Eid Prayers

Eid prayers, also known as Salat al-Eid (صلاة العيد‎) and Șālat al-’Īdayn (صلاة العيدين‎ “Prayer of the Two Eids”), is the special prayers offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals traditionally in an open space allocated (musalla or Eidgah) or field available for prayer. The two festivals on which these prayers are conducted in large congregations are:

  • Eid al-Fitr (عيد الفطر‎), celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal after the fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
  • Eid al-Adha (عيد الأضحى‎), celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah after the Day of Arafah, the main day of the Hajj pilgrimage season.

Name variations

Region/country Language Main
Arab World Arabic صلاة العيد (Ṣalāh al-‘Eid)
Iran Persian نماز عيد
Pakistan Urdu نماز عيد (Eid namaaz)
Turkey, Azerbaijan Turkish, Azeri Bayram namazı
Balkans Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian Bajram-namaz
Bangladesh Bengali ঈদের নামাজ (Eider namaz)
Sweden Swedish Eidbön
Indonesia Indonesian, Javanese Salat Id
Malaysia Bahasa Melayu Solat Sunat Hari Raya
Iraqi Kurdistan Kurdish Sorani نوێژی جێژن
Kashmir Urdu Eid Namaz
Tamil Nadu Tamil பெருநாள் தொழுகை

Eid greetings

The customary greeting on the days of Eid Festivals is “Eid Mubarak“, meaning “Have a Blessed Eid” and is often accompanied by other forms of cultural greetings and customs.

Location and timing

Eid Prayers In Barashalghar, Debidwar, Comilla

Muslim males can be seen attending Khutbah as part of the Eid-ul-Adha prayers. Photo taken at Barashalghar union of Comilla’s Debidwar upazila.

Eid prayers are traditionally offered in an open space (such as a Musalla or Eidgah) or field available for prayer if weather permits. The technical appointed time of Salat Al-Eid, as specified by the Quran and Sunnah (sayings, teachings, and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), begins when the sun reaches approximately three meters above the horizon – above the height of a spear, until it reaches its meridian – approaching its zenith. Generally speaking, it is recommended that the prayer is offered in the morning, anytime after sunrise and before noon.

The time for Eid al-Fitr prayer may be delayed while the prayer of Eid al-Adha is hastened. This is to ensure enough time to facilitate the distribution of the Zakat before the prayer or offer sacrifice after, respectively. This has been a proved Sunnah and has been well recorded in Hadith books.

Specified times of the prayer vary according to local Masjids and larger communities may offer two prayers to allow as many people as possible the chance to make the prayer.

Degree of importance

The degree of importance of the Eid prayer vary between different Madhhab, or schools of Islamic thought. According to Hanafi scholars, Salat al-Eid is Wajib (obligatory).To Hanbali jurisprudence, it is Fard (necessary; often synonymous with Wajib) and according to Maliki and Shafiʽi schools, it is considered to be Sunnah Al-Mu’akkadah (“confirmed Sunnah, “continuously performed and never abandoned”) but not mandatory.

Procedure and ritual

In addition to the actual praying of the Salah, another component of the Eid Prayers is the delivering of a Khutbah or Islamic sermon, like that given weekly on Fridays at Jumu’ah (obligatory Friday prayers). While the sermon is delivered prior to the Salah for Jumu’ah, it is delivered after the Salah for Eid. This is in accordance with the narration by Abdullah ibn Umar that the Prophet performed Eid Prayers in this order.

The Eid prayers also take place without the customary calling of the Adhan or Iqama (arabic call to prayer), which is normally called before every Salah. This is per the traditional narration by Jabir sin Samurah, who had prayed Eid Salah behind the Prophet, and noted that the calls were not made.

Another specific characteristic of the Eid prayer is the number of Takbir, or calling of the phrase “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”) performed in each Rakat (unit of prayer) of Salah. The Takbir for regular Salah (as well as most sunnah and special Salah) is called only once at the start with repetitions between steps of the prayer. According to Hadith narrated by ‘Amr bin Shuaib over certified generations, the Prophet Muhammad completed 7 takbirs in the first rakah of the Eid prayer and 5 in the second, then began with the recitation of the Quran.

Additional sunnah

To reap further rewards from praying the Eid, there are additional recommended steps that the Prophet did in his time according to his Sunnah that Muslims may perform. These include bathing or Ghusl prior to attending the festival, dressing in your best clothes, eating before the Eid al-Fitr prayer and waiting until after Eid al-Adha prayer to eat, saying the Takbir to and from the place of Eid and after every prayer for the remaining days of the festival, as well as taking an alternative route home from the one taken to the prayer.

Women and the Eid Salah

Eid festivals are meant to be an event for all members of the Muslim community, including women and children. According to the Hadith narrated by the Nusaybah Bint Al-Harith (Umm ‘Atiyah), women, young and old, were called to come out and participate in the joy of Eid and reap its blessings.

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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