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Eidul-Fitr or Eidul-Feast? Its history, meaning & Sunnah


Eidul-Fitr or shall we call it ‘Eidul-Feast’, the meaning of fitr is ‘breakfast’. Allah, the All-Mighty is treating the believers by declaring the day after Ramadhan to be a day of eating and drinking. He has also made fasting haram on this day.

The night that precedes the Eid day is also precious and very virtuous for those who do not forget Allah after Ramadhan. Since Islam is a complete way of life, for the entire life, there will never be a moment or an occasion where Muslims do not remember  Allah and glorify Him. Eid is an example where even before the day, the night that precedes it is also great.

Eid Night

عَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَتَىِ الْعِيدَيْنِ لِلَّهِ مُحْتَسِبًا لَمْ يَمُتْ قَلْبُهُ يَوْمَ تَمُوتُ الْقُلُوبُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die (doomed hearts on the day of judgement).

(Ibn Majah – This hadeeth is accepted by number of hadeeth scholars)

The very least a person can do is pray all the Salahs in the Masjid including the fajr of Eid and abstain from parties where there are haram activities.

History of Eid

عن انس قال: قدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينة ولهم يومان يلعبون فيهما فقال ما هاذان اليومان قالوا كنا نلعب فيهما فى الجاهلية فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ان الله قد ابدلكم بهما خيرا منهما يوم الاضحى و يوم الفطر

Anas RA (May Allah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) came to Madinah, the people had two days on which they would play games, He (Peace be upon him) asked: What are these two days? They replied we used to play games on these days during the pre-Islamic days, then the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)) said: “Indeed Allah has exchanged these two days with a better two days (they are) the day of  Adh’ha and the day of Fitr”. (Abu Dawood)

Saying ‘ Taqab’balal’lahu Min’na Wa Mink’ as Eid Dua & Greeting

كان اصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اذا التقوا يوم العيد يقول بعضهم لبعض: تقبل الله منا ومنك

When the companions of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) would meet on Eid day, they would say to each other ‘May Allah accept us and you’.       (Fathul Bari)

Eating before Eidul Fitr- Salah

عن بريدة رضى الله عنه قال: كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يخرج يوم الفطر حتى يأكل ولايأكل يوم الاضحى حتى يرجع فيأكل من أضحيته

Buraidah RA said: “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would not go out on Eidul Fitr until he had eaten and he would not eat on Eidul Adh’ha until he returned and he would eat from his sacrifice”. (Ahmad)

Adornment on Eid

عن الحسن السبط قال: أمرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فى العيدين ان نلبس أجود ما نجد وان نتطيب باجود ما نجد وان نضحى باثمن ما نجد

Hasan As-Sibt said: that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) commanded us to wear the best clothes that we could find for both Eids and to use the best perfume that we could find and to sacrifice the most expensive animal that we could find (animal sacrifice for Eidul Adha). (Haakim) 

Walking to Eid Salah

عن علي: قال ان من السنة ان يمشي الى العيد

Ali RA said: It is sunnah to walk towards the Eid Salah. (Ibn Majah)

Going through one route and returning from another

عن ابى هريرة قال: كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم اذا خرج الى العيد يرجع فى غير الطريق الذي خرج فيه

Abu Hurairah RA said: “When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would leave for Eid (Salah) he would return from a different route to the one he went in”. (Muslim)

Praying Eid Salah in the Musalla (Outdoor space)

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ صَلَّى الْعِيدَ بِالْمُصَلَّى مُسْتَتِرًا بِحَرْبَةٍ ‏

It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) prayed Eid at the Musalla (outdoor prayer place), using a small spear as a Sutrah (Barrier in front).  (Sunan Ibn Majah)

It is sunnah to pray Eid salah outside the Masjid in the fields. However if there is a genuine excuse like rain etc. then it is permissible to pray in the Masjid as did the Prophet.

Women can also pray Eid salah with the condition that men and women observe hijab. Women must cover themselves and abstain from applying any perfume. Men must keep their gazes down.

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ كَانَ يُخْرِجُ بَنَاتِهِ وَنِسَاءَهُ فِي الْعِيدَيْنِ

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to bring his daughters and his wives out on the two ‘Eids. (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Eid is a Day of Eating & Drinking

عن عقبة ابن عامر ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ان يوم عرفة و يوم النحر و ايام التشريق عيدنا اهل الاسلام وهي ايام اكل و شرب

Uqbah Ibn Amir narrated that the messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: Indeed the day of Arafah and the day of Nahr (Day of slaughtering meaning Eid day) and days of Tashreeq are our Eid, the people of Islam, and they are the days of ‘Eating and Drinking’. (Nasai)

Although this hadeeth only mentions Eidul Adh’ha, the same ruling is for Eidul-Fitr in terms of eating and drinking.

Islamic songs (poetry), playing & watching sports on Eid day

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ، قَالَتْ : دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَعِنْدِي جَارِيَتَانِ تُغَنِّيَانِ بِغِنَاءِ بُعَاثَ ، فَاضْطَجَعَ عَلَى الفِرَاشِ ، وَحَوَّلَ وَجْهَهُ ، وَدَخَلَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ ، فَانْتَهَرَنِي وَقَالَ : مِزْمَارَةُ الشَّيْطَانِ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ فَقَالَ : دَعْهُمَا ، فَلَمَّا غَفَلَ غَمَزْتُهُمَا فَخَرَجَتَا ، وَكَانَ يَوْمَ عِيدٍ ، يَلْعَبُ السُّودَانُ بِالدَّرَقِ وَالحِرَابِ ، فَإِمَّا سَأَلْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، وَإِمَّا قَالَ : تَشْتَهِينَ تَنْظُرِينَ ؟ فَقُلْتُ : نَعَمْ ، فَأَقَامَنِي وَرَاءَهُ ، خَدِّي عَلَى خَدِّهِ ، وَهُوَ يَقُولُ : دُونَكُمْ يَا بَنِي أَرْفِدَةَ حَتَّى إِذَا مَلِلْتُ ، قَالَ : حَسْبُكِ ؟ قُلْتُ : نَعَمْ ، قَالَ : فَاذْهَبِي

Aisha (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) entered (my house) whilst I had two girls singing the song of the battle of Buaath. Then He (Peace be upon him) lied down and turned his face away.

Later Abu Bakr (RA) entered and told me off by saying ‘Instruments of Satan next to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). Then the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) turned towards him and said “leave them”.
And when He (Peace be upon him) became inattentive I hinted to them (two girls to leave) hence they left. 
And it was the day of Eid and the black people were playing with shields and spears. 
It was, either I asked the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) or he asked me that do you want to watch, so I said ‘yes’. He made me stand behind him, my cheek touching his cheek and He (Peace be upon him) said: “Oh Banu Arfadah be busy” (cheering them on), when I became bored he said “Is this enough”, I replied ‘yes’. Then he asked me to leave. (Muslim)

-The lyrics of any songs or poems must not contain anything un-Islamic 
– In Islam musical instruments are forbidden except Duff- one sided drum
– Any gathering open to male and female must facilitate and encourage Islamic segregation as much as possible


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