Assalamualaikum, since we are currently still under CMCO where most of us will not be able to attend the Eid prayer at mosques, I would like to ask the Mufti’s Office to explain the rulings and methodology of performing the Eidulfitri prayer at home. Thank you.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
There are numerous evidences which state that performing Eid prayer is sunnah and not wajib. Among them is a hadith narrated by Talhah bin ‘Ubaidillah RA, where he said: “A man came and meet the Messenger PBUH and asked regarding Islam. Then, the Prophet PBUH replied:
خَمْسُ صَلَوَاتٍ فِي الْيَوْمِ وَاللَّيْلَةِ
"You have to offer five compulsory prayers in a day and a night (24 hours)."
The man asked, "Is there any more compulsory prayers for me?" Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said,
لا، إِلاَّ أَنْ تَطَوَّعَ
"No, unless you like to offer Nawafil (i.e. optional prayers)."
Sahih al-Bukhari (46) and Sahih Muslim (11)
Likewise, according to a hadith narrated by ‘Ubadah Ibn al-Somit RA, he said, the Prophet PBUH said:
خَمْسُ صَلَوَاتٍ كَتَبَهُنَّ اللهُ عَلَى الْعِبَادِ فَمَنْ جَاءَ بِهِنَّ لَمْ يُضَيِّعْ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْئًا اسْتِخْفَافًا بِحَقِّهِنَّ كَانَ لَهُ عِنْدَ اللهِ عَهْدٌ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَأْتِ بِهِنَّ فَلَيْسَ لَهُ عِنْدَ اللهِ عَهْدٌ إِنْ شَاءَ عَذَّبَهُ وَإِنْ شَاءَ أَدْخَلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ
“Allah the Majestic and Mighty has written five prayers for mankind, and whoever does them and does not waste anything of them by making light of what is due to them, there is a pact for him with Allah that He will admit him into the Garden. Whoever does not do them, there is no pact for him with Allah. If He wishes, He punishes him, and if He wishes, He admits him into the Garden.”
Sunan Abu Daud (1420)
Thus, according to the above narrations, they clearly show that other than the five obligatory prayers, other prayers are included as sunnah prayers and among them, the Eidulfitri prayer is also included.
Basically, Eid prayer is encouraged to be performed in open land so that it can be attended by crowds of Muslims, subsequently showcasing the eminence of Islam. Thus, it is encouraged for all Muslims from among men, women, children, maidens, purdah-observing ladies and even menstruating women (to watch) to attend the Eid prayer, regardless whether it is held in open lands or mosques. This is in accordance with narration by Ummu ‘Atiyyah R.Anha where she said:
أَمَرَنَا - تَعْنِي النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم - أَنْ نُخْرِجَ فِي الْعِيدَيْنِ الْعَوَاتِقَ وَذَوَاتِ الْخُدُورِ وَأَمَرَ الْحُيَّضَ أَنْ يَعْتَزِلْنَ مُصَلَّى الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“He (the Messenger of Allah) commanded us that we should take out unmarried women and purdah-observing ladies for 'Id prayers, and he commanded the menstruating women to remain away from the place of worship of the Muslims.”
Sahih Muslim (890)
Coming back to the question asked, we would like to state that the ruling of performing the Eid prayer at home due to our current situation where we are experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic is the same as what has been discussed by scholars regarding those who missed the Eid prayer performed at the mosques, is it permissible for them to perform it at their houses if there is still time for it?
The following we state several opinions of jurists regarding the issue of performing the Eid prayer at home. Imam al-Nawawi said:
الْمَذْهَبُ وَالْمَنْصُوصُ فِي الْكُتُبِ الْجَدِيدَةِ كُلِّهَا، أَنَّ صَلَاةَ الْعِيدِ تُشْرَعُ لِلْمُنْفَرِدِ فِي بَيْتِهِ أَوْ غَيْرِهِ
The opinion of the madhhab is as stated in contemporary books of which all of them state that it is sanctioned for an individual to perform it at his home or other places.
Refer Raudhah Al-Thalibin, Al-Nawawi (2/70)
Thus, according to the above statement, among the wisdoms that can be taken from it are two:
- It is permissible for a person to perform the Eid prayer alone
- Likewise, the prayer is also permissible to be performed at home or any other places.
The next question is when a person performs the Eid prayer alone, does he need to read the khutbah (sermon)? Then, the following is the statement from Imam al-Nawawi who said:
وَإِذَا قُلْنَا بِالْمَذْهَبِ، فَصَلَّاهَا الْمُنْفَرِدُ، لَمْ يَخْطُبْ عَلَى الصَّحِيحِ
And we hold to the opinion of the madhhab (it is permissible to perform the Eid prayer alone), then he can perform it alone without the khutbah according to the sahih opinion.
Refer Raudhah Al-Thalibin, Al-Nawawi (2/70)
While, regarding performing the Eid prayer in congregation at home, we would like to state that the ruling is the same as performing it alone. It is permissible to be performed at home in congregation. This permissibility is taken from the general hadith narrated by Zaid bin Tsabit RA, he said the Prophet PBUH said:
فَإِنَّ أَفْضَلَ صَلاَةِ الْمَرْءِ فِي بَيْتِهِ، إِلاَّ الصَّلاَةَ الْمَكْتُوبَةَ
"The most excellent prayer of a person is (that which he prays) in his house except that which is prescribed (the five congregational prayers)."
Sahih al-Bukhari (7290)
Thus, this hadith generally states that sunnah prayers which include Eid prayer is permissible to be performed at home. Although, if the situation is different, when there is no pandemic, then Eid prayer is prioritized to be performed in open lands and mosques in congregation for it is a part of the eminences of the Muslim ummah.
Hence, when we say that it is permissible for Eid prayer to be performed in congregation at home, is it also necessary for the khutbah to be read? In this matter, we say that the khutbah is encouraged which means it is sunnah for one of them (the congregation) to read the Eid khutbah.
Imam al-Khatib al-Syarbini said:
ويخطب بعدهمَا أَي الرَّكْعَتَيْنِ خطبتين لجَماعَة لَا لمنفرد كخطبتي الْجُمُعَة فِي أَرْكَان وَسنَن لَا فِي شُرُوط
And the khutbah is read after them both (which is the two rakaat Eid prayer), two khutbah for it (the Eid prayer performed) if it is performed in congregation and none (no khutbah necessary) for if it is performed alone. (The khutbah) is the same with the two khutbah for Friday prayer in terms of its requisites (of the khutbah) and also sunnah but not on the conditions (of the Friday sermon).
Refer Al-Iqna’, Al-Khatib Al-Syarbini (1/187)
The following we share the methodology of performing the Eid prayer at home:
- The Muslim ummah is encouraged to recite takbir for Eidulfitri starting after the sun sets on the night of Eid until the imam exits to perform the Eid prayer.
Imam al-Syafi’e said:
يُكَبِّرُ النَّاسُ فِي الْفِطْرِ حِينَ تَغِيبُ الشَّمْسُ لَيْلَةَ الْفِطْرِ فُرَادَى، وَجَمَاعَةً فِي كُلِّ حَالٍ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ الْإِمَامُ لِصَلَاةِ الْعِيدِ ثُمَّ يَقْطَعُونَ التَّكْبِيرَ
People recite the takbir on Eidulfitri when the sun sets on the night of Eid alone and in congregation in every situation until the imam exits to perform the Eid prayer, then they stopped the takbir.
Refer Al-Umm, Al-Syafi’e (1/275)
Whereas the sighah (form) for the Eid takbir is as generally known as stated by Imam al-Nawawi:
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَر اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ كَثِيرًا وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَا نَعْبُدُ إلَّا إيَّاهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ صَدَقَ وَعَدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ الْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ
Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarah Al-Muhazzab, Al-Nawawi (5/31)
- The time for the Eid prayer is between the duration of after the sun has risen until the sun passes its zenith or simply put at 8 in the morning until before the time for Zohor prayer.
- Eid prayer is performed for two rakaat and it is performed with the intention of Eid prayer. This is in accordance with a hadith narrated by Umar Ibn al-Khattab RA, where he said:
صَلاَةُ السَّفَرِ رَكْعَتَانِ وَالْجُمُعَةُ رَكْعَتَانِ وَالْعِيدُ رَكْعَتَانِ
“The prayer while traveling is two Rak’ah, and Friday is two Rak’ah, and ‘Eid is two Rak’ah.”
Sunan Ibn Majah (1063)
- In the first rakaat, it starts with takbiratul ihram, then it is sunnah to recite iftitah supplication, then takbir zawa’id (additional) for seven times, then al-Fatihah is recited and it is sunnah to recite surah al-A’la afterwards and both are recited in a raised voice.
This is according to a hadith narrated by al-Nu’man Ibn Basyir RA, where he said:
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقْرَأُ فِي الْعِيدَيْنِ وَفِي الْجُمُعَةِ بِـ ( سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الأَعْلَى ) وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْغَاشِيَةِ
"For the two Eid and the Friday prayer, the Prophet would recite: Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High, and Has there come to you the narration of the overwhelming? And sometimes they would occur on the same day, so he would recite the two of them."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (533)
- Whereas in the second rakaat, the takbir is uttered 5 times other than the takbir from sujood to qiyam (standing straight). Then surah al-Fatihah is recited and it is sunnah to recite surah al-Ghasyiah afterwards.
The number of takbir is according to a hadith narrated by ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Ash RA, where he said:
أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ كَبَّرَ فِي صَلاَةِ الْعِيدِ سَبْعًا وَخَمْسًا
“The Prophet (ﷺ) said the Takbir seven times and five times in the ‘Eid prayer.”
Sunan Ibn Majah (1278)
- For those who do not memorize surah al-A’la and surah al-Ghasyiah, then any surah that is memorized and easy can be recited.
- It is sunnah to recite سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَر between the seven takbir in the first rakaat and five takbir in the second rakaat.
- For those who are performing Eid prayer in congregation, it should be explained that there is no adhan and iqamah for Eid prayer. Furthermore, before beginning the prayer, the imam is encouraged to recite الصَّلَاةُ جَامِعَة.
- Afterwards, after the Eid prayer has been performed, if it is performed in congregation, then it is sunnah for the imam to deliver the two sermons the same as Friday sermon in terms of requisites and sunnah matters in the sermon.
This is in accordance with a hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Umar R.Anhuma, he said:
كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرُ يُصَلُّونَ فِي الْعِيدَيْنِ قَبْلَ الْخُطْبَةِ ثُمَّ يَخْطُبُونَ
"Allah's Messenger, Abu Bakr, and Umar would pray during the two Eid before the Khutbah, then they would give the Khutbah."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (531)
- Regarding the text for the sermon, we suggest to obtain the text prepared by
Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) through their official website.
- Whereas, if a person performs the Eid prayer alone, then it is unnecessary for him to read the Eid sermon text for there is no benefit from it.
To close, after analysing the above evidences and arguments, we end this statement with the following points:
- It is permissible and valid to perform the Eid prayer alone or in congregation at home.
- It is sunnah for the imam of those who performed it in congregation at home to deliver the Eid sermon after the completion of the Eid prayer.
Whereas, it is unnecessary for a person who performs the Eid prayer alone to give the sermon for there is no benefit from it.
- Although, if women perform the Eid prayer among themselves, then it is unnecessary for their imam to deliver the sermon (refers to the requisite and sunnah of sermon) and it is sufficient with just a simple takirah or brief reminders. Wallahua’lam.
Lastly, we pray to Allah SWT to be given the correct understanding in religion. Amin.