Swalah al-'Iydayn

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The prayers of the two ‘Iyd was prescribed in the first year after the migration.  It is a sunnah al-mu’akkadah as the Prophet (s.a.w.) always performed these prayers and he ordered the men and women to go out to attend them.  The following is adapted from Fiqh as-Sunnah.

It is preferred to make the ghusl, perfume one’s self and don one’s best attire on the occasions of the two ’Iyd.  Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad (q.s.) related from his father on the authority of his grandfather who reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would wear a Yemeni cloak on every ‘Iyd.  This is related by Imam ash-Shafi'i (r.a.) and Imam al-Baghawi (r.a.).

Hasan as-Sibth (r.a.) said, “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) ordered us to wear the best clothes we could find for the two ’Iyd and to apply the best perfume we could find and to sacrifice the best animal we could find.”  This is related by Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) and in its chain, is Shaykh Ishaq ibn Barzakh (r.a.) whom Imam al-'Azdi (r.a.) declared to be weak while Imam ibn Hibban (r.a.) said he is trustworthy.

Imam ibn al-Qayyim (q.s.) wrote, “The Prophet (s.a.w.) used to wear his most beautiful clothes for them and he had a special cloak that he would wear on the two ’Iyd and Jumu'ah.”

One is to eat before going to the swalah for ’Iyd al-Fithr, the end of Ramadhan, but not do so on the occasion of the ’Iyd al-Adhha, commemorating Prophet Ibrahim's (a.s.) sacrifice.  For ‘Iyd al-Fithr, it is a sunnah to eat an odd number of dates before going to pray swalat al-‘iyd while for ’Iyd al-Adhha the eating should be delayed until one returns from the ‘Iyd prayers and then he may eat of his sacrifice if he has sacrificed an animal.

Anas (r.a.) reported, “The Prophet (s.a.w.) would not go out on the festival of breaking the fast until he had eaten an odd number of dates.”  This is related by Imam Ahmad (r.a.) and Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.).

Buraydah (r.a.) reported, “The Prophet (s.a.w.) would not go out on the day of breaking the fast (‘Iyd al-Fithr) until he had eaten and on the Day of Sacrifice (‘Iyd al-Adhha) he would not eat until he had returned (from swalah).”  This is related by Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) and Imam ibn Majah (r.a.), and also by Imam Ahmad (r.a.) who added: “And he would eat from his sacrifice.”

In al-Muwaththa’, it is recorded from Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab (r.a.) that the people were ordered to eat before they go out on the day of breaking the fast.

Imam ibn Qudamah (r.a.) said, “I do not know of any difference of opinion over the fact that one should hasten in eating on the day of breaking of the fast.”

Swalat al-‘iyd can be performed in the mosque but it is preferred to perform in a place outside the city as long as there is no excuse or reason to do otherwise such as inclement weather because the Prophet (s.a.w.) would pray the two ‘Iyd in the outskirts of Madina and he never prayed it in his mosque, except once and because it was raining.

Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) reported that it was raining on the day of ’Iyd, so the Prophet (s.a.w.) led them in swalat al-‘iyd in the mosque.  This is related by Imam Abu Dawud (r.a.), Imam ibn Majah (r.a.), and Imam al-Hakim (r.a.), and its chain contains an unknown narrator.  Imam al-Hafizh (r.a.) says in at-Talkhis, “Its chain is weak,” and Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) asserted, “This hadits is rejected.”

Shari’ah requires women and children to go out and attend the swalat al-‘iydayn.  This includes married, single, young, old, or menstruating women.  Umm ‘Athiyah (r.a.) reported, “We were ordered to go out with the single and menstruating women to the two ’Iyd in order to witness the good and the supplications of the Muslims.  The menstruating women would be separate from the others.”  This is related by Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) and Imam Muslim (r.a.).

ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) said that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would take his wives and daughters to the two ‘Iyd.  This is related by Imam ibn-Majah (r.a.) and Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.).

ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) further reported, “I went out with the Prophet (s.a.w.) on the day of the breaking the fast or of the sacrifice, and he prayed and gave a khuthbah, and then he went to the women and admonished them, reminded them of Allah, and ordered them to give charity.”  This is related by Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.).

Most of the people of knowledge are of the opinion that it is preferred for a person to go to the swalah by one route and then to return home through another route, regardless of whether he be the imam or a member of the congregation.  Jabir (r.a.) reported, “On the days of ’Iyd, the Prophet (s.a.w.) would take different routes.”  This is related by Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.).

Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) said, “When the Prophet (s.a.w.) went to swalat al-‘iyd, he would return through a different route.”  This is related by Imam Ahmad (r.a.), Imam Muslim (r.a.), and Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.).

It is permissible to return through the same route by which one goes to the muswallah.  Bakr ibn Mubashir (r.a.) said, “I used to go with the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to the muswallah on ‘Iyd al-Adhha and on ‘Iyd al-Fithr, and we passed through a specific valley in Madina until we came to the place of swalah and prayed with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), and then we would return to our houses through the same valley.”  This is related by Imam Abu Dawud (r.a.), Imam al-Hakim (r.a.) and by Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) in his Tarikh.  Imam ibn as-Sakin (r.a.) says that its chain is acceptable.


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