The 'Id Festivals

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Publications Ltd. for permission to print this
excerpt (Ch. 28) from Everyday Fiqh (vol. 1) 
by Abdul Aziz Kamal

The 'Id Festivals

Acording to Hadrat Anas, when the Holy Prophet migrated to Madinah, he found that the people of the town had set aside two days in the year for fun, sport and merry-making. The Holy Prophet told the Muslims of Madinah that Allah had appointed two better days for them in the year : the day of Id al-Adha.

Significance of Id al-Fitr

The Muslims celebrated Id al-Fitr on the first of the lunar month of Shawwal.  The religious festival in fact is an expression of thanks-giving to Allah Almighty for His grace in enabling His faithful servants to observe the fasting month of Ramadan besides the daily Taravih Prayers, recitation of the Qur'an and works of charity.

Significance of Id al-Adha

Id-al-Adha is celebrated on the 10th of the lunar month of Zil-Hajj to commemorate the great sacrifies offered by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail (Allah's peace be upon them both) to please Allah. 

When in a dream Prophet Ibrahim was asked to give away his dearest thing in the way of Allah, he took along his only son, Ismail, without the least hestitation and prepared to sacrifice him to win Allah.  He submitted himself most willingly beneth the knife.  By following and observing this unparalleled tradition of sacrifice practically, the Muslims indeed proclaim that they are ever ready to expend their wealth and properties in the way of Allah.  By slaughtering the sacrificial animals they indeed pledge before Allah that just as they are shedding their blood for His sake, so they will also be prepared to lay down their own lives in His way, as and when required.

Prescribed Works on Id al-Fitr

The following eleven things have been prescribed to be done on 'Id al-Fitr :

1.     The rise early in the morning.
2.     To brush the teeth.
3.      To have bath for 'Id after the Fajr Prayer.
4.     To put on the best available dress.
5.     To use the perfume.
6.     To arrange for one's personal adornment and decoration.
7.    To give away 'Id Charity (Fittranah, etc.) Before departure fo rth 'Id ground.
8.     To eat something sweet before going for the Id Prayer.
9.     To reach the Id ground as early as possible.
10.    To walk to the 'Id ground by one way and return by the other ; however, there is no harm if one rides back home.
11.    To pronounce the following Takbir on the way in a low voice -- Allahu Akbar -- Allah is Greatest

All those things which are prescribed for 'Id al-Fitr have also been prescribed for 'Id al-Adha, with the following two exceptions :

Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u-Akbar
Allah is Greatest.  Allah is Greatest!

La-Ilaha ill-Allah
There is no good but Allah.

Wa-allah-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar
And Allah is Greatest.  Allah is Greatest!

And all praise is for Allah.

Prescribed Works on Id al-Adha

All those things which are prescribed for Id al-Fitr have also been prescribed for Id al-Adha, with the following two exceptions :

1.     One should eat nothing before departure for the Id ground. According to Hadrat Buraidah, the Holy Prophet would at something before going for the prayer on Id al-Fitr, but he would eat only after the return from the 'Id ground. According to some traditions he took sacrificial meat.
2.     The Takbir has to be pronounced aloud while going out for 'Id al-Adha Prayer.

The Id Prayer

The 'Id Prayer consists of two rak'ahs (Wajib) and the prerequisites of its validity and essentiality are the same as of the Friday Prayer with the exception of the sermon which is Fard in case of the Friday Prayer but Sunnat in case of the Id al-Fitr of Id al-Adha, is the case be, along with six additional Takbirs.

The Procedure

The Prayer is observed in the usual manner along with six additional Takbirs, three after Thana in the first rakah, and three just before bending down for Ruku in the second rak'ah.

In the first rakah, after the recitation of Thana, the Imam raises his hands thrice to the ears with Takbir dropping them each time to the sides, and the whole congregation does the same after him.  Hands are placed under the navel after the third Takbir dropping them each time to the sides, and the whole congregation does the same after him. Hands are placed under the navel after the third Takbir and the Imam begins the recitation of Al-Fatihah followed by passage, and completes the first rak''ah the remaining three Takbirs are called out after the recitation of Al-Fatihah and the additional passage before bending down in Ruku, and the prayer is completed in the usual way.

The Time

The time for the Id Prayers starts when the sun has risen and brightened up sufficiently and lasts till it begins to decline. As far as possible, the prayer should not be delayed ; the Adha Prayer should be offered a little earlier than the Fitr Prayer

Regulations Relating to Id Prayer

1.    If a person misses the Id Prayer, he cannot offer it individually, for the Prayer is conditioned upon congregation.  Similarly, if the prayer of a person who joined in the congregation. Is invalidated due to some reason, he cannot offer it later as a missed prayer, nor is it incumbent upon him to do so.  However, a few persons who have missed the prayer can get together and offer it if they so desire.
2.     If  due to genuine reason the Fitr Prayer is not offered on its day, it can be offered on the following day ; similarly the Adha prayer can be offered later up till the 12th  of Zul-Hijja.
3.     Though permitted it is undesirable without a really genuine reasonto delay the Adha Prayer till the 12th of Zul-Hijja but it is not permitted to delay the Fitr Prayer till the following day without a really genuine reason.
4.     There is neither Azan nor Iqamah for the Id Prayers.
5.     Women and the men who cannot offer the Id Prayers due tosome reason, should not offer any voluntary prayer before the 'Id Prayer
6     If a person join[s] the 'Id Prayer when the Imam has already pronounced the Takbirs and is reciting the Qur'an, he should pronounce the Takbirs after expressing intention for the prayer.  If he joins [when people are in the] in the Ruku position, he should pronounce the Takbirs instead of the usual Tasbih, without raising the[ir] hands.  If the Imam resumes the standing position before the late-comer has been able to pronounce the required number of Takbirs, he should also resume the standing position after the Imam; the remaining Takbirs are excused.
7.     If the Imam forgets to pronounce the additional Takbirs and remembers this in the Ruku position, he should pronounce them even in that position instead of resuming the standing position for the purpose ; but even if he resumes the standing position, the prayer will not be invalidated.
8.     It is undesirable to offer a voluntary prayer in the Id ground or elsewhere before or after the 'Id Prayer. 1
9.     If a person has missed the 'Id Prayer, he should not offer it later as a missed prayer, because the Id Prayer cannot be offered later individually.
10.  Jurists are agreed that the 'Id Prayer may be held at more than one place in the city.  The people who cannot go out to the Id ground may offer the prayer in the city according to their convenience.
11.     The recitation in the 'Id Prayer has to be audible.  The Imam should preferably recite Surah's Al-A'ala (87) and Al-Ghashiyah (88) or Surah's Qaf (50) and Al-Qamar (54) as was the practice of the Holy Prophet himself.

Regulations Concerning the Id Sermon

1. The 'Id Sermon is Sunnat in nature, but listening to it is Wajib. (Obligatory) for the audience.

2. The Sermon should be delivered after the prayer.  Hadrat Abu Sa'id says ; The Holy prophet would first of all offer the Fitr or Adha Prayer ; then he would stand up facing the people who kept on sitting in their rows and he would instruct them in religion.  Then if he had to send out an army or had to give a special command to the people, he would do so.  After this he would return home.  (Bukhari, Muslim)

3. It is prescribed to deliver two sermons after the Id Prayer and observe a pause between them just like the pause between the Friday sermons.

4. The prescribed Takbir has to be pronounced in the 'Id Sermons, nine times in the first Sermon and seven times in the second.

5. The Imam should draw the people Fitranahetc. in the Fitr Sermon and to commands and regulations relating to sacrifice, Takbir Tashriq, etc. in the Adha Sermon.Takbir Tashriq

1. Arafah, 10th of Zul-Hijja as the Day of Sacrifice, and 11th to 13th as the days of Tashriq.  During these five days the following Takbir, has to be pronounced aloud soon after the Fard daily prayers [ARABIC TEXT] Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest! Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest!

2.   Takbir Tashriq is begun from the Fajr Prayer on the Day of Arafah and is repeated after every Fard Prayer till the Asr Prayer on the 13th of Zul-Hijja.

3. The males must pronounce Takbir Tashriq in a loud voice : the females however, should pronounce it in a low voice.

4.  It is not obligatory for the women and travellers to pronounce Takbir Tashriq, unless, however, they are offering prayers behind an Imam who has to pronounce it ; in this case they will have to pronounce it, too.

5.  Takbir Tashriq has to be pronounced immediately after the Fard Prayer.  If a person does something irreverent to the prayer, e.g.,  Breaks into laughter, engages in conversation, or leaves the mosque, he should not pronounce the Takbir.  However, if his Wudu breaks, he may still pronounce it, or pronounce it after performing a fresh Wudu.

6.  If the Imam forgets to pronounce Takbir Tashriq, the followers should start pronouncing it instead of waiting for the Imam to do so.

  9th of Zul-Hijja is known as the Day of Arafah, 10th of Zul-Hijja as the Day of Sacrifice, and 11th to 13th as the days of Tashriq.  During these five days the following Takbir, has to be pronounced aloud soon after the Fard daily prayers :


Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u-Akbar La Ilaha ill-Allah
wa-Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar wa lillah-il-hamd

Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest!
There is no good but Allah,
And Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest!
And all praise is only for Allah.

The Ahl al-Hadith scholars maintain the view that women and children have been enjoined to attend the Id Prayer, because the Id like the Friday Prayer, is a special feature of Islam, and the Holy Prophet himself has exhorted the women to go to the 'Id ground, Hadrat Umm Atiyyah has narrated :

The Holy Prophet commanded us that we should take unmarried young girls and grown-up- women, even the menstruating ones, along with us to the Id ground.  The menstruating women, however, are not to attend the Prayer, but should sit aside and keep on pronouncing the Takbir, and join only in th Supplications.  I asked, "O Prophet of Allah ! What about those who do not have the over-garment to cover themselves up . The Holy Prophet replied : 'The one having an over-garment should take her sister along with her' ". (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi) 

Hadrat Ibn 'Abbas says : I accompanied the Holy Prophet to the 'Id ground.  He led the prayer and then gave the sermon.  Then he approached the gathering of the women and gave them religious instructions and urged them to practise charity. (Bukhari)

According to Hadrat Abdullah bin 'Abbas, the Holy Prophet went for the Fitr Prayer and offered only two rakahs and no other prayer before or after.  (Tirmidhi)

The Ahl al-Hadith scholars, however, maintain that if a person has missed the congregational 'Id Prayer, he may offer two rakahs individually.  (Islami Talim, Vol. IV)

Everyday Fiqh (Vol.1) by Abdul Aziz Kamal ©1986 published by Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., 13-E Shah Alam Market, Lahore, Pakistan