Specifying the night of 'Eed with prayer
Fatwa No: 192687

Question

Assalam-u-Alaikum: I want to ask very important problem tell me: 1) Is there any authentic hadith to make special pray 1st night of Shawwal (1st Eid ul fitr)? 2) I heard there is hadiths in against of to pray special pray in 1st night of Shawwal? 3) One scholar said this is the night of Gift from ALLAH. So, if someone have habit to pray TAHAJUD daily so he/she can pray same night but those who does not perform TAHAJUD, their is not need of perform to pray to think that this is night of gift so that ALLAH will happy me more than others? there is no such hadith regarding that? Clearly... 4) Scholar further said: Eid ul fitr, a day to celeberate, so people should sleep easily in order to celeberate the day...if people think this is special night and last night to pray and stand in pray the whole night then how will they enjoy the whole day to celeberate? Due to that people should sleep.... Now, tell me and clearly because this scholar has also researched in week hadith and perfect hadith as well as their narrators...so he have a powerful proof in their speech.... I am waiting for your reply....

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

We do not know of any Hadeeth, authentic or weak, specifically prohibiting keeping awake at the night of ‘Eed (for prayer), whether ‘Eed Al-Fitr or ‘Eed Al-Adh-ha. Likewise, we do not know of any Hadeeth that calls the night of ‘Eed “Laylat Al-‘Ataa’” [the Night of Giving].

However, there are some Ahaadeeth that have been reported regarding the merit of keeping awake at the night of ‘Eed (for prayer), but all of these Ahaadeeth contain some weakness in their chains of transmission.

There is the Hadeeth: “Whoever stood (for prayer) in the nights of the two ‘Eeds, sincerely hoping for reward from Allaah, his heart will not die on the day that hearts do die.” This Hadeeth was related by Ibn Maajah from the Hadeeth of Abu Umaamah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him but its Isnaad was considered weak by a group of scholars, like Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar and Al-Albaani and others.

There is also the Hadeeth of ‘Ubaadah (which is attributed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )): “Whoever kept awake at the night of Al-Fitr and the night of Al-Adh-ha (for prayer), his heart will not die on the day that hearts do die.” It was related by At-Tabaraani in both Al-Awsat and Al-Kabeer, but its Isnaad (chain of transmission) contains ‘Umar ibn Haaroon Al-Balkhi and he is a liar.

There are other Ahaadeeth that contain weaknesses in their chains of transmission, but some of the scholars considered strengthening these Ahaadeeth due to the multitude of their various chains. Al-Booseeri said in Misbaah Az-Zujaajah about the Hadeeth of Abu Umaamah: “It is strengthened by its various routes of narration.” For this reason, many scholars regarded it preferable to keep awake at the nights of the two ‘Eeds (for prayer).

The Fiqh Encyclopedia reads: "The jurists agreed that it is preferred to stand (for prayer) in the nights of the two ‘Eeds due to the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Whoever stood (for prayer) in the nights of the two ‘Eeds, sincerely hoping for reward from Allaah, his heart will not die on the day that hearts do die."

Nevertheless, other jurists held the opinion that it is not lawful to distinguish these two specific nights with standing (for prayer), as mentioned in the Fataawa of the Permanent Committee: "Specifying the night of ‘Eed with standing (for prayer), apart from all other nights, is considered a Bid‘ah [religious innovation]. This is because it is not from the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever performed a deed not from our affair (Islam), then it will be rejected.” The same applies whether praying alone or with a congregation. As for the one who normally stands (for prayer) in the other nights, then there is nothing wrong with him doing so on the night of ‘Eed, but it should not be in congregation."

Similarly, Shaykh Ibn Jibreen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said this in a Fatwa: "As for the night of ‘Eed, then no merit has (authentically) been reported regarding keeping awake at it (for prayer)  and the Sharee‘ah never encouraged it to be distinguished with prayer or recitation. Whoever singles it out for prayer, neglecting what comes before it and what comes after it, has invented a Bid‘ah and initiated something in the religion that Allaah has not permitted, due to his believing he has preceded the Companions and the people of the Sunnah, surpassing the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of the Ummah (by receiving a special reward that they never received). Such a person is included in the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Whoever invented in our affair (Islam) that which is not from it, it will be rejected.” However, if this person normally stands and prays at night all year long or most of the year, then the night of ‘Eed is part of that (i.e., he is praying it without distinction)."

On the other hand, what you mentioned from that scholar of encouraging the people to sleep on the night of ‘Eed for the sake of celebrating (on the day of 'Eed), then that is a disputable opinion. This is because celebrating is at best something allowed, while standing (for prayer) at night is Islamicly required for every night of the year, including the night of ‘Eed.

Even if that scholar rejects specifying this night with prayer, then he could warn the people from believing in its merit or distinction from other nights, but he is not allowed to forbid them from praying therein as they pray in other nights. This is because Qiyaam-ul-Layl [the Night Prayer] is Islamicly required and we do not think that any scholar ever rejected the legality of standing (for prayer) on the night of ‘Eed if treated like other nights.

Allaah Knows best.

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