The ‘Eed Prayer

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First: The ‘Eed Prayer consists of two Rak’ahs (units of prayer). Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: “The traveller's prayer consists of two Rak’ahs; the Al-Adh-ha ('Eed) prayer consists of two Rak’ahs and the Al-Fitr ('Eed) prayer consists of two Rak’ahs. They are complete prayers (in this form) and not shortened, and (we took this) from the tongue of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) .”

Second: The first Rak’ah begins with the Takbeer (saying: 'Allahu Akbar' (Allah is the Greatest)) as is the case with all other prayers. Then the Imam (followed by the praying Muslims) recites seven Takbeerat (the plural of Takbeer). In the second Rak’ah, there are five Takbeerat other than the transmission Takbeer (i.e., the one recited when the Imam and the praying Muslims stand up to perform the second Rak’ah). ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  her said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would recite Takbeer in (the prayers of ‘Eed) Al-Fitr and Al-Adh-ha; he would recite seven Takbeerat in the first (Rak’ah) and five in the second one, aside from the two Takbeerat that precede the Rukoo’ (bowing).”

Imam Al-Bahawi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “It is the opinion of most of the well-versed scholars from among the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, as well as those who followed them, that there are seven Takbeerat in the first Rak’ah of the ‘Eed prayer other than the first Takbeer (Takbeeratul-Ihram), and five Takbeerat in the second Rak’ah other than the transmission Takbeer, and all this precedes reciting (verses from the Noble Quran); this was narrated from Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Ali  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them.”

Third: It is not affirmed that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would raise his hands with every Takbeer, but Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Though Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him was a great follower of the prophetic Sunnah, his understanding and action was to raise his hands when reciting the Takbeerat.”

Shaykh Al-Albani  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book entitled Tamam Al-Minnah: "Although it was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him did so (i.e., raising the hands when reciting Takbeer) it does not mean it is a prophetic Sunnah, not to mention the fact that the narration about ‘Umar and his son  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them (doing so) is inauthentic. As for 'Umar’s narration, Al-Bayhaqi narrated it through a weak chain of narrators, and as for his son’s narration (Ibn ‘Umar), I have not yet found a chain of narrators for it.”

However, Shaykh Al-Albani  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him also said in his book entitled Ahkam Al-Jana’iz regarding a point very close to the one under discussion: "He who believes that he (i.e., Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them ) used not to do that (i.e., raising his hands when reciting Takbeer) except with the Prophet’s  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) approval, then he may do it.” 

Fourth: Nothing was affirmed concerning any remembrance between the ‘Eed Takbeerat from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) but it was narrated (through a good chain of narrators) from Ibn Mas‘ood,  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them that he said about the ‘Eed prayer: “Between every two Takbeerat there is praising of Allah the Almighty and celebration of His Attributes.”

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would keep silent between every two Takbeerat for a short period, but nothing is affirmed of him reciting any supplication between them.”

Fifth: When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was done with the Takbeerat, he would recite Chapter Al-Faatihah (the opening chapter of the Quran) and then recite Chapter 'Qaf' in the first Rak’ah and Chapter Al-Qamar in the second.

Sometimes, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would recite Chapter Al-A'ala in the first Rak’ah, and Chapter Al-Ghashiyah in the second one.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “These two cases were affirmed from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and nothing else.

Sixth: The rest of the acts of the ‘Eed prayer are as those of any other prayer; nothing is different.

Seventh: Whoever misses the ‘Eed prayer with the congregation can (optionally) offer a two Rak’ah prayer instead.

Imam Al-Bukhari  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Whoever misses the ‘Eed prayer may (optionally) offer a two Rak’ah prayer.”

Al-Hafith Ibn Hajar  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said commenting on this point of Imam Al-Bukhari  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him: “Regarding this point, there are two rulings:

A.     Making up the ‘Eed prayer is recommended if it was missed with the congregation, regardless of whether it was missed willingly or otherwise.

B.     It is a two Rak’ah prayer: ‘Ataa’  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "Whoever missed the ‘Eed (prayer) could offer another two Rak’ah prayer (instead)."

Eighth: Reciting the Takbeerat (in the ‘Eed prayer) is a Sunnah (i.e., a recommended deed) which, if missed intentionally or out of forgetfulness, does not nullify the prayer, and this issue is agreed upon by the scholars. However, the one who leaves it is, undoubtedly, contradicting the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).

The Sermon after the Prayer:

It is from the prophetic Sunnah that the ‘Eed sermon should follow the ‘Eed prayer. Imam Al-Bukhari  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him named one of the chapters of his Book: "The Chapter of the Sermon After the ‘Eed Prayer." Ibn ‘Abbas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: “I offered the ‘Eed prayer with Allah’s Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) as well as Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman, and all of them, may Allah pleased with them, offered the ‘Eed prayer before delivering its Khutbah (religious sermon).”

Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them used to offer the ('Eed) prayers before delivering its khutbah.”

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