The Eid Prayers
I would like to know the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) regarding Eid prayers.
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.
The Prophet, (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), used to offer the Eid prayers in the prayer-place (musalla). There is no report of his offering the Eid prayer in his mosque.
Al-Shafi’e said in Al-Umm: It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah, (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) , used to go out on the two Eids to the prayer-place in Madinah, as did those (the caliphs) who came after him, unless there was an excuse such as rain etc. The people of other lands did likewise, apart from the people of Makkah.
He used to wear his most beautiful garments to go out to pray. He had a suit (hullah) which he would wear for Eid and Jumu’ah (Friday prayer). A hullah is a two-piece suit of the same kind of fabric.
He used to eat dates before going out on Eid al-Fitr, and he would eat an odd number of them. Al-Bukhari (953) narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) did not go out on the morning of Eid al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates, and he would eat an odd number.
Ibn Qudamah said: We do not know of any differing opinion concerning the fact that it is mustahabb to eat early on the day of Eid al-Fitr.
The reason for eating before the prayer is so that no one will think that it is essential to fast until the prayer has been offered.
And it was said that this was in order to hasten to obey the command of Allah Who enjoined breaking the fast after He enjoined fasting.
If no dates are available, he should have something else for breakfast, even if it is only water, so that he can fulfil the Sunnah in principle, which is to have something for breakfast before praying on Eid al-Fitr.
With regard to Eid al-Adha, the Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), used not to eat anything until he came back from the prayer-place, then he would eat some of the meat of his sacrifice.
It was narrated that he used to do ghusl for both Eids. Ibn al-Qayyim said: Two weak (da’ief) hadith have been narrated concerning this… but it was proven from Ibn ‘Umar, who was very keen to follow the Sunnah that he used to do ghusl before going out on the day of Eid.
And he (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to go out to the Eid prayer walking, and come back walking.
Ibn Majah (1295) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allah,peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to go out to the Eid (prayer) walking and come back walking. Classified as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Majah.
Al-Tirmidzi (530) narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said: It is Sunnah to go out to the Eid (prayer) walking. Classified as hasan by al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidzi.
Al-Tirmidzi said: Most of the scholars followed this hadith and said that it is mustahabb for a man to go out to the Eid (prayer) walking. It is mustahabb for him not to ride unless he has an excuse.
When the Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), reached the prayer-place, he would begin the prayer with no adhan or iqamah, and without saying “Al-salaatu jaami’ah (prayer is about to begin).” The Sunnah is not to do any of these things.
And he did not offer any prayer in the prayer-place before or after the Eid prayer.
The Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), would start with the prayer, before the khutbah. He prayed two rak’ahs, with seven consecutive takbîrs in the first raka’ah, including takbirat al-ihram (the takbir with which the prayer begins), and a brief pause between each two takbîrs. There is no report of him saying any particular dzikir between the takbirs, but it was narrated that Ibn Mas’ud would praise Allah and send blessings upon the Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam).
But Ibn ‘Umar, who was always keen to follow the Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to raise his hands with each takbir.
When he had completed the takbirs, he would start to recite. He would recite al-Faatihah then recite Qaf wa’l-Qur’an il-majid (Surah Qaaf, 50) in the first raka’ah and Aqtarabat il-saa’ah wa anshaqqa al-qamar (Surah Al-Qamar, 54) in the other. Sometimes he recited Sabbih isma rabbika al-A’la (Surah al-A’laa, 87) and Hal ataaka hadeeth al-ghaashiyah (Surah Al-Ghaashiyah, 88). Both were narrated in sahih reports, but no other surahs are mentioned in sahih reports. When he had finished reciting he would say takbeer and bow. When he had finished bowing and prostrating and had stood up again, he would say five takbirs. When he had completed the takbîrs he would start to recite again. The takbeer was the first thing that he would do in each raka’ah and his recitation was followed by ruku’ (bowing).
Al-Tirmidzi narrated from the hadith of Kathir ibn ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf, from his father, from his grandfather, that the Messenger of Allah,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), recited takbir in the Eid (prayer), seven times in the first raka’ah before reciting Qur’an and five times in the second rak’ah before reciting Qur’an. Al-Tirmidzi said: I asked Muhammad – i.e., Al-Bukhari – about this hadith and he said: There is nothing more soundly than this concerning this topic. And I say likewise.
When the Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), had finished the prayer, he would move away and stand facing the people, with the people sitting in their rows, and he would address them, preaching and exhorting, with commands and prohibitions. If he wanted to dispatch anyone on a mission he would do so, and if he wanted to enjoin anything he would do that.
There was no minbar on which he would stand, and the minbar of Madinah was not brought out. Rather he would address them standing on the ground. Jabir said: I attended Eid prayer with the Messenger of Allah,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam). He started with the prayer before the khutbah, with no adzan and no iqamah, and then he stood, leaning on Bilal, and enjoined us to fear and obey Allah. He preached to the people and reminded them, and then he went over to the women and preached to them and reminded them. [Muslim and Al-Bukhari].
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to go out on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha to the prayer place. He would start with the prayer, and then he would go and stand facing the people, with the people sitting in their rows. [Muslim]
The Prophet,peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, started all his khutbahs with praise of Allah. It is not narrated even in one hadith that he started the khutbah of Eid with takbir. Rather Ibn Majah narrated in his Sunan (1287) that Sa’ad Al-Qaraz, the muezzin of the Prophet (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam)) said: The Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), used to say the takbir between the two sermons and he used to say takbir a great deal throughout the khutbah of Eid. This was classified as da’ief by al-Albani in Da’ief Ibn Majah. Although the hadith is da’ief, it does not indicate that the Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), used to begin his khutbah with takbir.
It says in Tamam al-Mannah: Although it does not indicate that it is prescribed to begin the Eid khutbah with takbeer, its isnaad is da’ief and includes one man who is da’ief (weak) and another who is majhool (unknown), so it is not permissible to quote it as evidence that it is Sunnah to say takbir during the khutbah.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: People differed as to how the khutbah on Eid and on the occasion of prayers for rain (istisqa’) should begin. It was said that they should begin with takbir and it was said that the khutbah of istisqa’ should begin with prayers for forgiveness, and it was said that they should begin with praise. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: this is the correct view. The Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), used to begin all his khutbahs with praise of Allah.
The Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), granted a concession allowing those who attended the Eid prayers either to sit and listen to the khutbah, or to leave.
Abu Dawud (1155) narrated that ‘Abdallah ibn al-Saa’ib said: I attended Eid (prayer) with the Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), and when he had finished the prayer he said: “We are going to deliver the khutbah, so whoever wants to sit and listen to the khutbah, let him do so, and whoever wants to leave, let him go.” Classified as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud.
The Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam), used to vary his route on the day of Eid. He would go by one route and come back by another.
Al-Bukhari narrated (986) that Jabir ibn ‘Abdallah (radiallāhu`anhu) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet,(sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) would vary his route.
[Excerpted from Fatwa No: 49020 Islam Q&A]