Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
During Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Ahdhaa I was told that one should go to salaat by ONE ROUTE and comeback home by ANOTHER. Can you send some ahadith and what the scholars say about this?
It is mentioned in the al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, quoting al-Fatawa al-Dhahiriyya, that,
“It is not disliked to ride to the Friday prayer or the Eid prayers, though it is better to walk for those able to do so.” [al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, Kitab al-Salat: Salat al-`Idayn]
Imam Muwaffaq al-Din Ibn Qudama (Allah have mercy on him), the great Hanbali imam, mentioned that,
“It is recommended to go to the Eid [prayer] walking, in a calm and dignified manner Among those who held walking recommended are: `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz, al-Nakha`i, Thawri, Shafi`i, and others .
Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) reports that, “The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to go walking to Eid, and return walking.” [Ibn Majah]
Sayyiduna `Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said, “It is from the sunna to walk to Eid [prayer].” [Tirmidhi]
However, if one has an excuse, or lives far, then there is nothing wrong with riding.” [Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni]
As for taking a different route on the way back, this is also mentioned, though less. The wisdom behind it is that more land bear witness to your thankfulness on the Day of Judgement, and because of the greater possibility of meeting believers to greet them.
And Allah alone gives success.