Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Significance of Eid

© Imam Ali Siddiqui, 1982



Unas (ra) reported that when the Prophet Muhammad (saw) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked the Ansaar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) told them: 'Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.' (Hadith)

EID-AL-FITR is celebrated on the first day of Shaw'waal, at the completion of Ramadan. Shaw'waal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The Eid-al-Fitr is a very joyous day; it is a true Thanksgiving Day for the believing men and women. On this day Muslims show their real joy for the health, strength and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to them to fulfill their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month of Ramadan.

EID-AL-ADHA is celebrated on the tenth day of Zdil-hijjah, the 12th and the last month of the Islamic calendar. It is also very joyous day; it is a feast of self-sacrifice, commitment and obedience to Allah. It commemorates the great act of obedience to Allah by the Prophet Ibrahim (as) in showing his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael (as). Allah accepted his sacrifice and replaced Prophet Ismael (as) with a lamb. Although Hajj has no relation with the Eid-al-Adha, but the five days long rituals of Hajj are also done during this month culminating on 9th of Zdil-hijjah. Many rituals of Hajj are enactment of the struggle of the family Ibrahim (as) specially his second wife Hajirah (as) and her son Prophet Ismael (as).


1. Wake up early.
2. Offer Salat-al Fajr.
3. Prepare for personal cleanliness take care of details of clothing, etc.
4. Take a Ghusl (bath) after Fajr.
5. Brush your teeth.
6. Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old ones.
7. Use perfume (men only).
8. Have breakfast on Eid-al-Fitr before leaving for prayer ground. On Eid-al-Adha, eat
breakfast after Salat or after sacrifice if you are doing a sacrifice.
9. Pay Zakat-al-Fitr before Salat-al-Eid (on Eid-al-Fitr).
10. Go to prayer ground early.
11. Offer Salat-al-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is not
permitting like rain, snow, etc.
12. Use two separate routes to and from the prayer ground.
13. Recite the following Takbir on the way to Salat and until the beginning of
Salat-al-Eid. On Eid-al-Adha, Takbir starts from Mughrib on the 9th Zdil-hijjah and
last until the Asr on the 12th Zdil-hijjah:
Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. Wa-lilahill hamd.
(Allah is greater. Allah is greater. There is no god but Allah. Allah is greater. Allah is greater. And all praises
are for Allah).


Ibn Abbass (ra) reported: 'I participated in the Salat-al-Eid-al-Fitr with the Messenger of Allah (saw), Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra) and Uthman (ra), and all of them held Salat-al-Eid before Khutbah, and then the Prophet Muhammad (saw) delivered the Khutbah (sermon)'. Hadith, Muslim
Umm Atria (ra) reported: 'The Messenger of Allah (saw) commanded us to bring out on Eid-al-Fit and Eid-al-Adhere, young women, Hijab-observing adult women and the menstruating women. The menstruating women stayed out of actual Salaam but participated in good deeds and Dual (supplication)'. I (Umm Atria) said to the Holy Prophet (saw): 'O! Messenger of Allah, one does not have an outer garment.' He replied: "Let her sister cover her with her garment." Hadith Muslim.

On the Eid day, every believing man, woman and child must go to the prayer ground and participate in this joyous occasion.

Eid-al-Eid is wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory). It consists of two Rakat (units) with six or thirteen additional Taskbars. It must be offered in congregation. The Eid is followed by the Khutbah. The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is Sunnah. During the Khutbah, the Imam must remind the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow human beings. The Imam must encourage the Muslims to do good and ward off evil. The Muslim community must also be directed to the state of the community and the Ummah at large and the feelings of sacrifice and struggle for Allah should be aroused in the community.
At the conclusion of the Salat the Muslims should convey greetings to each other; give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes. Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid festivities to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture.
Those who have enough wealth to pay Zakat must offer the sacrifice for Allah. It is the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and a strongly recommended Sunnah. A lamb, sheep, goat, cow, buffalo, or camel can be offered as the sacrifice. There are seven shares in a cow, buffalo and camel. The sacrifice should be accomplished by slaughtering the animal after Salat-al-Eid. The sacrifice also called Udhiyah or Qurbani last for three
days from 10th Zdil-hijjah until the sunset of 12th Zdil-hijjah. The meat should be divided into three shares: one for the family the second for relatives and friend and the third share is for the poor and the needy.

(Imam Ali Siddiqui, California Muslim Institute, 7153 Twinspur Ct. , Corona Valley , CA 92880 , Phone: 951-734-4599, email: (©Imam Ali Siddiqui, 1982)

This article is also available on the internet on various sites. Just Google: “Imam Ali Siddiqui” in French, Indonesian, Malay, German and Tamil.
About the author
Imam Ali Siddiqui with 35 years of service, is a Friday Khatib, Islamic teacher, Muslim Chaplain, youth advisor, family counselor, educator, poet and writer with a vision who has been involved in the teaching Islam, history, comparative religion, contemporary issues to Muslims and non-Muslims. He is actively involved in the community service including spiritual/educational development, service to the sick and the incarcerated. He has been on speaking tours to the Belgium , Canada , Germany , Great Britain , Switzerland , India , Iran , Pakistan , and across the USA . He frequently presents Islamic Prospective and Muslim Point of View on current affairs to Non-Muslims and Muslims. He has been very active in organizing seminars, workshops, conferences, and teach-ins to promote Islamic awareness and inter-faith understanding. He has received numerous commendations for his work, service, and scholarship. Presently, Imam Siddiqui is the President of California Muslim Institute; Vice Chair/Director, Peace with Justice Center of the Pomona Valley; and member of the Board of Directors: Corona-Norco Interfaith Association, and Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Los Angeles. For additional information about author’s involvement, please Google: “Imam Ali Siddiqui”

(Permission is given to any individual/organization to use this material for teaching, Dawa and publication with proper credit to the writer)

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