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Mistakes done in the ‘Eed Salaah

By Shaykh Mashhoor Hasan As-Salmaan

Regarding understanding the essence of the Eid, people are of two groups:

The first group believes that the Eid is a time for fun and amusement only and a chance to enjoy delicious kinds of food and to wear the best clothes one could afford. These people do their best to prepare what they could for the occasion in advance.

The second group deeply realize the sublime essence of the Eid.

Accordingly, if the circumstances are not as the former group wished it to be, the Eid for them is not an occasion for happiness but for sorrow and sadness.

The later group; however, senses the Eid with all its sublime meanings whether in good or straitened circumstances for a real muslim feels content and satisfied in both cases since the afflictions in this world are not real afflictions; the real affliction is the one that strikes one’s religion and belief. So long as one’s religion and belief are safe, one is a real Mu’min [believer] who deeply believes that whatever is destined for him by Allāh (U) will surely touch him and believes that Allāh (U) will grant him the best of rewards in the Hereafter.

[1/64] In Islām there are only two Eids: Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adhā. Regretfully, muslims these days celebrate many Eids [festivals] some are temporal others are spatial. Examples on the former are the following: the prophet’s ® birthday, the Day of Ascent, the night preceding the fifteenth of Sha‘bān, the righteous birthdays, the day of accention to the throne which is adopted from the Persian New Year’s Day, the Revolution day against a king or so which is similar to the festival done by the westerners, the evacuation day (of foreign troops), the day of Independence and other such false Eids([1]) that Allāh (U) never permits.

As for the spacial festivals; they were invented by the ignorants such as: gathering in cemeteries, visiting graves so often or on special occasions -as what happens near the so called Badawī grave in Egypt and the so called Al-Husain grave in Karbulā’ and the so called Abdil Qādir Al-Jīlānī, in Bagdād.

These three places were made places of celebration by those who have no sense of understanding, imitating the pure muslims’ gathering around the Ka‘bah, on ‘Arafāt, Muzdalifah and Minā on the days of Hajj.

The aforementioned graves are only few to mention for the purpose here is not to name them but to warn [muslims] against imitating the disbelievers in their temporal and special “Eids”.([2])

[2/64] When celebrating their Eids, muslims commit many misdemeanors some of these are even committed in every day life but are practiced on a large scale in festivals, such as: shaving the beard, shaking hands with women who are not Mahrams, women displaying their beauties, imitating the disbelievers in their way of dressing,([3]) listening to music, visiting graves on the Eid Days distributing sweets and food there and setting on them, the intermingling of men and women, weeping the dead, sitting with non-Mahram women, spending money extravagantly and uselessly and many other misdemeanors.([4])

The purpose of our discussion here is to discuss things related to Salāt for it is done for seeking approach to Allāh (U)!!

The following points discuss the mistakes done when doing Salātul Eidain:

[3/64] Abandoning performing Salātul Eid believing it to be just a Sunnah and not doing it in the Musallā:

Ash-Shawkānī said: ‘The prophet ® used to perform the Eid Salāt in both Eidain [sing. Eid] and never missed one. He ® also ordered muslims to attend it even women -whether old or young and even those who are having their menses. The latter were ordered not to do Salāt with other muslims but to share them the goodness and listen to the Khutbah. Even the woman who has no garment to wear; she should borrow one from her muslim sister. All these orders and instructions clearly and strongly indicate that attending Salāt Eid is an affirmed Wājib on every muslim individual -not on a group of muslims’.([5])

I believe that Ash-Shawkānī refers to ’Umm ‘Atiyyah’s narration. She said: ‘The prophet ® ordered us to take to Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adhā Salāt the adult and young women even those who are having their menses. The later should not, however, join muslims their Salāt’. Another narration states: ‘... their Musallā, but should attend the Khutbah and witness goodness with other muslims’.

I [’Umm ‘Atiyyah] then enquired: ‘O Allāh’s Messenger! What if a woman does not have a garment [with which she could cover herself when going out to the Salāt]’?

The prophet ® said: ‘She may borrow one from her muslim sister’.([6])

The obligation of going out for the Musallā entails the obligation of doing Salāt there-for those who have no Shar‘ excuse not to do so. If the means for doing something is an obligation then the thing to be done is also an obligation. This obligation is affirmed on men more than on women.([7])

One of the evidences that affirm the obligation of attending Salātul Eidain is that doing Salātul Eid cancels doing the Friday Salāt. That is, if one does the former, he needn’t attend the latter. This is affirmed in the prophet’s ® hadīth which states: ‘On this day [Friday], two Eids have come together. Whoever wishes to attend the Friday Salāt, he may do so, and whoever does not; the Eid Salāt is sufficient for him. Yet, we will perform the Friday Salāt’.([8])

It is a well-known Shar‘ principle that what is not an obligation does not cancel that which is so. It is also affirmed that he ® used to perform it in a congregation since it was enjoined by Allāh (U) till his ® death. Besides, he ® ordered muslims to head to the Musallā to attend it.([9])

This view was held by Shaikhul Islām Ibn Taymiyyah. He said: ‘I preponderate the view that states the obligation of attending Salātul Eid on every individual. This view was held by Abū Hanifah([10]) and others; it was also one of the Shāfi‘ī’s view and one of Imām Ahmad’s Mathhab.

Those who held an opposite opinion are far away from the truth for it is considered one of the greatest rites of Islām for attending which a great number of people gather -even more than those who attend the Friday Salāt- and in which Takbīr should be recited.

As for the view that states that attending this Salāt is only a collective duty [Fradu Kifāyah], it is not precise’.([11])

It is of great benefit here to mention two Fiqh ruling inferred from the prophet’s ® order -in ’Umm ‘Atiyyah’s narration- for women, whether ‘Awātiq [young]([12]) or old even those having their menses to attend the Musallā in order to witness goodness and the Khutbah with other muslims:

The first: The legality for women to go out and attend Salātul Eidain.

Indeed, we urge muslim women to attend this Salāt with other muslims in order to obey the prophet’s ® order. However, we would like to attract their attention -and those responsible for them for the obligation of wearing the Hijāb [when going out].

Some would wonder about the aforementioned ruling of attending the Salāt by women. Let such people know that this is indeed the truth -no doubt- for the many ahādīth that support it -one of which is ’Umm ‘Atiyyah’s in which the prophet ® clearly orders women to attend this Salāt. Abū Bakr’s statement -which was narrated by Ibn Abī Shaibah- is another supporting narration. He (t) said: ‘It is an obligation on every women to attend Salātul Eidain’.([13])

At-Tahāwi and others claimed that “’Umm ‘Atiyyah’s hadīth was abrogated for his ® order for women -whether young or old- to attend the Eid Salāt was probably at the beginning of Islām for the purpose of increasing the number of muslims in order to cast fear in the hearts of their enemies. These days, however, this is not needed”.!!

Many scholars -one of whom is Al-Karmānī- refuted Al-Tahāwi’s view that abrogation is not proved through probability and “the time of the hadīth is not known” -as Al-Karmānī stated. Besides, Ibn Abbās’s narration indicates that he attended this Salāt while still a young boy and this was followed by the opening of Makkah. Accordingly, the point “of being weak” At-Tahāwī raised is not true. In addition to that, the real cause for women attending this Salāt is clearly stated in ’Umm ‘Atiyyah’s hadīth; namely: “to witness goodness and Khutbah with other muslims and enjoy the blessings of this day. None of the Sahābah contradicted ’Umm ‘Atiyyah’s Fatāwā delivered in accordance with this hadīth. It is worth mentioning here that Al-Tahāwī’s words: “to cast fear in the hearts of their enemies” need verification for seeking women’s help in wars is a real sign of weakness not power.([14])

It is worth mentioning here that doing Salāt by women in the mosque is valid and it is of the affirmed Sunnan -no muslim would disagree with this. Only those who are ignorant who deny such an act and consider it illegal. Indeed, it is true that a woman’s Salāt in her home is better than in the mosque. And if her attending the mosque would cause Fitnah [to men], it is permitted, even an obligation, to forbid those women causing Fitnah from coming to the mosque. However, it must not be said that women are forbidden to come to the mosque in general.([15])

The second: Salātul Eid should be done in the Musallā, but it could also be done in the mosque.

This is indicated from the prophet’s ® order for women who are in their menses to attend the Salāt. Since such women should not attend the mosque; it becomes clear that what is meant in the hadīth is attending the Musallah.

This is clearly stated in Abī Sa‘īd’s Al-Khudrī narration. He Said: The prophet ® used to attend the Musallā in both Eidul Fitr and Edul Adhā. The first thing he ® would start with is the Salāt.([16])

Ibnil Hājj Al-Mālikī stated the same in his Al-Madkhal; then narrated the prophet’s ® hadīth which states: ‘Doing one Salāt in my mosque [at Madīnah] is one thousand times superior to doing it in any other mosque except in Al-Masjidul Harām’.([17]) Then he continued: ‘Yet, he ® left doing this Salāt in his mosque and did it in the Musallah’.([18])

This Sunnah was practiced during the Salaf’s time, unless there is a necessity to do this Salāt in the mosque such as rain or so.

This is the four Imām’s Mathhabs and others. In “Al-Fatāwāl Hindiyyah”,([19]) Al-Haithamī stated: ‘Going out to Al-Jubbānah([20]) to perform Eid Salāt is the Sunnah even if there is enough space for all people in the local mosque. All scholars agreed on this and it is indeed the truth’.

In Al-Mudawwanah,([21]) Suhnūn stated that Mālik said: ‘The Eid Salāt must not be done in two places [i.e. two congregations at the same time], nor in the local mosque. People should instead go out to the Musallā as the prophet ® did’.

Ibn Qudāmah said: ‘The Sunnah is to perform the Eid Salāt in the Musallā. ‘Ali (t) ordered muslims to do so. And this was Al-’Awzā‘i’s and the scholars’ of opinion view. Al-Munthir held the same view too’.([22])

This Sunnah of doing Salātul Eidain in the plain has a great benefit. It is an opportunity for all muslims -men, women and kids- to gather in a local space twice a year seeking Allāh’s (U) approach, feeling as one unity, being led by one Imām, reciting Takbīr and Tahlīl, calling Allāh (U) sincerely as if they have one heart, feeling so happy with Allāh’s (U) blessing on them. This is indeed the real Eid.

May Allāh (U) answer the muslim’s calls for their following of the prophet’s ® Sunnah and for reviving their religious rites which are their source of dignity and victory.([23])

Allāh (U) said:

[يا أيها الذين آمنوا استجيبوا لله وللرسول إذا دعاكم لما يحييكم]

‘O you who believe! Respond to Allāh (U) (by obeying Him) and His Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life’.([24])

[4/64] Abandoning reciting Takbīr loudly while going to the Musallā:

Az-Zuhrī related that the prophet ® used to go on the Eidul Fitr to the Musallā reciting Takbīr till he ® does the Salāt. When the Salāt is over he would cease reciting Takbīr.([25])

‘The aforementioned hadīth affirms the legality of that which muslims have been practicing of reciting Takbīr loudly while going to the Musallā. Regretfully, this Sunnah is being ignored by many till it is about to disappear. And this is due to the weakness of their beliefs and their feeling of embarrassment when calling to the Sunnah and practicing it publicly. Some of these people are even of those who teach others religion. They only teach them what they already know!! And ignore discussing such important and necessary matters which they consider as something trivial and must be avoided. Indeed, to Allāh (U) we belong and to Him we shall return.

It is worth mentioning here,

[5/64] The illegality of reciting Takbīr in congregation, as some people do, just like any other Thikr -whether recited secretly or loudly. Reciting ’Athān in such a manner -as happens in Damascus and is called “Al-Jūq ’Athān”- is also prohibited for grievous mistakes are committed when doing that such as: stopping after words “lā Ilāha” [there is no Ilāh] when reciting Tahlīl in the dawn and sunset ’Athān -as happened more than once.

We all should be aware of that and always remember the prophet’s ® words: ‘The best of guidance is that of the prophet ®’.([26])

* Raising hands when reciting the Takbīr in Eid Salāt:

[6/64] Raising one’s hands when reciting Takbīr in Eid Salāt is not of the prophet’s ® Sunnah. However, Ibn Al-Qayyim reported that Ibn ‘Umar (t) used to raise his hand while reciting Takbīr([27]) though he was a sincere adherent to the prophet’s ® Sunnah. Indeed, the best of guidance is that of the prophet’s ®. Ibn ‘Umar’s and his father’s practice does not make it a Sunnah. Besides, the narration that reports their practice is not authentic.([28])

Regarding this point, Imām Mālik stated that ‘he had not heard any [affirmed] hadīth about this’,([29]) and this was his Mathhab -as reported in Al-Mudawwanah” (vol. 1 / p. 169) and quoted by An-Nawawī in his “Al-Majmū‘” (vol. 5 / p. 26).

Ibn Al-Munthir added that Imām Mālik said: ‘There is no affirmed Sunnah that states its obligation; accordingly, whoever wishes to raise his hands could do so. But I prefer that one raises his hands only in the first Takbīr’.([30])

* Performing the Pre-Sunnah Eid Salāt and calling “As-Salātu Jāmi‘ah” [i.e. Salāt to be done in congregation] before people stand to perform the Salāt:

[7/64] The majority of muslims -who attend Eid Salāt- perform two Rak‘ah Salāt before sitting down waiting for the Imām to start Eid Salāt. Narrations affirm that the prophet ® never performed these two Rak‘ahs. For example, Ibn ‘Abbās (t) said: ‘The prophet ® performed on Eid Fitr Day two Rak‘ah Salāt and nothing before or after’.([31])

Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajar affirmed the same thing and refuted the view of those who consider Eid Salāt similar to the Friday Salāt.([32]) Imām Ahmad also affirmed the same point [in his Masā’il]([33]) and continued ‘... some people in Basrah perform the [Eid] Sunnah-Salāt before the Eid Salāt and in Kūfah people perform it after the Eid Salāt’.([34])

In his “Zādul Ma‘ād”,([35]) Ibnul Qayyim affirmed that neither the prophet ® nor his Sahābah ever did such Eid Sunnah Salāt.

Upon reaching the Musallā, the prophet ® used to do Eid Salāt without preceding it with ’Athān, Iqāmah or pronouncing “As-Salātu Jāmi‘ah”. And this is indeed the Sunnah.([36])

The well-versed scholars considered doing such things before the Eid Salāt as Bid‘ah.([37])

* Performing acts of worship on the nights preceding the Eid Days:

[8/64] Many Khutabah and callers unto Allāh (U) recommend people and urge them to seek Allāh’s (U) closeness through spending the night preceding the two Eids doing acts of worship. They, however, depend on no authentic proof. These so called “Shaikhs” even ascribe this recommendation to the prophet ® to have said: ‘Whoever spends the night preceding the two Eid days doing acts of worship, his/her heart will never die on the day when all hears will die’.([38])

This hadīth is forged and should never be ascribed to the prophet ® and hence the prohibition of applying it and calling people for it.

[9/64] Khutabah’s mistakes in the Eid Khutbah:

1- Commencing the Khutbah with Takbīr and repeating it frequently during the Khutbah.

Describing the prophet’s ® Eid Khutbah, Ibn Al-Qayyim said: ‘He ® used to begin all his Khutab with “Al-Hamdulillāh”. It was not affirmed in even one single hadīth the he ® used to begin the two Eid Khutab with Takbīr. Ibn Mājah narrated in his “Sunnan”([39]) from Sa‘d Al-Qurth -the prophet’s ® caller for Salāt- that ‘he ® used to say Takbīr frequently during his Khutbas especially in the Eid Khutbah’.

This does not, however, mean that he ® used to begin the Khutbah with Takbīr. Scholars differed regarding the beginnings of the Istisqā’ and the two Eid Khutab; some say that they should begin with Takbīr, others say the Istisqā’ Khutbah should begin with Istghfār and others say that both should begin with Tahmīd.

Shaikhul Islām Ibn Taymiyyah held that the latter is the soundest of all opinions.([40])

I believe that the hadīth mentioned earlier is a weak one for its chain of narrators include Abdul Rahmān Ibn Sa‘d Ibn Ammār Ibn Sa‘d -the caller for Salāt- and he is a weak narrator and Sa‘d Ibn Ammār who is an unidentified narrator. Accordingly, it must not be used as a proof by those who recite Takbīr during the Khutbah.([41])

2- Delivering two Khutbahs with a sitting rest between them. All the narrations reported regarding this point are weak and not affirmed -as An-Nawawī stated.([42])


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