Praying At The Musallaa
The sunnah is to hold the `Eed prayer in the open. This outdoor place of prayer is known as the musallaa. Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree () said:
"The Prophet used to go on the day of Fitr and the day of Adha to the musallaa; and the first thing he did when he reached there was perform the prayer."1
The `allaamah (great scholar) Ibn al-Haajj al-Maaliki said:
"The established sunnah for the prayer of the two `Eeds is to be held in the musallaa; for, even though the Prophet said:
One prayer in this masjid (mosque) of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other masjid - except for al-Masjid ul-Haraam (the Sacred Mosque of Makkah).2
Yet, and despite this great merit, he left it and went out (to the musallaa) (on the days of `Eed)."3
Ibn Qud_mah said:
"The sunnah is to hold the `Eed prayer in the musallaa. `Alee () commanded with that; and al-Awzaa`ee recommended it - as did the people of reason4; it is also the opinion of Ibn ul-Munthir."5
As for the one who is incapable to go out to pray in the musallaa, because of a weakness or old age, then he may pray in the masjid, and there is no blame on him - in shaa'a 'Llaah.6
It should be noted here that the goal of holding the `Eed prayer in the musallaa is to gather the largest possible number of Muslims in one place.
However, we see in many counties today the establishment of many musallaas, even without a need for them. The scholars have warned people against such a thing7.
And these numerous musallaas have been turned into podiums set up to declare loyalty to different parties and divide the word of Muslims. Indeed, there is no might or power except from Allaah (SWT).
Taking Different Routes
Jaabir Bin `Abdillaah () reported:
"The Prophet would take different routes on the day of the Eed."8
Ibn ul-Qayyim (r) said:
"He would take different routes on the day of the `Eed, going one way and returning another one. It has been said that the wisdom behind this is:
After mentioning the above opinions, Imaam an-Nawawee (r) said:
"Even if the reason were not known, it would still be absolutely recommended to follow his example; and Allaah (SWT) knows best." 10
Imaam al-Baghawee (r) said:
"It is recommended for the people, as soon as they complete the Suhb (morning) prayer, to head toward the musallaa and sit in their places there, saying the Takbeers. As for the Imaam, he should arrive just at the time of the prayer."11
It should be noted as well that it is recommended, for those who are capable of doing it, to walk to the musallaa. `Alee (t) said:
"It is of the Sunnah that you go to the `Eed walking."12