Celebrations In Islaam
The Eid Prayer and Khutbah

The Status of the `Eed Prayer in Islaam
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The `Eed Prayer is waajib (obligatory) according to the majority of scholars. The Prophet saws performed it consistently and commanded all the people to go out for it.
     He saws even specifically commanded all of the women to attend; Umm `Atiyyah (radiAllahu `anha) narrated that the Prophet saws commanded:
Let the free women, the virgins, and the menstruating women go out to attend the `Eed prayer, and witness the good and the supplications of the believers. As for the menstruating women, they should stay away from the musallaa. (i.e., should not participate in the prayer itself).1

     Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (r) said:
"... Thus we lean towards the opinion that Salaat ul-`Eed is fard `Ayn (individual obligation) on each individual. This is the opinion of Abu Haneefah2 and others, and is one of the two reported opinions of ash-Shaafi`ee and of the school of Ahmad.
     The opinion held by some people, that it is not waajib, it is extremely unlikely, because it is one of the greatest rites of Islam; more people gather for it than for Friday; and the Takbeer has been legislated for its sake. The opinion of those who say that it is far kifaayah (communal obligation) is unjustified ..."3

     Ash-Shawkaanee (r) said:
"Note that the Prophet saws consistently performed this prayer on every `Eed, never neglecting it. He commanded the people to go out for it; he even commanded the free women, the virgins, and the menstruating women to go out, instructing the latter to refrain from praying, in order for all of them to witness this good and the Muslims' supplications. He saws further commanded the woman who did not own a jilbaab (outer overall garment for women) to borrow her friend's.4
     All of this proves that this prayer is waajib on every individual, not only a kifayah obligation. Commanding the people to go out for it entails the command to perform the prayer (for those who have no excuse). This is the content of his saws address, because going out is a means for performing the prayer (an end); if the means is obligatory, then the end is. And this obligation applies to men even more so that women.
     A further evidence is that it overrides the Friday prayer when both occur on the same day5. That which is not waajib cannot override that which is.
     Furthermore, it is confirmed that the Prophet saws performed it consistently in Jamaa`ah (congregation) from the time that it was legislated until he died. To this is added his command to people to go out for it."6

     Commenting on the hadeeth of Umm `Atiyyah, our shaykh al-Albaanee states:
"The Prophet's saws command mentioned here indicates obligation; when it is waajib to go out for it, it is waajib to pray it, because of its higher priority. Thus the truth is that it is an obligation - not a mere recommendation."7

  1. Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and others.  - Back to text 
  2. Haasheeyatu Ibn `ASabidayn 2:166.  - Back to text 
  3. Majmuu` ul-Fataawee 23:161.  - Back to text 
  4. Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and others.  - Back to text 
  5. Abu Hurayrah (t) narrated that one time the `Eed fell on a Friday. The Messenger of Allaah saws said: Two `Eeds have come together on this day of yours; so whoever wishes, he is excused from the Jumu`ah (Friday) prayer. But as for us, we shall gather for the Jumu`ah. [Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah with a hasan chain of narrators]  - Back to text 
  6. As-Sayl ul-Jarraar 1:315. See also Nayl ul-awtaar and ar-Rawat un-Nadiyyah.  - Back to text 
  7. Tamaam ul-Minnah 344.  - Back to text 
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