By Amreen Pathan
I would like to embark on today’s topic by first wishing you the following greeting:
Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minka
It was narrated by Jarir Ibn Nufayr (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Sahaba used to greet each other on the day of Eid with: ‘Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minka.’
This is translated as: ‘May Allah accept (the fasts and worship) from us and from you.’
Islam is a complete way of life.
While thinking about the significance and Sunan (traditions) of Eid-ul-Fitr, I kept coming back to this statement: Islam is a complete way of life. Every concept, ideology and thought process in Islam is meaningful and consequential. Nothing is or should be done haphazardly and even for those things that are beyond human comprehension, they are locked in Allah’s infinite wisdom.
So the very fact that the blessed month of Ramadan ends with the celebration of Eid, this is meaningful, sublime and consequential in itself.
Just as an example of this, we learn from a hadith reported by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that on the day of Eid, Allah boasts about those servants who spent the Night of Power in worship to the angels. Allah says:
‘…My servants… have performed the obligatory duty upon them, thereafter they set forth to the ‘Eidgaah (place of prayer) raising their voices in prayer to Me. I swear by My honour…that I shall surely answer the prayer of those people.’
This is just one manifestation of the reward promised to a believer by his Creator for his sacrifice in the month of Ramadan.
Sunan of Eid
Bearing in mind the difficult nature of Ramadan, it is not hard to imagine that there must be some sense of relief that the fasting month is over. However, Muslims will pay testament to the bittersweet sadness that accompanies the departure of Ramadan; a feeling that cannot be explained but rather, must be experienced.
And that is why, in some curious way, it feels odd to refer to Eid as a celebration. However, as we have ascertained above, a reward is a reward and Eid is all about commemorating the hard work throughout the month of Ramadan.
Allah Almighty mentions in the Qur’an: ‘Eat and drink with satisfaction because of what you used to do.’ (52:19)
Here, Allah is referring to the reward that will be granted to a person in Paradise for their hard word in the world. In the same spirit should the occasion of Eid be celebrated.
This does not mean one must forget one’s Creator. In fact, this is an even greater opportunity to remember one’s Creator and His countless favours throughout the month of Ramadan and beyond and celebrate as such. This is why there are numerous Islamic traditions adhered to throughout the day:
- Pay Zakat-ul-Fitr
Ramadan is a charitable month but the end of the month does not warrant the end of charity. The true spirit of Ramadan will be reflected in one’s ability to continue being generous on Eid day and beyond, starting with Zakat-ul-Fitr which must be duly paid by all members of a household.
The amount should be paid before Eid day so that the amount can lessen the burden of the underprivileged and provide them with something to partake in the celebrations too.
- Performing ghusl (to bathe) before leaving for the Eid prayer.
Just as it is mustahab to bathe before the Friday prayers, it is mustahab to bathe before the Eid prayer.
- Eating before leaving for the Eid prayers.
The wisdom behind this is to physically demonstrate the end of Ramadan and the impermissibility of fasting on Eid day. This is why the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) would not go out on the morning of Eid-al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates (of which he would have eaten in odd number) (Sahih-al-Bukhari)
This hadith also highlights the Sunnah of eating something sweet, as dates are sweet in nature.
- Going to the Eid prayer by one route and returning by another.
On the day of Eid, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would vary his route to the prayer.
The reason that has cited for this is that the various routes will testify for the person on the Day of Resurrection as evidence of his virtuousness in attending Eid prayers.
- Takbeer on the day of Eid
The Takbeer in Arabic with its definition can be found here.
Reading Takbeer when leaving one’s house all the way to the prayer place for Eid-ul-Fitr until the arrival of the Imam is something that is well known among the salaf or early generations of God-fearing people.
NB: the ruling regarding the duration of Takbeer for Eid-ul-Adha is different.
- Offering Eid greetings
Offering congratulations on happy occasions is amongst the noble characteristics of Muslims as it symbolises happiness for one’s accomplishment and offers a message of love and support. The Companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them) used to congratulate each other even upon news of their repentance being accepted by Allah Almighty!
Any suitable Eid greeting can be offered including the Du’a I mentioned at the beginning of this article.
- Adorning oneself
It has been narrated by Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that: the Prophet (peace be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two Eids and on Fridays.’ (Sahih-Ibn Khuzaymah)
The reservation of this particular item of clothing for these three occasions shows that it is sunnah to wear one’s best clothing (old or new) for Eid always keeping in mind Islamic ruling regarding dress in terms of modesty as well as moderateness versus extravagance.
- Exchanging gifts
Translation: ‘Give gifts and you will love one another.’
This hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) perpetuates a beautiful sentiment of Islam.
Giving gifts to loved ones can be as rewarding as giving in charity (with the right intention) as it upholds the ties of kinship which is a highly valued and virtuous act in Islam. As the hadith literally mentions, it generates and increases love between the giver and the recipient.
- Remembering Allah
The entire month prior to Eid was dedicated to Allah Almighty – as it should be! It would be extremely disheartening then if this dedication was diluted on an occasion that should be about thanking Allah, not forgetting Him.
One should maintain their spiritual tie with Allah via the recitation of the Noble Qur’an, dhikr and performance of obligatory and nafl prayers as well as adhering to the teaching of the Shari’ah and abstaining from the impermissible.
On that note then:
Kullu ‘aam wa antum bi-khayr (May this celebration find you every year in good health) and once more: Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minka (may Allah accept from us and from you).
 Faza’il-e-A’maal, Volume 1, Shaikhul Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalwi (Rah), Idara Isha’at-E-Diniyat, p.53, (10/05/2021)