بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله
وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين
اللهم اجعلنا منهم
With the Name of God, The Infinitely Caring, Eternally Compassionate. We sincerely praise and thank God to the highest extent, and ask Him to bless, protect, honor, and compliment our Prophet and Messenger Muḥammad, his family, his companions, and those that diligently follow them until the end of times. Dear God, please include us from amongst them.
As we reach the end of this beautiful and amazing month of Ramaḍān, we ask Allāh to accept from us, increase us in goodness, and to be happy and pleased with us. We further express our gratitude by sincerely thanking our Lord and Master for blessing many of us with a somewhat normal Ramaḍān. Many of us were able to pray at the Masjid, attend Friday and Jumuʿah Services, and partake in the nightly Tarāwīḥ Prayers. Yes—we had masks, had to bring our own rugs, and stand distanced from one another; but that miniscule struggle pales in comparison to the rewards we were able to reap this month. Alḥamdulillāh.
Here in Greater LA, many of our Masājid and Islamic Centers will be holding congregational Eid Prayers. We are truly grateful to God for this blessing. Many of us will be able to attend, pray together, declare Allāh’s Greatness, and greet family, friends, and beloved community members.
Eid al-Fiṭr is the first of the two Islamic holidays in the lunar year (the second being Eid al-Aḍḥā). The day celebrates the end of fasting during the blessed month of Ramaḍān. It is a day wherein we typically gather for a congregational ritual prayer and sermon in the morning, often followed by meeting with friends and family to celebrate the day by exchanging gifts and eating together.
Should I attend the Eid Prayers?
The Eid Prayers are a very special and unique act of worship that we only get to experience twice in a year, followed by a khuṭbah (sermon) addressing the entire Muslim Community. We often find our Eid Congregations, compared to our Friday Jumuʿah Congregations, being twice as large, if not tenfold in some communities. Normally, attending the Eid Prayer is something that every single person in a household should do. Every man, woman, child, and elder should actively try to attend the Eid Ṣalāh. However, given the current circumstances, does that ruling change?
Our local governments have allowed us to congregate with specific guidelines, and many of our local Masājid and Islamic Centers have set their own safety protocols to allow for Eid Congregations. Since we have the ability to safely and legally congregate, anyone that can safely attend should do their best to attend. That means that any person who is not immunocompromised, not currently sick, and meets the age requirements of their congregation should make an active effort to attend or register. If someone makes an attempt to attend or register but is turned away due to capacity requirements or full registration, there is no sin or blame at all.
If someone is unable to attend or even register due to restrictions, requirements, capacity, or because they arrive late and miss the congregation, they have one of two options:
Nothing needs to be done to make up for the missed Eid Prayer. There is no blame or sin, and no extra prayers need to be performed as a substitute.
The Eid Prayer can be prayed at home since the communal prayer was missed. It is not necessary to do so, but it is allowed. For guidance on how to perform the Eid Prayer, see the following: How to Spend Eid in Quarantine. If someone does not feel comfortable performing the Eid prayers on their own at home, they do not have to. It is not required to make it up if it is missed.
In either case, anyone unable to pray with their local community who would like to pray something extra in the morning time, can perform a generic 2-unit extra (nafl) prayer at home.
Can I hold my own Eid Prayer at home?
According to Option 2 in the previous section, Eid prayer can only be performed at home by one if they were unable to make it to their communal Eid Prayer. So if someone did not meet the criteria of their local Masjid, was turned away due to capacity, or was late, only in these cases may they perform the Eid prayer at home. According to the vast majority of scholars, it will not be allowed to simply default to praying Eid Ṣalāh at home without having one of the valid excuses listed.
It should be noted that we have seen very unusual circumstances these past two years. Many of us prayed Eid Prayers at home last year. Many of us might not be praying Eid this year, or will be praying it at home with our families. We must make an active effort to not make Eid Ṣalāh at home become a habit once we are able to safely get back to a “normal” way of life pre-COVID-19.
Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr/Zakāh al-Fiṭr
“Zakāh al-Fiṭr” is also known as “Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr.” It is a specific charity that is due before the Eid prayer. It is a means for the mistakes that we made while fasting to be overlooked, and for the needy to have a meal. Ibn ʿAbbās (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhumā) told us that the Prophet ﷺ mandated Zakāh al-Fiṭr as a means to clean and overlook the useless and obscene speech of those who fasted, and a means of food for the poor.
The Prophet ﷺ has taught us that those Muslims who are able to pay Zakāh al-Fiṭr must pay it. The amount that is to be given differs slightly based on the foodstuff calculation, but is estimated to be around $15. It is due upon each and every Muslim – man or woman, child or adult. The head of the household is responsible to pay it on behalf of all non-adult Muslim children. The head of the household can also pay on behalf of everyone in the house. If one has not paid before the prayer, one is still required to pay after the prayer.
Eid is strongly rooted in declaring the greatness of our Lord and Master. As God Himself says, “[It is so that] you declare God to be the absolute greatest because He has guided you, and so that you are grateful.” With that comes the emulation of both the mindset and actions of our Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ. Here are a number of things that the Prophet ﷺ taught us to do on this beautiful day:
- Be extra clean. Shower (ghusl), brush your teeth, use miswāk, and smell good. The Prophet ﷺ compared Friday to Eid and told us: “This day [Friday] is a day of Eid and celebration. So whoever comes to the Friday prayer should bathe, apply perfume if they have any, and use the miswāk (tooth-stick).” The Prophet ﷺ told us to be extra clean because it is an “Eid.” Therefore, on Eid al-Fiṭr, we should follow this sunnah.
- Wear nice, clean clothes. It does not have to be new, but it should be clean, ironed, and nicer than your daily outfit. In following this recommendation, ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh) once bought a nice outfit to give to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “wear it to look nice on Eid.”
- Eat an odd number of dates before the Eid prayer. The young companion of the Prophet ﷺ, Anas (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh), taught us that the Prophet ﷺ would not leave his house for Eid al-Fiṭr prayer until he ﷺ ate an odd number of dates. If dates are unavailable, one may eat anything sweet to fulfill this sunnah.
- Recite the takbīrāt of Eid. That is to say — اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَاَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ — Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, lā ilāha illā Allāh, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, wa li-llāh al-Ḥamd. God is Greater, God is Greater, God is Greater. There is no God except Allāh. God is Greater, God is Greater. Solely to God belongs the most perfect and complete praise and thanks. It should be recited happily and aloud.
- Return home from a different route. The companion, Jābir (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh), told us that the Prophet ﷺ would take a different route when going to and returning from the Eid prayer area. Someone can make their way to the Prayer Area via the freeway, and return via surface streets, for example. Or head towards the Prayer Area from one direction, and return home via the opposite direction.
- Meet and greet others with phrases of acceptance. Some of the Companions (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhum), upon meeting each other on Eid, would say تَقَبَّل اللَّهُ مِنّا ومِنك — “May God accept from you and us.” It is not necessary to say this in Arabic; one may convey greetings of acceptance in any language.
- Can women attend the Eid Prayers?
- Yes, they absolutely can. All women who are able to safely attend should be highly encouraged to partake in the Eid Prayer with the entire community. If a woman is on her period (menses), and is not praying, then she can and still should attend, but should try and sit in any place that is not technically considered “Masjid” (i.e., outside, the lawn, tents, foyer, lobby).
- Can I pray Eid Ṣalāh at home if I personally don’t feel comfortable bringing my elderly parent(s) and/or child(ren) and don’t want to pray without my family?
- According to the Ḥanafīs, Eid Prayer is Necessary (wājib) for an adult male upon whom Jumu’ah is usually an obligation (farḍ). Not wanting to go to the communal Eid Congregation without one’s family is not a valid reason for that individual to not pray with the Communal Eid Congregation, nor to pray at home. This is in regards to someone being uncomfortable bringing a member of the household, as opposed to someone being advised by a medical doctor that leaving the home would put other members of the household at risk.
- According to the Shāfiʿīs, Eid Prayer is Sunnah Muʾakkadah. Someone who is unable to bring their family to the Communal Eid Prayers may pray the Eid Prayer at home. However, they should not give an Eid Khuṭbah (Sermon) in their congregation at home.
- According to the Ḥanbalīs, Eid Prayer is a Communal Obligation (Farḍ Kifāyah). So if someone is unable to make it, there is no blame or sin upon them at all. If someone is able to attend the communal Eid Prayer and are able to leave other members of the household at home, then they should but are not obligated to do so. But if they are not able to leave other members of the household at home, then that will be a valid reason for them to miss the Eid Prayer, and thus, they can pray the Eid Prayer at home.
- Do I have to attend the Eid Prayers?
- If someone is eligible to partake in their local community’s Eid Prayer, then they should definitely make an active effort to register and attend. For more details, refer to Should I attend the Eid Prayers?
- What do I do if I do not meet the requirements my Masjid has set, or was turned away due to capacity?
- A detailed response can be found above: Should I attend the Eid Prayers?
- Can I pray Eid Prayers at home by myself or with my family?
- One cannot default to praying Eid Ṣalāh at home if there none of the above-listed excuses are present. See: Can I hold my own Eid Prayer at home?
- How do I perform the Eid Prayers?
- One should only be performing the Eid Prayers on their own if they were not able to attend their local congregation. A detailed overview can be found here: How to Spend Eid in Quarantine.
- Can I attend multiple Eid Prayers?
- One should not partake in multiple Eid Prayers. This is not only due to religious reasons, but also because someone who has already prayed Eid Ṣalāh should allow others to have a spot at another congregation.
- Can I pray any extra prayers before or after Eid Ṣalāh?
- One should avoid praying anything but the Eid Prayers while at the place where Eid is being performed, unless one needs to make up the Fajr of that day.
- I missed the first and/or second unit of Eid Ṣalāh, what should I do?
- You make up the rakaʿah (unit) along with the additional takbīrs. The number of addition takbīrs can vary, but most places in Greater LA will do an additional 7 takbīrs (before recitation) in the first unit (rakʿah), and an additional 5 takbīrs (before recitation) in the second unit (rakʿah).
- I caught the first rakaʿah with the Imām, but I joined after he completed the extra takbīrs. Do I have to make them up?
- If possible, yes. There are 3 possible scenarios
- If you joined while the Imām is still standing, say the extra takbīrs individually even if the imam is reciting Qurʾān.
- If the Imām is in rukūʿ, but you think you have enough time to do the extra takbīrs, say the extra takbīrs and then go into rukūʿ.
- If the Imām is in rukūʿ, but you don’t have enough time to say the extra takbīrs and join the Imām before going into rukūʿ, join the Imām in rukūʿ and say as many of the additional takbīrs as you can while in rukūʿ. If you don’t complete all the extra takbīrs and the Imām stand up from rukūʿ, stand up with the Imām. You do not have to complete the additional takbīrs in this case.
- If possible, yes. There are 3 possible scenarios
- Can Eid Ṣalāh be performed at the Masjid?
- Yes. It is completely valid. The Sunnah is to perform it in a large public open space. But if that is not available, praying at a Masjid is absolutely permissible.
- Can I pray Eid Ṣalāh in the street if there’s no capacity in the main prayer area?
- One should only pray in sections designated by their local Masjid/Community leadership. One should not pray wherever they feel like.
- I broke my wuḍūʾ right before or during the Eid Ṣalāh and the bathrooms are closed. What should I do?
- In this case, one can perform tayammum (dry ablution). One can simply tap their hands on any earthen material (dirt, rocks, cement, uncoated marble, bricks), then wipe their face. And repeat a tap to the earthen material, and wipe the entirety of their arms (from the tip of one’s fingertips up to and including the elbows). If one does not have access to those materials, then they can stay seated and not pray. This person would then have a choice between not praying anything as a substitute, or by praying Eid alone at home. Details can be found in the section: Should I attend the Eid Prayers?
- Can I pray behind a remote/live-streamed Imām?
- No. The vast majority of scholars opine that one cannot pray along with a live-streamed prayer.
- To whom should I give my Ṣadaqah al-Fiṭr?
- It can be given to any organization that will distribute it to those who are in need. It can also be given directly to an individual who is unable to provide food for his or herself.
- Can I fast on Eid?
- No. The Prophet ﷺ forbade us from fasting on Eid. One can resume fasting from the day after (the 2nd of Shawwāl – Friday, May 14th).
- Is it recommended to hug each other on Eid? What about 3 hugs?
- Hugging is something that, in our culture, is a way for Muslims to show care and express happiness. As such, it is completely allowed, and can even be considered a good action. However, given that we should be social distancing, we should refrain from hugging our beloved (and not so beloved) Muslim community members outside of our household. One can and very much should hug members of their household, and show them love and affection. Be that through one hug, or ten, or through other cultural norms.
- This is mainly geared towards residents of Greater LA. ↑
- According to the Ḥanafīs, the Eid Prayer is wājib (mandatory) for the one whom the Friday Prayer is obligatory (farḍ) upon. According to the Mālikīs and Shāfʿīs it is sunnah muʾakkadah (emphasized sunnah). According to the Ḥanbalīs it is a communal obligation (farḍ kifāyah) — Al-Mawsūʿah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kuwaytiyyah v. 31 p. 114. ↑
- This is according to the Ḥanafī school. ↑
- This is according to the Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, and Ḥanbalī schools. This is based on a narration by ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Abī Bakr ibn Anas (raḥimahum Allāh), saying that if his grandfather, Anas ibn Mālik (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh) – the companion and servant of the Prophet ﷺ – missed the communal Eid Prayer, he would gather his family together and would lead them in Eid Ṣalāh just like the large communal congregations. Al-Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-Kubrā Bāb Ṣalāh al-ʿĪdayn Sunnah Ahl al-Islām ḥayth kānū #6237, v. 3 p. 427. ↑
- Such as Ṣalāh al-Ḍuḥā ↑
- This is according to the Ḥanafī, Mālikī, and Ḥanbalī schools, and some Shāfiʿī scholars. ↑
- A prayer typically used for the companions of the Prophet ﷺ meaning “May God be pleased with them.” ↑
- Abū Dāwūd, al-Sunan Kitāb al-Zakāh Bāb Zakāh al-Fiṭr ↑
- This exact amount is differed upon. The Ḥanafīs consider this to be the amount that makes one ineligible for Zakāh. This amount is known as niṣāb ḥirmān al-zakāh, meaning that one has non-zakātable possessions that meet or exceed the niṣāb of around $5,300 (as of 05/04/2021). The Mālikīs consider this amount to be the ability to pay it. The Shāfiʿīs and Ḥanbalīs consider this amount to be when an individual has more than the bare necessities in terms of food for his or herself and their dependents. — Al-Mawsūʿah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kuwaytiyyah v. 23 p. 337. ↑
- This is according to the vast majority of scholars. Some Mālikis consider it sunnah. — Al-Mawsūʿah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kuwaytiyyah v. 23 p. 336. ↑
- 2:185 — وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ ↑
- Ibn Mājah, al-Sunan Kitāb Iqāmah al-Ṣalāh wa al-Sunnah fīhā, v.1 p. 349 #1098 ↑
- This is, of course, if a person already has nice clothes, or has the means to buy nice clothes. If a person does not have such means and can only wear their regular clothes on Eid, there is absolutely no blame on that person. ↑
- al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Kitāb al-ʿĪdayn Bāb fī al-ʿĪdayn wa al-Tajammul fīh ↑
- al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Kitāb al-ʿĪdayn Bāb al-Akl Yawm al-Fiṭr Qabl al-Khurūj ↑
- The Ḥanafīs prefer to only say Allāhu Akbar twice in both instances, as opposed to thrice and then twice. This is based on the the answer of the tābiʿī, Abū Isḥāq, who was asked by his student Sharīk, “How would ʿAli (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh) and ʿAbd Allāh ibn Masʿūd (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh) recite the takbīrāt of Eid?” Abū Isḥāq responded with the above phrase, with Allāhu Akbar repeated twice in both places. — Ibn Abī Shaybah, Muṣannaf, Ḥadīth #5653. ↑
- Although Abū Ḥanīfah (rḥA) preferred that it be recited silently on Eid al-Fiṭr, his students Abū Yūsuf (rḥA) and Muḥammad (rḥA) preferred that it be recited aloud. — al-Qudūrī, Mukhtaṣar Kitāb al-Ṣalāh Bāb Ṣalāh al-ʿĪd, p. 41. ↑
- al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Kitāb al-ʿĪdayn Bāb man khālfa al-Ṭarīq idhā rajaʿa yawm al-ʿĪd ↑
- al-Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-Kubrā Kitāb Ṣalāh al-ʿĪdayn Bāb m ruwya fī qawl al-nās yawm al-ʿĪd baʿḍuhum li baʿḍ taqabbal Allāh minnā wa mink ↑
- For brevity, questions that can have multiple opinions that have not been addressed earlier in the article will only be given the Ḥanafī position. ↑
- This is according to the Ḥanafīs, and Ḥanbalīs. The Shāfiʿīs do allow it, as do the Mālikīs as long as it’s not at the Eid Grounds.As for praying extra prayers at home, there are more details and differences of opinion. In sum: Ḥanafīs consider it disliked to pray extra nafl prayers at home only before Eid (perhaps an exception can be made if it’s someone’s daily habit to do so). But anything after at home is fine. Mālikīs consider it permissible before and after as long as it’s not at the Eid Grounds. Shāfiʿīs allow it unconditionally. Ḥanbalīs consider it disliked unconditionally. مذاهب العلماء في النافلة عند صلاة العيد وأثناء الخطبة ↑
- For more details regarding questions 8 and 9, please see: The Fiqh of Eid al-Fitr & Eid al-Adha. Al-Ṭaḥṭāwī, Ḥāshiyah, p. 534. ↑
- This will be done just by moving the tongue and lips. One should not be raising their hands in this scenario. ↑
- According to the Ḥanafī school. ↑