Celebrations In Islaam
The Eid Prayer and Khutbah

The `Eed Khutbah
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Its Time
The sunnah for the khutbah (speech) is to follow the `Eed prayer. Ibn `Abbaas (radiAllahu `anhu) said:
"I attended the `Eed with Allaah's Messenger saws, Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthm_n (radiAllahu `anhum); all of them would pray before the khutbah."1

     Ibn `Umar (radiAllahu `anhu) said:
"The Prophet saws, Abu Bakr, and `Umar prayed the `Eed (prayers) before the khutbah."2

      Al-Bukhaaree headed these hadeeths with the title, "The Chapter on Holding the khutbah after the `Eed Prayer." Waliyyullaah ad-Dahlawee commented on this by saying:
"He means that this (performing the prayer before the khutbah) was the sunnah of Allaah's Messenger saws, and the practice of the Righteous Khulafaa' (Successors, radiAllahu `anhum) after him. The change that came later (switching the khutbah and the prayer) is an innovation done by Marwaan3." 4

     This is stated clearly by Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree (radiAllahu `anhu) who said:
"On the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha, the Prophet saws used to go out (from his house) to the musallaa, and the first thing that he did was perform the prayer. Then he turned around and stood facing the people, while they were sitting in their rows. He admonished, advised, and commanded them.
      After that, if he wished to send an expedition, or give some orders, he would do so; then he would depart.
      The people followed this tradition until I went out with Marwaan, when he was the ameer (ruler) of al-Madeenah, for the prayer of `Eed ul-Adha or `Eed ul-Fitr. When he reached the musallaa, I found a minbar (raised steps to address people from), which was built by Katheer Bin as-Salt. Marwaan started to mount the minbar before the prayer. I grabbed his shirt, but he yanked it back, ascended the minbar, and delivered the khutbah before the prayer. I said to him, 'By Allaah, you have changed (the sunnah).' He replied, 'O Abu Sa`eed, that which you know is gone!' I said, 'By Allaah, that which I know is better than that which I do not.' So he explained, 'People would not sit to listen when it was after the prayer, so I made it before it.' "5

     Imaam at-Tirmithee (r) commented:
"This is the acceptable practice among the people of knowledge among the Prophet's saws companions and others: that the `Eed prayer should precede the khutbah. It is reported that the first one to offer the khutbah before the prayer was Marwaan Bin al-Hakam."6

Takbeer At The Beginning Of The Khutbah?
Some imaams start this khutbah with Takbeer. This does not have any basis in the Sunnah. There is a weak hadeeth that some people use as their evidence. Al-Albaanee said in this regard:
"The hadeeth reported from Sa`d ul-Qarz that, "The Prophet saws would say Takbeer often during his khutbah, and he said it more often during the `Eed khutbahs." - is a weak hadeeth7. Besides, it does not indicate starting the khutbah with Takbeer, but only that he used to say it frequently during it."8

      Thus, this khutbah, like any other one, should be started with praising and glorifying Allaah (SWT). Ibn ul-Qayyim (r) said:
"Allaah's Messenger saws used to begin all of his khutbahs with al-hamdu lillaah. Not even one authentic hadeeth indicates that he started the Eed's khutbah with Takbeer."9

One Or Two Khutbahs?
There is no authentic hadeeth indicating that the `Eed khutbah is to be divided into two parts separated with a sitting (as for Jumu`ah). The only report in this regard is very weak.10
     Thus, the khutbah should be kept as one unit, which is consistent with the original understanding and practice.
Standing On A Minbar?
It is not permissible to bring out a minbar to the musallaa or to build a fixed one. This follows from the above mentioned hadeeth of Abu Sa`eed (radiAllahu `anhu) where he said, "... Then he saws turned around and stood facing the people, while they were sitting in their rows. He admonished, advised, and commanded them," which makes it clear that he did not mount a minbar. Also, he (radiAllahu `anhu) said to Marwaan, "By Allaah, you have changed (the Sunnah)." His objection here refers to two things: building the minbar, and delivering the khutbah before the prayer.
      Also, Jaabir Bin `Abdillaah (radiAllahu `anhu) reported:
"I witnessed with Allaah's Messenger saws the prayer on a `Eed day. He started with the prayer, before the khutbah, without Athaan or Iqaamah. Then he stood, leaning on Bilaal, and commanded people to fear Allaah (SWT) ..."11

     This clearly indicates that he was not standing on a minbar during the khutbah.
Listening To The Khutbah
Attending the khutbah is not waajib, as is the case for attending the prayer. `Abdullaah Bin as-Saa'ib reported that he attended the `Eed with the Prophet saws; and when he saws finished the prayer, he said:
We shall have a khutbah; so let whoever wishes to sit for the khutbah do so, and whoever wishes to leave leave.12

     Ibn ul-Qayyim commented:
"He saws gave choice for those who attended the `Eed to either sit for the khutbah or leave."13

  1. Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and Ahmad.  - Back to text 
  2. Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, at-Tirmithee, an-Nasaa`ee, Ibn Maajah, and Ahmad.  - Back to text 
  3. This is Marwaan Bin al-Hakam Bin Abee al-`Aas, third Umayyad khaleefa, who died in 65 AH.  - Back to text 
  4. Sharju Taraajimi Abwaab il-Bukhaaree 79.  - Back to text 
  5. Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, an-Nasaa`ee, al-Bayhaqee and Ahmad.  - Back to text 
  6. Sunan ut-Tirmithee 2:411.  - Back to text 
  7. Recorded by Ibn Maajah, al-Haakim, and al-Bayhaqee. In its chain is `Abdurrahmaan Bin Sa`d Bin `Ammaar Bin Sa`d al-Mu`aththin, his father, and his grandfather. `Abdurrahmaan is weak; and his father and grandfather are unknown. See Da`if Sunan Ibn Maajah, and Irwaa' ul-Ghaleel (3:119) by al-Albaanee.  - Back to text 
  8. Tamaam ul-Minnah 351.  - Back to text 
  9. Zaad ul-Ma`aad 1:447.  - Back to text 
  10. This was recorded by al-Bazzaar in his Musnad from his shaykh `Abdullaah Bin Shabeeb, up to Sa`d (radiAllahu `anhu) that, "the Prophet saws would give two khubahs separated by a sitting." Al-Halabee said, "`Abdullaah Bin Shabeeb is labeled by al-Bukhaaree as being 'Not acceptable in reporting hadeeth.' "  - Back to text 
  11. Muslim and others.  - Back to text 
  12. Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa`ee, Ibn Maajah and al-Haakim, with an authentic chain of narrators; see Irwaa' ul-Ghaleel 3:96-98.  - Back to text 
  13. Zaad ul-Ma`aad 1:448.  - Back to text 
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