Eid Mubaarak – Gift of Maghfirah (Forgiveness)

[Mujlisul Ulama]

WHAT IS EID?

Eid is the day of happiness and peace of Muslims or so it should be. Unlike the days of festivity of other nations and religions, the Islamic Eid is not a day of raucous Joy and debauchery which marks the festival occasions of non-Muslims. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) migrated from Makkah Muazzamah to Madinah Munawwarah, he learnt of the two days of festivity which the people had inherited from the time of jaahiliyyah (ignorance).These days of festivals were days of sport, amusement and the usual acts of the lust associated with customs of paganism, shirk and kufr. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) changed these two days and substituted them with Eid ul fitr and Eidul Adhaa.

IBAADAT

Unlike the festivals of joy, Merry making and revelry of other nations, the days of Eid of Muslims are adorned with Ibaadat, meditation, resolution to be virtuous, charity and kindness. These are among some of the salient features of the days of Islamic festivals. Along with joy and happiness is Ibaadat (worship) and moral reformation. Those who spend the days of Eid in the way members ofother religions do, have no idea of the meaning, significance and sacredness of Eid. Eid is undoubtedly a joyous occasion, but our joy has to be within the limits prescribed for joy by the Shari’ah. If happiness or joy transgresses the bounds of the Shari’ah, it will no longer bedescribed as joy, but will be sin inviting the wrath of Allah Ta`ala. It will then cease to be a day of happiness. On the contrary, it will be transformed into a day of punishment. It does not behove the Muslim to court the displeasure and wrath of Allah Ta`ala on this auspicious day of Eid. It is a day of great thawaab and barakaat. While it is a day of lawful festivity, this happiness should be adorned with obedience and Ibaadat to ensure that we gain the maximum benefits of this wonderful occasion of Eid.

SINNING ON EID

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “He who disobeys Allah on theday of Eid is like a person who disobeys Allah on the day of Qiyaamah.”

Sin is evil, loathsome and punishable at all times.  But to sin on a holy occasion or in a sacred place is extremely abominable and warrants severe punishment in the curse of Allah Ta`ala. Sinning on the day of Eid is like sinning in the presence of Allah Ta’ala on the day of Qiyaamah.

Extraneous and un-Islamic influences coupled with ignorance induce many Muslims to behave like non-Muslims on the days of Eid. They emerge from the month-long Fast of Ramadhaan with the idea that the happiness of the occasion justifies abandonment of the restraints on the nafs applied in the month of Ramadhaan. They feel that Eid is a license of fulfilling the sinful desires of the nafs–the desires which were held in control during the month of Ramadhaan.

They emerge from Ramadhaan as if they have been liberated from a prison. In consequence theyallow the nafs a free run to dominate their intelligence and trample on the demands of Imaan.Many who had abandoned evil places and evil acts during the month of Ramadhaan undo all theirspiritual gains with their indulgence in haraamandfutility on the Day of Eid. It is for this veryreason that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) made specific reference to the gravity of sin on the Day of Eid–it is like sinning in front of Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Qiyaamah.

Sin transforms Eid into a day of mourning. With sin, Eid ceases to be a Day of Joy for the punishment. May Allah Ta’ala save us all from such a calamity.

THE DAY OF MAGHFIRAH AND RAHMAT

Eid is the Day when the Allah Ta’ala announces to the Malaa-ikah that He has forgiven the Fasting Mu’mineen and that He has become pleased with them, and that He has bestowed His special mercy (Rahmat) on them.

Eid is the Day when Malaa-ikah descends on this earth in their multitudes to announce these glad tidings to the Believers wherever they may be. It will indeed be a sad and a ruinous day if these Malaa-ikah find Muslims groveling in sin and disobedience. They deprive themselves of the special rahmat and Maghfirat (forgiveness) which Allah Ta’ala sends as gifts of Eid for this Ummah. It is indeed an unfortunate person who is deprived of these divine gifts on the day of the Eid. The rahmat which descends on the day of Eid multiplies and increases in proportion to the Ibaadat and goodness of conduct displayed on this auspicious occasion. It should be the wish and effort of every Mu’min to be in the state of Ibadat when visited by the Malaa-ikah. And, Ibadat is not confined to only acts of ritual worship. While acts of ritual worship are great and wonderful acts of Ibaadat, acts of kindness, charity and service are likewise wonderful acts of Ibaadat which invite the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Thus, this great day of Eid should be spent in only acts which invite Allah’s pleasure and which bring us closer to him.

Our eating, drinking, wearing clothes, walking, speaking and sleeping should all become acts of Ibaadat inviting the pleasure and rahmat of Allah Ta’ala. If carried out in accordance with the Sunnah, then all our worldly and physical acts too will be recorded as acts of Ibaadat. It is therefore necessary to be conscious of our activities, of our statements and of our thoughts. It is the day to reflect and to understand that perhaps you will not have again the opportunity to see Eid next year. Take lessons from those who were here last Eid but are absent today.

THE COMMENCEMENT OF EID

Every holy occasion has its own specialties of blessings, Mercies and benefits. Ramadhaan camewith its wonderful spiritual gifts from Allah Ta’ala’s rahmat on Muslims is perpetual. He does not deprive us of His rahmat. When Ramadan departs, he bestows the special occasion of Eid with all its wonderful spiritual gifts and blessings which also result in worldly goodness for us. With the ending of Ramadan when the crescent moon of Shawwaal is sighted, the special rahmat of Eid ushers in.The fortune of Eid commences from the very night–from the very moment the Eid hilaal (crescent moon) is sighted.

In this regard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “The heart of the one who remains awake (in Ibaadat) during the night of Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-Adhaa will not die on the day when hearts will be dead”

On the day of Qiyaamah, the fear and chaos of the occasion will shock the hearts of men and jinn. A death like fear will pervade them. But the hearts of those who spend time during the nights of Eid will remain fresh and alert. They come within the purview of the Qur’aanic Aayat:

“(There will be no fear on them nor will they grieve)”

The night of Eid is the night which precedes the day of Eid,i.e. the night after sunset of the last of Ramadan. The nights of Eid are wonderful nights of Ibaadat. In a narration it is mentioned that the nights of Eid are like the nights of Qadr or even greater.

The night of Eid should not be squandered in preparation for the next day of festivity. While it is permissible to make preparations for the happiness of the next day, this auspicious night should not be devoted to worldly acts to the exclusion of Ibaadat. Our women folk deprive themselves of the great barakaat of the nights of Eid by spending the greater part of the night in making preparations for the next day of Eid. The nights of Eid are rare occasions of Ibaadat and rahmat. It should be used to gain maximum reward for us.

THE SUNNAT ACTS TO OBSERVE ON EIDUL FITR

It is important that the Masnoon acts of this great occasion be observed. Observance of the Sunnah acts even if these are in worldly form, brings about great blessings and Noor. There is much  in the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhiwasallam). No matter how insignificant a Sunnah act may appear to us, it should not be unnecessarily neglected. The Sunnah acts to observe on the day of Eid-ul-fitr is as follows:

(1) To rise early and perform Ibaadat on Eid night (I.e. Before subuh saadiq)

(2) To offer Tahajjud Salaat. Tahajjud Salaat consists of eight raka`ts, and according to some narrations 12 raka`ts

(3) To engage in reciting takbeer silently fromsubhasaadiq until arrival at the Eidgah

(4) To perform Fajr Salaat in the Musjid of your neighbour

(5) To clip the moustache

(6)To remove pubic hairs

(7)To have a bath

(8)To use a MISWAAK

(9)Wearing new or clean clothes, the best one possesses

(10) Dressing according to the Sunnah.This entails Kurtah, turban, jubbah, etc. Since this was the type of dress Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) always wore

(11) To apply perfume

(12) To eat dates in odd numbers before leaving for the Eid Salaat. If the dates are not available then anything sweet will suffice

(13) To offer Eid Salaat at the musallah (Eidgah) even if the Musjidcan accommodate the whole congregation

(14) To proceed to the Eidgah on foot if it is in walking distance

(15) To go to the Eidgah by one routes and return by another

(16) Two set off early for the Eid Salaat

(17) To perform the Salaat first and then the khutbah, without Athaan and Iqaamah

(18) To give sadaqah in abundance

(19) To pay the sadaqatul fitr before the Salaat

(20) To offer 2 or 4 raka`ts nafl Salaat at home after returning from the Eidgah.

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On reaching the Eidgah, continue with the takbeer silently until commencement of the Eid Salaat.

THE EID SALAAT

The Eid Salaat consists of 2 raka’ts which are waajib (compulsory). The Eid Salaat has an extra six waajib tak-beers (i.e.Allahu Akbar). It is a Salaat of shukr (gratitude). We offer this Salaat of gratitude for the wonderful bounties of Ramadhaan and Eid–for Allah’s kindness in seeing us safely through the month of Ramadhaan–for keeping our imaan intact.

The same shuroot (conditions) necessary for the validity of Jumuah Salaat are necessary for the validity of Eid Salaat as well. Thus, Eid Salaat is not performed in a small village, jail or in any place from which the general populace is debarred.

During the Eid Salaat there is neither Athaan nor Iqaamah. The Eid Salaat is performed before the khutbah unlike Jumuah.

The method of the Eid Salaat

1.) The performance of two raka`ts of Salaat on the occasions of Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ud-dhuhaa is waajib

2.) the two raka`ts Salaat of Eid is followed by two khutbahs which are Sunnah, but to listen to them is waajib

3.) HOW TO PERFORM THE EID SALAAT

i) Niyyat: “I intend to perform 2 raka`ts Eid-ul-fitr (or Eid-ud-dhuhaa) Salaat with 6 waajib takbeers behind this imam”

ii) After Niyyat the imam will proclaim “Allahu–Akbar”. Reciting: ”Allahu–Akbar” silently the muqtadi raises his hands to the ears and folds them as usual. Recite Thana in this position.

iii) After Thana, the imam will proclaim “Allahu–Akbar” thrice, each time raising the hands to the ears and then releasing them along the sides reciting “Allahu–Akbar” silently each time, the muqtadi follows the imam and raises his hand with each takbeer to the ears and then releases them on the sides.

iv) After the third takbeer the hands are folded as is usual in qiyaam, and the imam will now commence the qiraat i.e. Surah Fatiha and some verses of theQur’aan

v) After qiraat, the rakaa`t will be completed as usual with ruku and 2 sajdahs

vi) In the second rakaa’t after the qiraat, the imam will proclaim “Allahu–Akbar” and raise his hands to the ears and release them. The muqtadi should do likewise. The imam will recitealtogether three takbeer after the qiraat in the second rakaa’t when the imam says “Allahu–Akbar” the fourth time (in the second raka’ts) then do not raise the hands, but go immediately into ruku. The rest of the raka`ts is completed as usual.

EID SALAAT MASAA-IL

1) If one joins the Eid Salaat after the imam has already recited the Eid takbeer’s OF the first raka’ts, then:

a) If one has confidence that after reciting the takbeer’s one will be able to join the imam in ruku,then make the Niyyatfor the Salaat and recite the takbeers in qiyaam.

b) if one fears that by reciting that takbeers in qiyaam one will not be able to join the imam in ruku then immediately after Niyyat, join the imam in ruku and recite the takbeers (silently) in ruku instead of the normal ruku tasbeeh, but do not raise the hands (in ruku) while reciting takbeers. If the imam emerges from the ruku before you could complete the takbeer’s, join him. The balance of the takbeers are waived.

2) If one has missed a complete raka’ts of the Eid Salaat, it should be fulfilled as follows: after the imam makes the salaams, rise and recite qiraat. After the qiraat recite the takbeers and completed the Salaat as usual.

3) If one misses the entire Salaat, there is no Qadha and no way of performing this Salaat. One only has two repent and seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala for this misfortune one has suffered.

4) On the day of Eid it is not permissible to perform ishraaq or any other nafl Salaat before the Eid Salaat whether in the Eidgah or at home or anywhere else. Ishraaq should be performed at home, not in the Eidgah, after the Eid Salaat.

5) It is not permissible to perform any Nafl Salaat in the Eidgah throughout the day of Eid.

The Musallah-Eidgah

The Musallah or Eidgah is an open field on the outskirts of the town or city where the Eid Salaat is performed. The practice of the Musallah is Sunnatul Muakkadah. It is sinful to want only abandon this Sunnat practice. Abandonment of a Sunnatul Muakkadah practice is Fisq (flagrant violation of the Shari’ah).

The Musallah need not be Waqf ground. Any open land on the outskirts where the buildings cometo an end, will be a Shar’i Musallah if the Eid Salaatis performed there. Open fields in built up areas, with buildings surrounding, are not proper Shar’i Eidgahs. In some places sports fields or school grounds are used for Eid Salaat. While the Salaat performed on such land is valid the Sunnatul Muakkadah requirement of the Musallah is not discharged.

Sports field

A sports field or a school playground inside a city or built-up area is not a Musallah because it is not land located on the outskirts of the town/city. The discussion in this booklet pertains to thevalidity of a Musallah, not the validity of the Eid Salaat. While the Eid Salaat will be valid if performed anywhere, the Shar’i requirement of the Eidgah is not discharged by performing the Eid Salaat on such a sports field or school playground for the simple reason that such ground is not a valid Shar’i Musallah.

The Fadhielat (virtue) of the Musallah is not acquired by performing the Eid Salaat on a sports field or a school playground which is located within the built up area.

The books of the Shari’ah explain clearly that a Musallah is located on the outskirts. This has been the practice of the Ummah since the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam). There is absolutely no reason now in this belated century to diverge from that Mubaarak Sunnah of Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) and the Salf-e-Saaliheen.

Those who perform Eid Salaat on the sports fields should not labour under the notion that they are fulfilling the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam). In fact, in having established sports fields as Eidgahs, the actual Sunnah practice has been displaced. Far from receiving the Sunnah, the sponsors of this type of assumed Eidgah are guilty of destroying the Sunnah. By propagating the idea of a sports field being, adequate for a Musallah, the ordinary Muslims are misled to believe that the Sunnah requirement is being upheld at the sports fields.

Sports fields or the Musjid

Where the Muslim community has failed in its duty of establishing Salaat in an Eidgah, the Eid Salaat should be performed in the Musaajid, not on the sports fields of the Kuffaar nor on the playgrounds of the Kuffaar schools nor on any vacant land in the built-up area surrounded by buildings. Such grounds do not have a greater Fadhielat than the Musaajid. Undoubtedly in terms of the Shari’ah, the Musaajid are the holiest grounds on earth. However, on account of the permanent practice  of  Rasulullah  ( Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam), the  Musallah is adopted for the Eid
Salaat despite the greater excellence of the Musaajid. The same significance  cannot be accorded to the grounds which are not proper Shari Musallah.  Opinion cannot be utilized to  confer the Fadhielat of the Eidgah  to a place which is not an Eidgah.

It is unreasonable to assert that  a sports field of the Kuffaar has greater significance than a Musjid. On these sports fields of the Kuffaar a variety of Kabeerah sins are perpetrated.

Among these evils is the  intermingling of sexes with various degrees of zina acts,  consumption of liquor, evil  displays such as drum  majorettes, rags, Kuffaar sports,  etc. are organized on these fields.

These fields are places of divine  Ghadhab (wrath). How can  Maghdhoob alayh places have  greater significance than the  Musaajid of Allah Ta’ala? These  sports fields are established for  haraam. They are used exclusively  for haraam. How then can Muslims seek to confer sanctity  reverence to such evil places by performing the Eid Salaat thereon?

Deceive

If Muslims wantonly refuse to establish the Eidgah, they should  not deceive themselves into believing that they are executing the demand of the Shari’ah by  performing Eid Salaat on a sports field or a  playground. When they refuse to honour the Shari’ah’s command for the Musallah, then rather let them perform Eid Salaat in the Musaajid. 

Baseless Arguments

Several baseless arguments are  tendered for the misconceived idea of sports fields being  adequate Musallahs.

1.  It is contended that in some  big cities vacant land on the outskirts of the cities is not available, hence and Eidgah cannot be established there. This is incorrect. Firstly, it is false to make such a claim. Every town or city has ample vacant lands on the outskirts where the Eid Salaat may be performed.  Secondly, the  land need not be Waqf nor is it necessary to be owned by Muslims. Municipal grounds may be used. Thirdly, the establishment of a Musallah does not mean that the ground should  be used exclusively for Eid Salaat.  The venue may be shifted from year to year if necessary. Plenty vacant land for this purpose is available on the outskirts of all towns and cities.

2. It is argued that in very big cities it is difficult for the people to go to the boundaries of the town/city for the purpose of the Eid Salaat. This argument too has to be dismissed as baseless. In large cities, people commute great distances twice a day to go  to work and to return home. Daily  they travel 30, 40, 50 and even up  to 100 kilometers. They accomplish this daily, without fail, whether it hails, snows, rains or whether it is hot or cold and whether they are healthy or sick. For the sake of their daily bread, they undertake great difficulties, travelling great distances twice a day, but they are not prepared to travel to the Eidgah twice a year  to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

The truth is that the overwhelming majority of the community will be too willing to attend the Eidgah if those in charge of the affairs become more dedicated Muslims and become more concerned with the  Sunnah. If they show greater concern for the Deen and  establish a proper Shar’i Eidgah, the rank and file will attend for  the Eid Salaat. But, because the leadership is unconcerned about the revivication of the Sunnah, the masses are being deprived of  the Sunnah of the Eidgah. These  arguments are presented to cover up for the apathy of those who  are not interested in establishing  the Eidgah. Muslims can make their way to the Eidgah twice a year in the same way as they make their way to work twice a day. 

Assuming that there are genuinely those who are just not able to go to the Eidgah, then for  the sick, the weak and those who cannot make their way to the  Eidgah, the Musjid will serve their purpose. This too has been the practice from the earliest days of Islam. Although the community performed the Eid Salaat at the Eidgah, some Musaajid would be operative to cater for the weak, sick, infirm and aged. But for the sake of a few weak ones, it is not permissible to abandon the Sunnatul Muakkadah practice of the Musallah. If a few cannot attend Jumuah, it does not justify the entire community performing Zuhr.

Difficulty

Privately owned vehicles and  public transport are available in  abundance. The argument of distance is therefore self-deception. The argument of difficulty is the flimsiest and not worthy of consideration in our context. While this purported difficulty is non-existent in the  South African context, it may have validity in India, hence some    venerable Muftis have presented the argument of the difficulty of travelling distances to the Eidgah.  The situation in India differs vastly from the South African situation. The huge crowds in the  streets and on the railway stations transform these places  into josting scenes of pushing, chaos and tumult when the trains  pull into the stations. The extent of and chaos is unbelievable and beyond description. There is real hardships on the trains which are the main means of public transport. But, inspite of this real difficulty and utter chaos and confusion, people commute daily twice to work and back home.  They undergo all these hardships for their daily bread, but are not prepared to undergo similar or the same hardship for their Deen and Imaan only twice a year. The nafs and shaitaan present a variety of baseless excuses to deter Muslims from the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam). Anyhow, we can still uphold the difficulty argument in relation to India, but never to South Africa.

Boundaries

The claim that the city boundaries are at a great distance is not valid. This cannot be cited as a valid reason for abandoning the Musallah. For the purposes of establishing a Musallah there is  no need to consider the municipal boundary

The Shari’ah simplifies this issue by defining the boundaries to be the place where the ‘abaadi (settlement or the buildings end). The Fina-e-misr (the vacant land of the city) in this context refers     to vacant land at the end of the  abaadi. Every suburb can be treated as a separate settlement if needs be or adjoining suburbs could arrange a common Eidgah at one of the vacant sites at the end of the abaadi of any particular suburb. Thus, in a place like Johannesburg, there is no need to travel 100km to the end of the municipal boundaries for  the Eid Salaat. Different suburbs can have their own Eidgahs if they find it too difficult to have  one Eidgah for the entire Johannesburg.

Consider the suburb of lenasia. The overwhelming majority commutes daily great distances to Johannesburg central and other nearby towns where they work. But, for the Eidgah, a venue  in walking distance can be established. At the end of Lenasia on different sides, much vacant  land is available for the Eid Salaat.  This  argument of the boundary being at a great distance is therefore fallacious.

In order to extract a fatwa to conform to Fictitious desires, people tend to feed fictitious information to senior Muftis abroad. On the basis of misinformation a fatwa is obtained to suit ones desires. We can safely say that we are more aware of the conditions in South Africa than our venerable Muftis abroad who have to rely on the  information or misinformation fed to them by persons who are not really interested in reviving the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa sallam).

In this regard the fatwa’s of Hadhrat Mufti Nizaamuddeen Sahib and Hadhrat Mufti Paalanpuri Sahib are cited.

Virtues of the Musallah

The view that the same virtues of the Musallah are obtainable by  performing the Eid Salaat on a sports field or university ground within the abaadi is not based on  any Shar’i  proof. It is an opinion which is not acceptable because  it conflicts with the teaching and  spirit of the Sunnah.

Firstly, the Sunnah commands that the Eidgah be on the outskirts while the sports is locatwd within the abaadi.  Secondly, there is no valid reason for substantiating the Eidgah with a sports field located within  the abaadi. All reasons tendered are baseless as explained earlier. Thirdly, these fields are used for undesirable haraam activities. Fourthly, the actual Sunnah of the true Musallah is displayed by establishing a venue inside the built up area. This is Bid’ah. People become accustomed to the notion that the sports field is an adequate Eidgah fulfilling the  Sunnah requirement. The true Musallah is consequently obliterated from their minds. Thus, the practice of the Musallah  will be killed off. Infact, it has already been killed off in many parts of the country.

Virtues

It is, therefore, incorrect to opine that the virtues of the Masnoon Eidgah are being attained from a place on which the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala settles. Thus, the opinion is  in conflict with the teaching and spirit of the Sunnah.

The only alternative to the Eidgah is the Musjid. But, performing Eid Salaat unnecessarily in the Musjid is sinful.

It is essential that Muslims establish proper the Eidgahs to conform to the Sunnah in every town/city/suburb. This is not a mammoth task. Experience has proven that it is extremely  simple. The only requirement is a vacant site on the outskirts of the  abaadi which will be used for about an hour. Cleaning such a site does not require much time.  After the Eid Salaat, there is no  litter to clean up as some persons  have contended. Only the carpets/ mats have to be rolled up and carried away.

May Allah  Ta’ala grant us all good Hidaayat to understand the value of Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) Sunnah practices:

Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever adheres the value of my Sunnah at a time when my Ummah has become corrupt, will obtain the thawaab of a hundred Shuhadaa.” 

Sadaqatul Fitr

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said:  Fast remains suspended between heaven and earth until the Fitrah is paid.”
Once the Fitrah Sadaqah is paid, the Fasts proceed to their abode in the heavens for acceptance by Allah Ta’ala . 

Rules of Sadaqatul fitr

1 . Sadaqatul fitr or Fitrah is waajib (compulsory) upon all Muslims – male, female and children who on the Day of  Eid-ul-fitr are owners of the Nisaab  of Zakaat. I.e. approximately the rand value of the current price of  19.6875 troy ounces or 612g of silver  (Hanafi Mathhab). According to the Shaafi mathhab, Fitrah becomes obligatory, if one has sufficient food for one’s household for one day and one night (24 hours). Thus, if one is not the owner of the Zakaat  Nisaab value, Fitrah will yet be compulsory according to the  Shaafi Math-hab. 

2 . According to the Hanafi Math- hab, the Fitrah becomes Waajib when the Day of Fitr dawns with the commencement of Fajr time. Therefore, if someone died before  entry of Fajr on the day of Eid,  Fitrah will not be paid out of his  (the deceased’s) estate, since the  Fitrah is not Waajib upon him.  And, if a child is born before the rising of Fajr, Fitrah will be paid on his behalf. If the child is born after the entry of Fajr (on the day  of Eid), Fitrah is not Waajib on his  behalf.

3. According to the Shaafi Math-hab, Fitrah becomes incumbent with the commencement of the night of Eid-ul-fitr, i.e. the moment  the sun sets on the last day of Ramadhaan. Thus, if someone dies after sunset on the last day of Ramadhaan (i.e. the first of Shawwaal) Fitrah shall be paid out of his estate. Fitrah will not be waajib upon a child born after sunset of the last day of Ramadhaan.

4. According to the Hanafi math-hab, the father has to pay the Fitrah on behalf of his minor children, i.e. those who have not yet attained the age of puberty.

5. According to the Hanafi Math-hab, it is not obligatory upon the husband to pay the Fitrah on behalf of his wife. If she is the owner of the Nisaab, she shall pay her own Fitrah.

6. According to the Shaafi Math-hab, it is obligatory upon the man to pay the Fitrah on behalf of his minor children as well as his wife.

7. If a minor is the owner of wealth to the amount of Nisaab, then payment of Fitrah on behalf of the minor could be made from his (minor’s) wealth. This is according to both Hanafi and Shaafi Math-hab.

8. The Fitrah should preferably be paid before the Eid Salaat.

9. It is not permissible to delay the Fitrah later than the day of Eid. However, if it was not paid on the day of Eid or before, the obligation remains and the Fitrah will have to be paid.

10. It is permissible to pay the Fitrah in advance at anytime during the month of Ramadhaan. This is according to both Hanafi and Shaafi math-hab. However according the Hanafi Math-hab, Fitrah could be paid even before Ramadhaan whereas according to the Shaafi Math-hab, payment of Fitrah before Ramadhaan is not valid.

11. Sadaqatul Fitr is Waajib upon all those who fasted as well as those who did not fast for some reason or the other. This is according to both Hanafi and Shaafi Math-hab.

12. Fitrah amount is the price of approximately 1.75kg flour according to the Hanafi Math-hab. According to the Shaafi Math-hab it is 3.5kg of Flour.

13. Instead of cash, Flour may be given.

14. Fitrah can only be paid to the “poor”. Those who are entitled to accept Zakaat.

15. Fitrah cannot be utilized for any charitable purpose other than the poor. Therefore, if Fitrah money are accumulated and then spent on some other charitable cause, the Fitrah obligation of the Fitrah payers will not be discharged.

The Nights of Eid

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “The heart of the person who remains awake (in Ibaadat) during the night of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adhaa will not die on the day when the hearts will be dead, i.e the day of Qiyaamah”.

The Nights of both Eids i.e.the nights proceeding the days of Eid are auspicious occasions which should be observed with reverence and worship. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said that these are great occasions of Ibaadat and of gaining the proximity and special mercy of Allah Ta’ala. These holy night therefore should not be allowed to be passed in futility. Full advantage should be taken of these opportunities by offering obedience and Ibaadat unto Allah Ta’ala to the best of one’s ability. Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness for sins), Tilaawat (reciting theQur’aan), Nafl Salaat,Durood, etc should be profusely offered on these holy nights.

Amongst the reward which will be obtained for observing the sanctity of the glorious Eid nights, the greatest reward is the good news conveyed to us by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) in the above mentioned Hadith, viz the heart will not be smitten with terror and fear on the Day of Qiyaamah when the upheavals of the day will be so fearsome that men will appear to be intoxicated.

Eid cards

Eid cards or the sending of Eid cards  to friends and relatives is a custom which is widely observed by the Muslim community of today. For the guidance of Muslims it has become necessary to explain this practice of Eid cards in the light of the Shari’ah of  Islam. According  to  the Shari’ah the  custom  of  Eid cards is not permissible. There are several factors prohibiting this practice.

1. TASHAABBUH BIL KUFAAR: 
The practice of Eid cards is in emulation of the Kuffaar customs of Christmas cards and the like. It has no association with Eid or any Islamic practice. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “whoever imitates a people becomes of them.”

2. WASTE
It is a wasteful practice. Large sums of money are wasted in the acquisition of fancy and  expensive Eid cards which are  disposed by receiving them. These cards are not treasured.   Money which is a Ni’mat of Allah Ta’ala should be constructively spent in Allah’s path to aid the suffering servants of Allah Ta’ala.  The Qur’aan Majeed criticizing the  people of waste says: “do not waste. wasters are brothers of  the shayaateen.”

3. DEFILEMENT OF THE QUR’AAN  Verily the Qur’aanic verses are  printed on many Eid cards which  are generally discarded and thrown away. In this manner the sanctity of the Qur’aan Majeed is defiled.

Muslims should reflect before they indulge in any practice. The Shari’ah has fixed a small sum known as Sadaqatul Fitr for the benefit of the poor. But Muslims  in their state of Gaflat (obliviousness) are uncaring for the poor, hence they spend even more money on this wasteful haraam practice then  what  many  spend  on  Sadaqatul Fitr.

If the intention is sincere and if  there is a genuine desire to gain the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala then his bounties will not be wasted on upholding a Kuffaar custom. On the contrary the money be contributed to bring some relief to the destitute servants of Allah Ta’ala thereby should gaining the everlasting pleasure of our creator.

EID HANDSHAKING?

Rasulullah (sallalahu Alayhi wasallam) said: “Beware of  innovations! Every innovation (Bid’ah) is deviation (from the straight path), and every deviation leads into the fire (of  Jahannum).”

Musafahah or hand shaking is a  meritorious and Sunnah act. However, to fabricate a custom, and to present it as if it is a  Sunnah, is Bid’ah. Bid’ah (innovation) is evil. While hand  shaking is a lawful Islamic practice, the custom of almost  compulsory hand shaking on the  Days of Eid after Eid Salaah is Bid’ah and not permissible. This was  ever the practice of Rasulullah (sallalahu Alayhi  wasallam) and his Sahaabah.

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