Written by Shaykh Hasib Noor
Alhamdulillah what a blessing it is to welcome Eid!
We hope and pray deeply that we have all achieved our goals.
Allah (SWT) gave us the opportunity to spiritually cleanse ourselves, to draw near to Him, and to help others. This of course includes those less fortunate than ourselves.
Allah (SWT) blessed us and Eid is a moment of celebration!
Eid is such a special blessing that it’s almost a reminder of how the joyous celebration of entering Paradise. It is a blessed day of eating, connecting virtually with loved ones, and remembering the favours of Allah upon us:
Every nation has its day of celebration, and this is our day of celebration. (Bukhari)
Of course, there is also an element of sadness this Eid. This Eid will not be like any other.
In the U.S., and most of the world, it is still not safe to observe Eid prayers in public gatherings. We will therefore need to stay at home during this celebration.
But rest assured the day is a blessed one! You will have the reward of having attended Eid salah and the Angels will be there, recording and celebrating with us.
In lockdown: Can we pray Eid salah at home?
The Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi’i schools of fiqh allow us to pray Eid salah at home since we cannot partake in public communal prayers for the time being.
As we’re all at home in lockdown, you and your loved ones can simply listen to live feeds of local imams that will be played on the internet.
When the imam finishes praying Eid salah, you can then pray your Eid prayers together.
Please note however: you should not follow and pray behind the imam on a live feed.
Wait until the imam finishes, then pray your own Eid prayers with the people in your own household or by yourself if you’re living alone.
For those who follow the Hanafi school of thought, Eid salah must be prayed in congregation at a communal event with a designated imam, like on Jummah.
Given that we’re all in lockdown, what you can do is therefore pray the voluntary Duha prayer.
Can this prayer be performed in congregation?
Well, the general rule is that it’s not recommended (Sunnah) to pray Duha in congregation.
However, some Hanafi jurists say that it’s permitted on rare occasions such as this one, with a small congregation.
For example, a companion of the Prophet (SAW), Anas ibn Malik once missed Eid prayer with the imam. He gathered together his family and freed servants, and one of them, Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Utbah, led them all in Eid prayer.
Therefore, if you would like to follow the Hanbali, Maliki, or Shafi’i schools of fiqh, pray at home.
If you follow the view of not praying Eid salah at home, it would still be nice to start the day with a collective prayer.
Why not pray Fajr with your family, so you can experience that essential Eid feeling of spiritual togetherness first thing in the morning?
Eid: What to do during the day
Even though we’re in lockdown, there are still plenty of things you can do to celebrate Eid, in accordance with the Sunnah!
Make sure you:
- Take a ghusl shower
- Eat breakfast – the Prophet PBUH ate dates before going out to prayer
- Wear the best clothes you have
- Apply fragrance/perfume
- Say the general Takbirat after Fajr prayer
Connect virtually with friends and family too. You could even send gifts!
We also should not forget our new Muslim brothers and sisters and those who may be alone on Eid. Offer love and support by checking up on them and sending them gifts.
It’s also a lovely idea to show care to their non-Muslim neighbours, co-workers, friends, or the less fortunate by reaching out and sharing gifts as well.
In the era of Covid-19: Making the most of Eid
We’re passing through a strange period at the moment with lockdown but do make the day as special as you can. Have all the halal fun you can!
And remember: show gratefulness for the blessings we all receive from Allah (SWT).
Just as Allah (SWT) began the verses of fasting with a reminder of the objective, He ended them with a reminder of the goal and what we are celebrating. Allah (SWT) says:
… Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful. (Qur’an, 2:185)
It is this guidance that Allah (SWT) granted us that we are truly thankful for, the ease that He brought to our hearts, and the conviction we have in His reward.
May Covid-19 be removed from the world, the virus cured, the sick healed, the deceased forgiven, and guidance, light, and blessings descend upon all of us and all of our community, our country, and the world.
May we be thankful for the opportunity and thankful for seeing its end. Insha’Allah may we also be thankful for seeing its fruits in accepted fasting, prayers and charity. May we see the blessings in this life and in Paradise!
A blessed Eid Mubarak to you all from myself and your Islamic Relief family!