Eid-Ul-Fitr the Ramadan Festival

Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity“, while Fiṭr means “to break the fast” (and can also mean “nature“, from the word “fitrah“) and so symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. It is the first day of the month Shawwaal in the Islamic lunar calendar. Most Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr for at least 3 days.

Following is what the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) did (Sunnah) on this day;

  • Rise early in the morning, brush, bathe and clean up. • Wear the best clothes that he had. • Eat something sweet such as dates before leaving home.  • Arrive early at the Eid prayer location.  • Walk to the Eid prayer location through one route and return another. This is so he met as many people as possible and greeted them. • Made it a point to give Sadqa-e-Fitr (zakatul fitr) for before the Eid day so it will reach the needy in time.  • On route  he recited the thakbir:
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,   الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر
la ilaha illa Allah لا إله إلا الله
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
wa li-illahi al-hamd ولله الحمد

 Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is no deity but Allah  Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest  and to Allah goes all praise


Description of the Eid Prayer

1. Like any other deed in Islam, the prayer must be preceded with a true intention of worshiping Allah alone in the heart.

2. The Eid Prayer consists of two Raka’ahs.

3. The Eid Salaah is not preceded by the adhan (the call to announce the prayer time) or Iqamah (the call to start prayer). Jabir bin Samurah (radhi allahu anhu) said: “I prayed the Eid prayer with Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), on more than one occasion, without adhan or Iqamah.” [Saheeh Muslim]

4. No Sunnah prayer may precede or follow the Eid prayer, except if it is performed in a Masjid instead of a Musallah, in which case one must pray two raka’hs before sitting down. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) reported: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) went out (of his house) on the day of Fitr, prayed two raka’hs and did not pray before or after it.” [Zaad al-Maad (2/443)]

5. The first raka’h is initiated with Takbeer al-ihram, followed by the opening supplication.

6. Then followed by seven Takbeers in the first raka’h and five more in the second rak’ah. Aa’ishah (radhi allahu anha) said: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would say Takbeer in both Fitr and Adha: seven in the first and five in the second, other than the two Takbeers of Ruku (bowing).” [(Saheeh) – Abu Dawood (1150) and others]

7. After the Takbeer recite Ta’awwuth – ‘A’uthu billahi min ash-Shaytaan ir-Rajeem’ meaning “I seek refuge in Allah from the outcast devil” and Basmallah ‘Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem’ meaning ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.’

8. Followed by the recitation of Soorah al-Fatihah

9. Then, the recitation of Soorah al-Qaaf in the first raka’h and the Soorah al-Qamar in the second – OR – Soorah al-Alaa in the first and Soorah al-Ghashiyah in the second. Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said: “Both of these have been authentically reported from the action of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), nothing else is authentic.” [Zaad al-Maad (1/443)] Note: Reciting a Soorah different from the ones mentioned above will too complete the prayer. The remainder of the prayer is performed in the same manner as any other prayer.


The Sunnah of the Eid Sermon

To deliver the Eid sermon (Khutbah) after the Eid Salaah is sunnah. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) said: “I attended the Eid with Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) Umar (radhi allahu anhu) and Uthman (radhi allahu anahu); all of them would pray before the Khutbah.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

• Once the day of Eid is announced we must start reciting thakbir immediately after magrib and continue until the time of Eid Salat.

• Greet people first by saying ” Takabalallah minna wa min kuom” – May Allah accept my deeds and yours” and then say “Eid mubarak” before saying anything else.

• Greet one another by shaking hands (the holy prophet (PBUH) has said that when two Muslims shake hand, their sins drop off).

• Ensure you bring all your family members for Eid salaat (even menstruating women are asked to attend but not pray) so that everyone can get the blessings of Allah (the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful)