“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Verily, my Salah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)’ (Al-Anam 6:162)
Eid-ul-Adha literally means “festival of the sacrifice”. It is an Islamic festival to commemorate the obedience of Ibrahim (as) to obey Allah’s (swt) command to sacrifice his own son Ismael (as). According to the lunar based Islamic calendar, Eid-ul-Adha falls on the 10thof Dhul-Hijjah. Muslims have two events to celebrate, one is Eid-ul-Fitr, which comes right after the month of Ramadan, and the other is Eid-ul-Adha.
Allah’s (swt) messenger Muhammad (sa) said: “Allah (swt) has given you two days better than these, the day of Al-Fitr and the day of Al-Adha.” (Abu Dawood)
“It is Mustahab (recommended) for women to come out and attend the Eid prayers.” It is narrated by Umm ‘Attiyyah (ra) that the messenger of Allah (sa) commanded us to bring them (women) out on (Eid) Al – Fitr and (Eid) Al – Adha, and to bring out adolescent girls, menstruating women and virgins, but the menstruating women were to stay away from the prayer, but to witness the goodness and the gathering of the Muslims. I said: “O Messenger of Allah (sa), what if one of us does not have a Jilbaab?” He said: “Let her sister lend her a Jilbab.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Recommended Islamic practices for Eid-ul-Adha:
- Taking a bath before Eid prayer. It is Mustahabb (recommended) to take a bath before going out to the prayer. (Saheeh Hadeeth)
- It is a Sunnah for the Imam to deliver a sermon after Eid prayers, which consists of two Rakahs. It is a Sunnah of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (sa) to listen to the sermon.
- Offering Eid prayer in congregation, preferably in an open area.The practical Sunnah of the Prophet (sa) was to leave his mosque for the Eid prayers and perform these prayers in the Musalla (prayer room) that was at the outer gate of Madinah. Going out to the prayer-place for Eid prayer is Sunnah, even if the Jaami’ Mosque is large enough to accommodate. This is the view of the majority of Shaykhs.
- Eating before going out to pray Eid prayers. Prophet Muhammad (sa) never used to go out on the morning of Eid until he had eaten some dates…of which he would eat an odd number. (Bukhari)
- Reciting Takbeer.This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of Eid. Umar (ra) would try hard in reciting Takbeer until he came to the prayer place, then he would continue to recite Takbeer until the imam came out. In case of Eid Al – Adha, the Takbeer begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah, and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashreeq. The days of Tashreeq are 11, 12 and 13 of DhulHijjah, it is also referred to as Takbeer Tashreeq. Men should recite it loudly whereas women should not raise their voices.
Takbeer: Allahuakbar, Allahuakbar, La-Ilaha illa-Allah, Wa-Allah-u-Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa-Lillah-il-Hamd (Allah (swt) is the Most Great, Allah (swt) is the most Great, there is no god but Allah (swt), Allah is the Most great, Allah is the most great, and to Allah (swt) be the praise).
- Offering congratulations. The companions of the Prophet (sa) used to congratulate each other on the day of Eid. Any permissible words can be used to greet each other.
- Beautifying oneself on the occasion of Eid. The Prophet (sa) agreed with Umar (ra) on the idea of adorning oneself for Eid, but he denounced him for choosing a particular cloak because it was made of silk. (Bukhari)
- Going to the prayer by one route and returning by another. It was narrated that Jaabir ibn Abd – Allah (ra) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (sa) used to vary his route. (Bukhari). It was said that the reason for that was so that the two routes would testify for him on the Day of Resurrection, for the earth will speak on the Day of Resurrection, and say what was done on it, both good and bad.
- Slaughtering an animal for the sake of Allah (swt) on Eid-ul-Adha is a Sunnah of Ibrahim (as) and Prophet Muhammad (sa). The time for offering the sacrifice begins after the Eid prayer on Eid al-Adha and ends when the sun sets on the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah. So there are four days of sacrifice: the day of Eid-ual-Adha and the three days after it. It is better to hasten to offer the sacrifice after the Eid prayer, as the Prophet Muhammad (sa) used to do, then the first thing he would eat on the day of Eid would be the meat from his sacrifice. Ahmad narrated that Buraydah (ra) said: The Messenger of Allah (sa) did not go out on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr until he had eaten, and he did not eat on the day of Eid al-Adha until he came back, then he would eat from his sacrifice. (Al-Zayla’i narrated in Nasb al-Raayah that Ibn al-Qattaan classed it as Saheeh.)
- It is a Sunnah that if one wants to offer a sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha must stop cutting his hair, nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice, because the Prophet (sa) said: “when you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, if anyone of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” (Muslim).
The Prophet (sa) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet (sa) said: The Prophet (sa) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, and the day of Ashoora, and the three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. (Abu Dawood)
Prophet Muhammad (sa) used to recite Surah Al – Aala of the Quran in the first Rakah and Al – Ghashiyah of the Quran in the second Rakah. He also recited Surah Qaf of the Quran in the first Rakah, and Surah Al – Qamar of the Quran in the second Rakah. (Saheeh)
Visiting the graves is not something to be done especially on the day of Eid or Friday or any particular day. It was proven that the Prophet (saw) visited the graves at night, as mentioned in the Hadeeth of Aisha (ra) narrated by Muslim. And the Prophet (sa) said: “Visit the graves for they will remind you of the Hereafter.”
May Allah (swt) bless us all with all good things in this world and in the hereafter – Ameen