eid is necessary (wajib) just as it is necessary (wajib) for the khutbah of Friday, i.e. while the khutbah is being delivered, it is haraam to talk, walk about or offer prayer.

Thirteen things are sunnah on the day of Eid ul-Fitr:

(i) To adorn oneself according to the Shariah.

(ii) To have a bath.

(iii) To use miswaak.

(iv) To wear the best of clothing which one possesses.

(v) To apply perfume.

(vi) To wake up very early in the morning.

(vii) To go early to the Eid prayer place.

(viii) To eat something sweet, such as dates, before going to the Eid prayer place.

(ix) To give the sadaqatul fitr before going to the Eid prayer place.

(x) To offer the Eid prayer in the Eid prayer place. That is, one should not offer Eid prayer in the masjid without any valid reason.

(xi) To return from the Eid prayer place taking a route that is different from the one that he had taken when going towards the Eid prayer place.

(xii) To go to the Eid prayer place on foot.

(xiii) To read the following takbeer softly while walking towards the Eid prayer place:

2. The method of offering Eid ul-Fitr prayer is as follows: the following intention should be made: “I intend offering two rakaats necessary (wajib) of Eid ul-Fitr prayer with six necessary (wajib) takbeers.” After making this intention, he should commence his prayer. He must recite the thanaa’ and then say Allahu Akbar three times. Each time that he says Allahu Akbar, he should raise his hands to his ears just as he does for the takbeer-e-tahreemah. After making the takbeer, he should let his hands rest at his sides. In-between each takbeer, he should pause to such an extent that he can read Sub’haanallah three times. After the third takbeer, he should not rest his hands but tie them. He should then read the ta’awwudh and bismillah, Surah Faatihah and another Surah. Thereafter, he should make his ruku and sajdahs and stand up as he normally does. In the second rakaat, he should first recite Surah Faatihah and another Surah. Thereafter, he should make three takbeers but after the third takbeer he should not tie his hands but leave them at his sides. He should then make one more takbeer and go into ruku.

3. After the prayer, the imam has to stand on the mimbar and deliver two khutbahs. He should sit down in-between the two khutbahs to the extent that he sits between the khutbahs of Friday.

4. Dua should be made after the Eid prayer, or even after the khutbah. Although this dua has not been established from the life of The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, the Sahabah, Taabi’een and even the Tabe Taabi’een, but because it is sunnah to make a dua after every prayer, it will be preferable to make it after the Eid prayer as well.

5. The khutbahs of Eid should commence with the takbeers. The takbeer should be said nine times in the first khutbah and seven times in the second khutbah.

6. The method of Eid ul-Ad’haa prayer is the same as that mentioned above, and the sunnahs of Eid ul-Fitr will also apply here. The difference is that when making the intention for the prayer, then instead of mentioning the word Eid ul-Fitr, one should say Eid ul-Ad’haa. Before going to the Eid prayer place it is preferable to eat something on Eid ul-Fitr. But this is not the case in Eid ul-Ad’haa. On Eid ul-Fitr, it is sunnah to say the takbeers softly while going towards the Eid prayer place. But on Eid ul-Ad’haa the takbeers should be said in a loud voice. It is preferable to offer the prayer of Eid ul-Fitr a little late. But for Eid ul-Ad’haa it should be offered early. For Eid ul-Ad’haa there is no sadaqatul fitr. Instead, there is the sacrificing of animals for those who can afford it. There is no adhaan nor iqaamah for both Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Ad’haa.

7. It is makruh to offer any other prayer on that day at the place where eid prayer is offered – not before the prayer nor after it. However, it is not makruh to offer any prayer after the Eid prayer at home. But to do so before the Eid prayer is makruh at home as well.

8. It is makruh for women and those people who do not offer Eid prayer to offer any nafl prayer before the Eid prayer.

9. The rules related to sadaqatul fitr should be mentioned in the khutbah of Eid ul-Fitr. The rules related to qurbaani and takbeer-e-tashreeq should be mentioned in the khutbah of Eid ul-Ad’haa. Takbeer-e-tashreeq is necessary (wajib) after every fard prayer. The takbeer-e-tashreeq is as follows:

This takbeer will be necessary (wajib) on the condition that the fard prayer has been offered with jama’at and the place is a city. This takbeer is not necessary (wajib) on a woman and a musafir. But if they are muqtadis of a person on whom this takbeer is necessary (wajib), then it will be necessary (wajib) on them as well. However, if a munfarid, a woman or a musafir recites this takbeer, it will be better for them because according to Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alayhima it is necessary (wajib) on them as well.

10. This takbeer should be recited after the fajr prayer of the ninth of Zil Hijjah till after the asr prayer of the thirteenth of Zil Hijjah. This totals 23 prayers after which this takbeer is necessary (wajib).

11. It is necessary (wajib) to recite this takbeer in a loud voice. However, women should recite it in a soft voice.

12. The takbeer should be recited immediately after the prayer.

13. If the imam forgets to recite the takbeer, the muqtadis should immediately commence reciting it. They should not wait for the imam to commence.

14. According to some ulama, it is also necessary (wajib) to say this takbeer after the prayer of Eid ul-Ad’haa.

15. All the ulama are of the opinion that it is permissible to offer the prayers of Eid at several places.

16. If a person misses his Eid prayer and all the other people have already completed their prayer, this person cannot offer his prayer alone. This is because jama’at is a prerequisite for the Eid prayers. In the same way, if a person joins the jama’at but for some reason or the other his prayer becomes invalid, then he cannot make qada of it nor will qada be necessary (wajib) on him. However, if a few other people also join him, qada will become necessary (wajib).

17. If for some reason the Eid prayer is not offered on the first day, then Eid ul-Fitr prayer could be offered on the second day. And Eid ul-Ad’haa prayer could be offered till the twelfth of Zil Hijjah.

18. If the Eid ul-Ad’haa prayer is delayed till the twelfth without any excuse, it will still be valid. But it is makruh to do so. If the Eid ul-Fitr prayer is delayed without any excuse, the prayer will not be valid at all. Examples of excuses: (i) the imam does not come to perform the prayer for some reason or the other, (ii) it is raining heavily, (iii) the date of the moon has not been established and it only becomes established after mid-day when the time for the prayer has already expired, (iv) prayer was offered on a cloudy day, and after the disappearance of the clouds it is realized that the prayer was not offered in its correct time.

19. If a person joins the Eid prayer at a time when the imam has already completed saying the takbeers, then if he joined the jama’at while they were still in the standing posture, he should immediately make the takbeers even if the imam is busy with his qira’at. If he joins the prayer while the imam is in ruku, he should make his takbeers only if he feels that he will be able to catch up with the imam in his ruku. But if he fears that he will not be able to catch up with the imam, he should go straight into ruku. Instead of reading the tasbeehs in the ruku, he should recite the takbeers. However, when he makes the takbeers in his ruku, he should not raise his hands. If the imam stands up from the ruku before he can complete his takbeers, he should not try to complete them. Instead, he should stand up with the imam. The takbeers which he missed will be forgiven.

20. If a person misses the first rakaat of Eid prayer, when he stands up to complete it, he should first recite Surah Faatihah, another Surah and then make the takbeers. Although, according to the rule, he ought to have made the takbeers first, he should not do this. Because if he does this, then the takbeers of both the rakaats will come one after the other. And this is not the method of any Sahabi. Therefore, the rule has been given contrary to this.

If the imam forgets to say the takbeers and only remembers this while in ruku, he should say the takbeers in his ruku and should not return to the standing posture. But if he returns to the standing posture, it will still be permissible, i.e. the prayer will not become invalid. However, because of the large crowd, sajdah-e-sahw should not be made.

Miscellaneous Issues

1. If a person uproots his hair, the root of that hair is regarded as impure because of the stickyness that is found on it. (Shaami)

2. It is makruh for the residents of a place where the eid prayers are necessary (wajib) to offer any nafl prayer between the fajr and eid prayers. (al-Bahrur Raa’iq)

3. It is makruh to clip the nails, to remove the pubic hair or hair from anywhere else while one is in a state of major impurity. (Aalamgiri)

4. Immature children receive the reward for offering prayer and other acts of worship. The person who teaches them also receives reward for this.

5. It is not makruh to recite the Quran at times when prayer is makruh. Apart from reciting the Quran, one could also recite durood or engage in any other form of remembrance. (Saghiri)

6. It is permissible to recite a certain portion of a Surah in one rakaat and recite the remainder of that Surah in the second rakaat. Similarly, it is permissible to recite the beginning or middle of a particular Surah in one rakaat and the beginning or middle of another Surah or one complete short Surah in the second rakaat. (Saghiri) However, it is not good to make a habit of doing this. It is better to recite a separate Surah in each rakaat.

7. While offering the taraweeh prayer, a person forgets to recite a particular verse or Surah and continues reading ahead. Later he realizes that he had forgotten to recite that verse or Surah. It will be mustahab for him to recite that verse or Surah. After reciting the missed verse or Surah, he should repeat those verses or Surahs which he had continued reciting so that he may be able to complete the Quran in the order that it is written. (Aalamgiri) However, if a person continued reading ahead and recited many verses or Surahs and repeating all these will be very difficult, it will be permissible for him to merely repeat the verse or Surah which he had missed out and continue ahead. This is because this ruling is mustahab (and not necessary (wajib)).

8. Perspiration on the forehead, watering of the eyes and flaring of the nostrils at the time of death are all signs of a good death. Perspiration on the forehead alone is also a sign of a good death.

9. Mud and impure water on the roads (which splashes on the clothes) can be overlooked as long as the traces of the impurity are not visible on the clothing.

10. It is not permissible to make wudu or ghusl with musta’mal (used) water. The following types of water are regarded as musta’mal water: water that has been used to make wudu or ghusl by a person who was in need of wudu or ghusl, water that has been used by a person who had wudu but made wudu again in order to obtain reward, water that has been used by a person upon whom ghusl was not necessary (wajib) but made ghusl for reward, e.g. a person makes ghusl on Friday despite ghusl not being necessary (wajib) on him. It is makruh to use such water for drinking or cooking purposes. (Shaami) When we mentioned the person upon whom ghusl became necessary (wajib) – this rule with regards to him will only apply if no impurity is found on his body. If there is any impurity on his body, then that used water will not even be permissible for drinking and cooking purposes.

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