Beliefs & Practices, Fiqh / Sunday, December 7th, 2008

The preparation for the Eid day and salaat should begin the day befor Eid. Fasting on the day before Eid (9th Zulhijja) will fetch the reward of Allah removing our sins from the past year and the upcoming year. When maghrib arrives on that night, this represents the night of Eid. The night of Eid is an auspicious night. It says in hadith: “He who keeps alive the nights of both Eids (Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Azha), convinced of its reward, then his heart will not die when hearts (of other people) will die.”

In another hadith it is stated: “If anyone keeps alive five nights (through zikr and other worship) then he is assured of entry into paradise. (the five nights are) eighth, ninth, and tenth of zul Hijja, the night of Eidul Fitr, and the fifteenth of Shabaan.”

So from these hadith we learn we must not go to sleep or waste our time on these nights but instead use these nights in a profitable manner. If we cannot keep awake the whole night then we must stay in worship as long as we can. If a chokie-dar can stay awoke the whole night for a small salary, then it should not be too difficult for us to do the same while seeking a larger reward from the Lord of All the Worlds. If we fight against our nafs we will be able to do it.


Instead of worshipping the night of eid we spend our time:

1. Playing games like chess, dice, ludo, etc.

2. Spend the entire night glued to the television set. To watch TV in general is a major sin, and it is compounded on this auspicious night.

3. Some people spend the night shopping. The market places or bazaars are the worst and most cursed places on earth. They are centers of sin.

4. Some people waste a large amount of time in restaurants gossiping and backbiting and talking about other sinful matters.

5. Some businessmen understand that this is an auspicious night so they feel it would be better to conduct their business matters on this night to get more blessings. They spend so much time and effort in their business pursuits that they don’t have enough strength to come to fajr prayers the morning of Eid.


The following are the sunnats for the day of Eid:

  1. to perform ghusl
  2. to use miswak
  3. to dress within the rulings of the Shariah
  4. to apply ittar (halaal non-alcoholic perfume)
  5. not to eat anything before the Eid Namaz
  6. to go to the eid gaah as early as possible
  7. to perform the eid namaz at the eid gaah
  8. to choose a different route when returning from the eid gaah
  9. to go to the eid gaah walking
  10. to recite the takbeer while walking to the eid gaah


There are some unislamic customs which have crept into our eid day celebrations nowadays. We must be on guard against them so they do not spoil the reward we hope to obtain on this occasion. For example:

1. Eid cards. The custom of sending eid cards is not prevalent in our society.

There are many sinful things that go along with sending eid cards, and a few are highlighted below:

A. many cards have pictures living things like animals and it is forbidden to snap animate beings, draw them, see them, like them and send them to each other.

B. some also carry nude or semi-naked pictures of women. It is a sin to see them, draw them, or make them and print them.

C. people compete with each other in sending a greeting card better than the other’s. They vie with each other in this way to be spoken of and this conduct is nothing but ostentation. Competition in sinful activities makes the sin graver.

D. if someone sends cheap eid cards then he is looked down upon and subject to taunts. Taunting anyone in itself is a sin and to compel or incite him to do a sinful thing is a more grave sin.

2.  Some people convey their greetings by telephone or telegram, email, sms,etc. this has nothing to do with religion but is  mere custom. No one should think that this is a sunnat or a part of the deen.

3. Many people embrace each other after the Eid salaat and think that it is sunnat or wajib to do so. This is incorrect, instead of it being a sunnat, it is in fact a bidat that must be avoided.

The fatwa of Mufti Muhammad Shafi (ra) the late mufti azam of Pakistan is:

To shake hands and embrace one another on eid day is a bidah and a symbol of the rawafid (shia). It must be given up.

The fatwa of Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani:

Handshake at the time of meeting of two Muslims is masnoon. Also, to embrace one who returns from a journey is sunnah apart from these two occasions it is not sunnat. However, if anyone does not regard it as sunnat but does so incidentally then it is not a sin. If he considers it a sunnat and does it then it is a bidat. Since in our times the handshake after fard salaat and embrace after eid salah are considered as sunnat though they are not known from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) or the sahabah, so the ulema have declared them as bidat and urged that they should be shunned.

4. Mubarak (Congratulations)

There are several opinions on whether it is permissible to greet one another with the words “Eid Mubarak” or other expressions like this on the day of eid.  Some say it is allowed because it is a dua and a good expression.

Some say it is makrooh because it is a Jewish practice.

Some say it is advisable because it is dua and it is mustahab to make dua for your brother.

Some say one should not greet but if someone else greets first he should repeat what the first person said.

In short, greetings on Eid are not known from any hadith and opinions differ about it from early times. Ulema proclaim it to be mubah (permissible) provided it is not accompanied by any factor which transforms it into Makrooh and Bid’ah. In our day, this expression is bid’ah because it has developed into a grounded custom. People believe that it is among the Mustahabbat of Eid. The younger generation grows up with this custom.

But if it is free from all disallowed things then it will be allowed. The disallowed things being: to consider it as sunnat, to regard it as necessary like fard or wajib, to treat it as fard or wajib, not to condemn one who did not practice it, to say it not before but after the masnoon salaam on meeting and then say eid mubarak or similar words.

Only when all of these factors are in place can it be said that giving eid greetings are permissible.

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