1) Unconditional Takbir (not restricted to only saying them after the 5 daily prayers) is Sunnah in both Eids. Ibn ‘Umar used to do so in both Eids.
2) It is Sunnah to perform unrestricted Takbir at the mosque, the house, the streets, whether you are a traveller or a resident, and wherever else it is permissible to mention the name of God.
Anyone who is eligible for prayer, besides women, it is Sunnah for them to perform the Takbir loudly, regardless if you live in the city or the towns/villages. This is due to the generality of the ayah,
❝…and for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.❞ [al-Baqarah : 185]
3) Unrestricted Takbir is more emphasised on the eve of both ‘Eids, i.e. – from the sunset of the day before.
Unrestricted Takbir begins from the 1st of Dhul-Hijjah due to the narration of al-Bukhari,
❝Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah used to go out to the marketplace on the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah saying takbeer, and the people would say takbeer with their ❞
So the unrestricted takbirs are emphasised from the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah all the way until the Khutbah comes to an end on ‘Eid al-Adha.
Takbir is also an legislated on the way to the Eid prayers – due all the narrations in this regard being in agreement – all the way until the Khutbah for both ‘Eid prayers (Eid al-Fitr and al-Adha) come to an end. As soon as the Khutbahs come to an end, unrestricted takbir is no longer legislated.
4) Restricted Takbir (after the five daily congregational prayers) are only for ‘Eid al-Adha.
The one who is not a Muhrim begins restricted takbir from the Fajr prayer of the Day of ‘Arafah. Imam Ahmad was asked which Hadith he uses as an evidence for this and he said,
❝The consensus of ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Ibn ‘Abbas, and Ibn Mas’ud.❞
The one who is a Muhrim begins the restricted Takbir from the Dhuhr prayer on the day of ‘Eid al-Adha (as s/he will be busy with the Talbiyah before that).
The time for restricted Takbir comes to an end, for the Muhrim and non-Muhrim, after the ‘Asr prayer on the final day of the Ayyam al-Tashriq (13th of Dhi-l Hijjah).
So, the non-pilgrim performs the restricted takbirs after 23 prayers in total and the pilgrim does for a total of 17 prayers.
5) The restricted takbir are only done after the congregational prayers and not if one offers them on their own, nor after optional prayers. Ibn Mas’ud said,
❝The Takbir is only for those who has prayed in congregation.❞
After the Salam one should begin right away with the Takbir even before saying “Astaghirullah” three times and “Allahumma anta-s Salam…”. One performs the Takbirat before all these adhkar.
As for the one who joined the prayer late (e.g. – after the Imam had already completed one rak’ah) then he also performs the Takbir after he makes up whatever is left of his prayer.
6) For women they also do also perform these Takbirat after prayers they have prayed in congregation, even if it wasn’t behind men; whatever the case, they should not say it aloud.
The Imam should do the Takbir whilst facing the people. He turns to those praying behind him and does the Takbirat.
7) The one forgets to do the Takbir and is still seated where he prayed he should make it up whilst remaining seated, even if he spoke to someone else before that.
If he forgot the Takbir and got up or he got up and started walking away and then remembered then it he should sit back down or walk back and sit in the place where he prayed and perform the Takbir as it is Sunnah to do them whilst being seated in the place where one prayed.
If the person who got up and started walking wants to make the Takbir up as he is walking then he may do so (even though walking back to the prayer place is better) as long has he hasn’t walked out of the Mosque. If he exits the Mosque then he longer does the Takbir.
8) One should not do Takbir after the Eid prayers (al-Fitr and al-Adha) as the narrations restrict them to the five daily congregational prayers.
9) The wording of the Takbir is as follows:
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Laa Ilaaha Illa-llah
Wa-llahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa Lilllahi-l Hamd
This is how ‘Ali said it and this is how it was narrated from ‘Umar by Ibn al-Mundhir.
Imam Ahmad said,
❝I prefer the Takbir of Ibn Mas’ud.” and mentioned the same wording.❞
❝This is how they perform Takbir…❞
If one uses any other wordings then there is nothing wrong in doing so.
If one performs the Takbir (the full wording) only once, it suffices. If one repeats the full thing twice then that’s fine. If one does it three times altogether then this is good, based on the number of times on says “Astaghfirullah” after completing Salah and based one “Subhana-l Maliki-l Quddus” after the Witr.
10) There is no harm in congratulating one another with that which is commonly used, such as: “Taqbalallahu Minna wa-Minkum”, or things like that.
11) It is recommended to do various good deeds such as fasting, giving to charity, dhikr, and other righteous deeds; because they are the best days; based on the hadith:
❝…there are no days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days.❞ [Bukhari]
i.e. the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
12) The Udhiyah is a Sunnah Mu’akkadah, and it is disliked to leave it; and only cattle can be sacrificed; a camel, cow or buffalo, sheep, whether lamb or goat, male or female.
Sacrifice is one of the greatest acts of worship in these days, and it is better than giving its worth in charity.
13) It is necessary that the animal reach the age specified in the Shari’ah: five years old for the camel, two for cows, one year for goats, and six months for a lamb.
14) The period within which one sacrifices the animal begins when the earliest Eid prayer in the land finishes – it is better if it’s done after its Khutbah – and then the rest of the Eid day and also the two days following ‘Eid. Sacrifice is not valid if it is performed on the fourth day (which is the third day of Tashriq).
The sacrifice can be carried out during the night as well but it is disliked.
15) One sheep suffices on behalf of a man and his family (those who financially rely on him). A camel or a cow suffices for up to a maximum of seven people, no more.
16) It is Sunnah to eat one third, give one third in charity, and gift one third. If one splits it in any other way there is no problem with that either. If one gives all of it to charity, like the one who is sacrificing in another country for example, that’s fine as well.
However, if one consumes all of it, without giving any in charity, he is sinful. One must give a portion to charity even if it is a small amount, which is around 120 g.
17) The poor person must be given ownership of the meat, so you give it to him raw. It is not valid for you to cook the meat and call him over to eat with you.
18) In the Hanbali madhhab it is prohibited for the one who wants to perform the Udhiyah to take any hair from his body or cut his nails when the ten days have entered. Others said this is disliked (and not prohibited), and this is the position of many scholars.
19) According to the Hanbalis sacrificing one animal suffices as an Udhiyah and ‘Aqiqah together. Similarly if he intends one animal as Udhiyah and Hadyi. However, for the ‘Aqiqah you must sacrifice a complete animal, and it does not suffice you to sacrifice part of a cow or a camel in partnership with someone else.
20) In the Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallahu ‘anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
❝There are no days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days.❞
i.e – these ten days.
Included in the general wording of the statement: ‘good deeds’ is: fasting; fasting is among the best of deeds, and Allah has singled out for Himself (to reward). So fasting all nine days is a Sunnah, as the general statement of the Hadith indicates, and as is the view of the majority of scholars.
And some people say that it is an innovation, based on the Hadith of ‘Aisha (r) in Sahih Muslim:
❝I never saw the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) fasting the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah).❞
The response to this is:
1. The Sunnah comes in forms: verbal, physical, and as approval (of the actions or words of others); and all these three types of Sunnah establish rulings. Fasting the nine days of Dhul-Hijjah is established via the Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas that we mentioned earlier, and this is a verbal Sunnah, and suffices as evidence, even if there is no physical Sunnah. And whoever tales fasting out of the general (recommendation of good deeds) needs to prove that, and the Messenger (peace be upon him) not doing it is not a proof, because there are many Sunnah acts proven via the verbal statement of the Messenger (peace be upon him), which he didn’t consistently do, due to his being occupied with that which is more important, or other established reasons that are known in their appropriate place.
2. Imam Ahmad pointed towards the weakness of the Hadith of ‘Aisha, since the conflict in its chain of transmitters; it was narrated as Musnad by al-A’mash, whilst it was narrated as a Mursal narration by Ibn Mansur from Ibrahim.
3. That it has been authentically narrated in the physical Sunnah that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) fasted these nine days.
In the Musnad and the Sunan, by Hafsa (r):
❝The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would never leave fasting the day ‘Ashura and the ten and three days of every month.❞
Abu Dawud narrated from some of the wives of the Prophet, peace be upon him:
❝The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would never leave fasting the nine days (of Dhul-Hijjah).❞
If ‘Aisha and Hafsa, differed on affirming or denying, then precedence is given to the one who affirms because they have added knowledge that the one denying doesn’t have, as is the established principle by the scholars.
This is why it was also narrated that ‘Abdullah b. Umar (r) used to fast the nine days, and al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin and Qatada all considered this recommended, and that is the position of the majority of scholars.
4. ‘Aisha meant that he did not fast the full ten, and Hafsa meant that he fasted most of the ten days.
It is known that ‘Aisha (r) had one or two days out of nine (in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, would stay at hers) so she narrates what she saw, and others narrate what they saw. And a lack of knowledge does not mean knowledge of the lack of that thing, and the lack of seeing something does not necessitate its lack of existence. (The fasting can happen and yet ‘Aisha does not see it nor does she know about it).
To sum up: it is recommended to fast all nice days of Dhul-Hijjah, and the ninth day, which is the day of ‘Arafah, is even more recommended, and fasting this day has a great virtue:
In Sahih Muslim from Abu Qatada (r) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
❝Fasting the day of Arafah I hope that Allah will expiate the sins of the previous year and the following year.❞
In Musnad Ahmad from Ibn ‘Abbas (r) that the Prophet (peace be upon him said):
❝The day of ‘Arafah: This is a day in which the one who controls his hearing, his eyesight, and his tongue, he will be forgiven.❞
We ask Allah with His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes, that he makes us in these ten days from amongst the successful, and that he aids us in doing the good that He loves and is pleased with, both words and actions, and that He does not deprive us its virtues because of our sins, and that He makes these days of blessing, victory and success for the lands of Islam; indeed He is the best of those who are asked, and the greatest of those one can have hope in.
— Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abdul Wahid al-Azhari al-Hanbali (h)