Ustaz Khalid loves contemporary Fiqh and passionate about engaging the public through interreligious dialogues to promote mutual respect and understanding for a progressive community. He holds a Bachelor in Syariah from University of Madinah and a Masters degree from RSIS, NTU in Asian Studies. Ustaz Khalid is a member of Asatizah Youth Network (AYN).
Each year, Muslims from across the globe take part in the celebration of Eid. In Arabic, ‘Eid’ means something which returns, and is repeated over a certain period of time. The word ‘Eid’, however, has evolved to mean a festivity. There are two such Eids.
The Prophet s.a.w. said:
“Every nation has its festival, and this is your festival.”
The first is called is called ‘Eiduladha’. It falls on the tenth day of Zulhijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, following completion of the course of Haj or pilgrimage to Makkah.
The second is known as ‘Eidulfitri’. It falls on the first day of the month of Syawal the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, following the month of Ramadan in which the Quran was revealed and fasting is observed.
It is useful to note that since Eid is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, it does not fall on the same day each year on the Gregorian (Western) calendar. Eidulfitri is a day of that represents joy, acts of worship, cooperation, solidarity, brotherhood, and unity for Muslims.
Instead of commemorating an event from the past, Islam has prescribed Eidulfitri as an annual festival for the Muslims after accomplishing a great form of worship by regulating their desires. This approach reminds Muslims that they should not only rely on the accomplishments of their ancestors. Rather, they should themselves perform righteous acts to please their Creator.
In this article, we will look at some of the acts of Sunnah to be performed on the day of Eidulfitri.
1. To Observe Personal Hygiene
It is encouraged for us to take a bath, cut nails and perfuming ourselves before going for the Eidulfitri prayers. Nafi’ reported:
“Abdullah ibn Umar used to perform a ritual bath on the day of Eidulfitri before departing for prayer.”
Al-Nawawi (Rahimahumullah) mentioned that the scholars agreed that it is sunnah to take a bath before the Eid prayer.
A Muslim is one who is always conscious of purity and cleanliness, not only in matters of spirituality but also in physical matters, which leads to the wisdom of observing personal hygiene before public gatherings such as Eid and Friday prayers.
2. Donning The Best Clothes
“Abdullah ibn Umar would wear his best clothes on the days of the two Eids.”
Muslims are encouraged to dress for Eid in their best clothing, meeting others while looking and smelling good. It is a well-known tradition from Islamic history and is also indicated by the sunnah as part of expressing joy and happiness on that day.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was known to have worn his best garment on Eid and for Jumaat prayers. Every culture has its own style and sense of dressing which also may vary from person to person according to their likeness. As such, you will see that Muslims of different races will dress up with a set of clothing that are unique to their culture.
3. Eating before leaving the house
It is recommended to eat something, specifically an odd number of dates, before heading to the prayer on Eidulfitri. Anas Ibn Malik (ra) narrated,
“Allah's Messenger s.a.w. never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of Eidulfitri unless he had eaten some dates…and he would eat an odd number of dates.”
If no dates are available, one 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 the prayers of Eidulfitri.
4. Takbir on the Day of Eid
“Allah intends for you ease and He does not intend for you hardship and He wants you to complete the period of fasting and to exalt Allah for that to which He has guided you, for perhaps you will be grateful.”
Takbir starts from the night before Eid after Maghrib until the Imam starts the prayer. The practice of making Takbir from home to the prayer-place, and until the imam comes in, was well-known among the righteous predecessors such as Ibn Umar as being reported by Imam Daraqutni.
5. To attend the Eid Prayer
Every Muslim should make an effort to attend the Eid prayer which includes bring your children along for the prayer. Even women who are unable to pray, are still encouraged to join the celebration of the Muslims.
Umm Atiyyah reported:
“We were ordered to come out on the day of Eid, even the young girls and menstruating women from their houses, so that we would stand behind the men and declare the greatness of Allah along with them and supplicate to Allah along with them, hoping for the blessings of that day and its purification from sin.”
The following is a guideline for Solat Eidulfitri :
After the prayer, the Imam will deliver a sermon in which he will advise the congregation, encourage them to give in charity, and remind them about Allah.
6. Congratulating One Another
Eid is a joyous occasion for the Muslims and should be celebrated with family, friends, and the community. Congratulating one another is one of the noblest manifestation of good manners and one of the highest social qualities that a Muslim may possess.
One may exchange congratulations and good greetings on Eid, with no specific wordings or in any particular language. For example one may say, “Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum (May Allah accept the worship from us and from you), “Eid Mubarak”, “Selamat Hari Raya” and other similar permissible greetings.
The practice of exchanging greetings was well-known at the time of the Companions and scholars such as Imam Ahmad and others allowed it. The Companions used to congratulate one another when something good happened, such as when Allah accepted a person’s repentance and so on.
Jubayr Ibn Nufair said:
“At the time of the Prophet, when people met one another on the day of Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minka’ (May Allah accept from us and from you).”
7. To use alternate routes to and from the venue of the Eid prayer
It is recommended to return home from the Eid prayers by following a different direction. Jabir ibn Abdullah reported:
On the Day of Eid the Prophet s.a.w. used to return (after Eid prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.
Scholars mentioned several wisdom of thoughts behind the Prophet’s action. One was to ensure that he had the liberty to greet the people with peace who lived on both fairways, or so that the blessings of his passing would reach both areas, or to fulfill the needs of those among them.
It is said that he did so to establish the symbols of Islam in the various roads and paths. It is said that he did so in order for the various areas to testify to his obedience to Allah for one who walks to the mosque and the place of prayer will earn enormous virtues: one step raises him a degree and another erases a sin until he returns home.
It will also provide the necessary opportunity for one to give charity to those in need; or to visit his relatives and uphold the ties of kinship.
May this short reminder be beneficial for us as we celebrate Eidulfitri with joy and happiness. Remember that as Muslim, we should not only spread joy and happiness among fellow Muslims, but also among people of various beliefs, race and culture.