Salah al Eid (Arabic: صلاة العيد‎) is the special prayer offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals.

The two Islamic festivals are:

  • Eid Al Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر‎) is celebrated on the 1st day of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic calendar.
  • Eid Al Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‎) is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month of Islamic calendar.

Importance

Eid prayers, if missed, cannot be made up later so it’s important to attend them. Different scholars interpret the importance of this Salah (prayer) differently. Salah al Eid is Wajib according to Hanafi scholars, Sunnah al Mu’kkadah according to Maliki and Shaf’i jurisprudence, and Fard according to Hanbali scholars. Some scholars say it is fard al-ayn and some said its fard al-kifaya.

Participation Of Women And Children

During the time of prophet Muhammad ﷺ, it has been a practice that women and children too had participated in Salah al Eid.

Time

When the sun reaches approximately two meters above the horizon until it reaches its meridian before Zohr. Adhering to the Sunnah, the time for Eid al Fitr prayer is delayed and Eid al Adha prayer is hastened, so as to facilitate distribution of Fitrah before the Eid al Fitr prayer and offer sacrifice after the Eid al Adha prayer. This has been a proved Sunnah and has been well recorded in Hadith books.

Sequence Of Eid Prayers

The prayer begins with the Imam leading the congregation in a two Rak’at prayer. However, a number of takbirs (raising the hands up to the head and saying Allahu Akbar – Allah is Greatest) is performed before each Rak’ah begins.

After the prayer, the Imam gives a khutba similar to that given on Fridays. However, the subject of the khutba is either the importance of giving Zakah (for Eid-ul-Fitr) or the importance of sacrifice (for Eid-ul-Adha – it is customary to sacrifice a sheep or cow on this day so that it’s meat can be distributed to the poor).

Other Facts

  • A lot of cities designate a large area of land especially for Eid prayers
  • Once of the few prayers where women are encouraged to come and pray in congregation

Hadith Quotes

Umm ‘Atiyyah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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 were to witness goodness and the gathering of the Muslims. I said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what if one of us does not have a jilbaab?” He said: “Let her sister lend her a jilbab.”
– Al-Bukhaari (324) and Muslim (890)