Celebrating Eid, The Sunnah Way
The time for celebration is here. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.” (Al-Bukhari)
Here are some of the Sunnah acts of Eid:
Doing Ghusl before going out to the prayer
It was narrated in a Saheeh Hadeeth in Al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that Abdullah Bin Umar used to do Ghusl on the day of Al-Fitr before going out to the prayer-place in the morning. (Al-Muwatta’ 428)
Al-Nawawi said Muslims were unanimously agreed that it is Mustahabb (recommended) to do Ghusl for Eid prayer.
Eating after the prayer on Eid Al-Adha
On Eid Al-Adha it is recommended not to eat anything until one comes back from the prayer, so as to eat from the sacrifice if he has offered one. If he is not offering a sacrifice then there is nothing wrong with eating before the prayer.
As for Eid Al-Fitr, it is recommended to eat some dates before going to the prayer.
Takbeer on the day of Eid
This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of Eid.
Al-Daraqutni and others narrated that on the morning of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, Ibn Umar would be excessively engaged in reciting Takbeer until he came to the prayer place, then he would recite Takbeer until the Imam came out.
Saying Takbeer when coming out of one’s house to the prayer place and until the Imam came out was something that was well known among the early generations. This has been narrated by a number of scholars.
In the case of Eid Al-Adha, the Takbeer begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashreeq.
Description of Takbeer
It was narrated in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah with an authentic chain from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to recite the following Takbeer during the days of Tashreeq:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Laa ilaha illAllah, wa Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa Lillaahil-Hamd
Meaning: Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, and to Allah be praise.
Al-Mahamili also narrated the following with an authentic chain from Ibn Mas’ood:
“Allahu Akbar Kabeera, Allahu Akbar Kabeera, Allahu Akbar Wa Ajall, Allahu Akbar Wa Lillaahil-Hamd.” (Al-Irwa’, 3/126)
Greeting each other
The etiquette of Eid also includes congratulating and exchanging good wishes by people, with any permissible expressions of congratulations.
Jubayr Ibn Nufayr said when the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) met one another on the day of Eid, they would say to one another, “Taqabbal Allah Minna Wa Minkum,” which means, “May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.” (Al-Fath, 2/446)
Adorning oneself on Eid
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two Eids and on Fridays. (Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah, 1756) Al-Bayhaqi narrated with an authentic chain that Ibn Umar used to wear his best clothes on Eid.
Choosing different routes
Jabir Ibn Abdullah narrated that on the day of Eid, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to vary his route. (Al-Bukhari, 986)
This was done so that the two routes would bear witness for him on the Day of Resurrection, as the earth will speak on the Day of Resurrection and say what was done on it, both good and bad.
And also to manifest the symbols of Islam on both routes, or to manifest the remembrance of Allah (Dhikr), or to cast fear in the hearts of the hypocrites and Jews, and to overwhelm them with a large number of people with him. Another reason was so that he could attend to people’s needs, answer their questions, set an example, give charity, or visit his relatives.