Eid Prayer throughout history
Eid prayers, also known as Salat al-Eid (Arabic: صلاة العيد) and Salat al-Eidain (Arabic: صلاة العيدين), is the special prayer offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals. Both the Eids are collectively known as Eidain (عيدين) in Arabic language. The two Islamic festivals are:
- Eid al-Fitr, (Arabic: عيد الفطر) is celebrated on the 1st day of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic calendar (the first day after Ramadan).
- Eid al-Adha, (Arabic: عيد الأضحى) is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month of Islamic calendar.
On both the occasions this special prayer is usually offered in Eidgah, a place in the outskirts of the city dedicated for Salat al-Eid.
Different scholars interpret the importance of this Salah (prayer) differently. Salat al-Eid is Wajib according to Hanafi scholars, Sunnah al-Mu’kkadah according to Maliki and Shaf’i jurisprudence, and Fard according to Hanbali scholars. Some scholars say it is fard al-ayn and some said its fard al-kifaya.
Participation of women
Women are allowed to participate in Salat al-Eid provided they adequately cover themselves and do not use perfume.
The time of Salat al-Eid begins when sun reaches approximately two meters above the horizon until it reaches its meridian before Dhuhr. Adhering to the Sunnah, the time for Eid al-Fitr prayer is delayed and Eid al-Adha prayer is hastened, so as to facilitate distribution of Fitrah before the Eid al-Fitr prayer and offer sacrifice after the Eid al-Adha prayer. This has been a proved Sunnah and has been well recorded in Hadith books.
The time for the Eid prayer begins from the time the sun is 3 m (9.8 ft) from the horizon until the sun reaches its meridian. Ahmad ibn Hassan al-Bana records that Jundub said: “The Prophet prayed the Eid al-Fitr prayer while the sun was (approximately) 6 metres (20 ft) above the horizon and the ‘eid of the sacrifice while the sun was 3 metres (9.8 ft) above the horizon.”
The Eid prayer consists of two ra’kat during which it is sunnah to pronounce the takbir six times in total. First three takbir are pronounced after the opening takbir and before the Qur’anic recital in the first rak’ah, while during the second rak’ah, one pronounce the other three takbir after the Qur’anic recital but before the ruku’. One is to raise one’s hands during each pronouncement of the takbir.
The khutbah after Salat al-Eid is not fardh but is sunnah and so is listening to it.
Concerning the adhan and iqamah for Salat al-Eidain, Ibn al-Qayyum writes: “When the Prophet went to the place of prayer, he would perform the salah without any adhan or iqamah and without saying the Friday congregational prayer.”