Monday, 23 November 2009

Salatul Eid is Wajib

Eid Al-Adha is expected to be on or around November 27, 2009.

The Hajj must be performed during a specific period of time in the Islamic calendar, beginning on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah (the "month of Hajj"), the 12th month in the Islamic calendar. The dates of the Hajj have been set since ancient times, when the Prophet Abraham first called people to make the pilgrimage.

"Proclaim the pilgrimage among people; they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways. That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, throughout the appointed days..." (Qur'an 22:27-28).

Muslims believe that these "appointed days" (beginning with the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah) have been set since the time of Abraham, and were recognized and practiced by the Prophet Muhammad.

However, there is another type of pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the umrah (lesser pilgrimage), which may be performed any time during the year. During umrah, Muslims observe some of the same pilgrimage rites as during Hajj. However, while this experience is commendable, it does not relieve one from the requirement of performing the Hajj during the appointed annual time.

Ibn Hajjar said in his book "Al Fath". "The majority of the Muslim scholars are agreed that the verse ordering people to perform Hajj was revealed in the sixth year after Hijra. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad SAW), the Hajj and 'Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allâh.}[2:196]. What is meant by "complete" is the starting of this rite to be obligatory on Muslims".
Other scholars like Al Nawawi and Ibn Al Qayyim believe that Hajj became mandatory on Muslims in the ninth year after Hijra. The reason, they put this date forward is the fact that the Prophet performed only one Hajj (The Farewell Hajj) and that was in the year ten after the Hijra. Since Hajj becomes obligatory as soon as the person have the material means to perform it and can physically do so, these scholars think that the Prophet would not delay performing Hajj three years. But the first opinion is the most sound one. The Prophet delayed his Hajj till the year ten because Makkah was before that date the place of pagans and atheists. It did not become a Muslim city until the year 8 after the Hijra. The pagans used to perform Hajj in months other than originally intended until Islam re-established the proper times.
This is why the Prophet said in the farewell Hajj: "Time has come back to its original state which it had on the day Allah created the Heavens and the Earth. The year is twelve months, four of which are sacred, three of them are in succession, namely Dhul-Qa'da, Dhul Hijja and Muharram, (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar which is between Juma'da (ath-thani) and Sha'ban".(Bukhari and Muslim).

What is Eid al-Adha

At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In 2009, Eid al-Adha will begin on approximately November 27th, and will last for three days.

What does Eid al-Adha commemorate?

During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superceded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham's trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)

The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

What else do Muslims do to celebrate the holiday?

On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday .


"O ye who believe! When the call is heard for the prayer of the day of Jumuah (Friday), hasten unto remembrance of Allah and leave your trading. That is better for you if ye did but know."
(Holy Quran: Surah 62: verse: 9)

"Let people give up neglect of the Friday prayer otherwise Almighty Allah will set the seal on their hearts, and then they will become of those that are negligent."
(Saheeh Muslim and Nasaai)

"He who misses three Friday services (in succession) owing to heedlessness or indolence, Almighty Allah sets the seal on his heart."
(Abu Dawud, Nasaai, Ibn Majah)


As mentioned in the authentic ahadith, if Eid happens to fall on a Friday (Jumuah), the villagers and bedouins who come from out of town to attend the Eid prayer are exempted from performing the Friday prayer (Jumuah Salah) if they leave after the performance of the Eid prayer, but those residing in the city must still perform the Friday prayer as usual.

There are a few ahadith which outwardly show the general permissibility of missing Jumuah Salah when Eid falls on a Friday however they are interpreted by Muhadditheen, Fuqaha and Jurists in accordance to the meaning which is found in the explicit ahadith wherein permission was only granted to those who traveled from distant villages to attend the Eid prayer in the city. This can be clearly understood below:

Abu Ubaid (r.a) says: “I witnessed Eid with Sayyiduna Uthman bin Affan (r.a.). He prayed and then turned and gave a sermon, saying: ‘Verily, two Eids have occurred simultaneously for you today, so whoever from among the people of Aaliyah (villages above Najd until Tihamah, miles away from Madinah) wants to wait for the Friday prayer may wait and whoever wants to leave may leave, for I have given him permission.’”
(Saheeh Bukhari, Muwatta Imam Malik)

After quoting the above mentioned hadith, the author of Muwatta states, “Uthman only excused the people of Aaliyah (villages above Najd until Tihamah, miles away from Madinah) from performing the Friday prayer because they weren’t from the people of the city.”
(Muwatta Imam Muhammad)

Imam Shafe’ee (r.a.) says in his famous book Kitabul Umm: “If Eid falls on a Friday, the Imam prays Eid when the prayer becomes permissible and then gives permission for the non-city-dwellers who attend the Eid prayer to leave if they wish back to their homes and not return for the Friday prayer. It is preferable for them to remain until performing the Friday prayer or (if able) to return after leaving to perform the Friday prayer, although if they don’t, there is no harm, insha Allah. This (meaning leaving the Friday prayer) is not permissible for any of the city-dwellers without an excuse (that exempts them from the obligation of performing the Friday prayer).”
(Kitabul Umm of Imam Shafe’ee)


Firstly: The obligation of Jumuah Salah is explicitly mentioned and established by the Holy Quran, the strongest of all proofs is the Holy Quran. One who denies any verse of the Holy Quran will become a disbeliever. On the other hand, the obligation of Eid Salah is established through Hadith. Undoubtedly, the Hadith is a very strong proof, but of a lower degree than the Holy Quran. One who denies something that is established through Hadith does not become a disbeliever. Keeping this in mind, even a person of little understanding will be able to come up to this conclusion that how can something that is proven from Hadith have so much of power and strength that it totally cancels something that is clearly and explicitly proven from the Holy Quran? How can the Eid Salah abrogate the obligation of Jumuah Salah? Jumuah Salah has been made fardh in the Holy Quran and we need a proof of a similar strength to cancel it. The ahadith under discussion cannot be used for that proof as the possibility of it being tied to a particular people is there. All the learned scholars have accepted the law that when there is a possibility (in the proof) then it no longer exists to be a proof.

Secondly: The Muhadditheen (professors of Hadith) who are the experts in the field of Hadith have mentioned that the authenticity of the narrations used by those who issue general permission for everyone (villagers & city dwellers) to skip Jumuah Salah is disputed. This is why Shaikh al-Kawthari (r.a.), the famous muhaddith, and others have skillfully shown how all these ahadith are either too weak to be used as evidence because of problems with the narrators or are interpreted in the light of the hadith related by Bukhari (mentioned above regarding Sayyiduna Uthman’s statement) meaning that if we do accept these narrations to be authentic then too the permission to skip Jumuah Salah and suffice on Eid Salah was only for the villagers simply because Jumuah Salah was not Wajib upon them (as they were from the villages or travelers/musafir).

Thirdly: Sayyiduna Uthman (r.a.) made this statement in front of a large gathering of great Sahaba (r.a). If this permission was general and included the people of the city also, then the Sahaba would have opposed and raised objections immediately against Sayyiduna Uthman (r.a.) as to why was he granting special permission only for the bedouins and not for the people of the city. Thus, we can conclusively say that this reasoning has the consensus of the Sahaba (r.a.) attached to it.

Fourthly: In his narration Abu Huraira (r.a.) reports that the holy Prophet (pbuh) said, 'We will soon gather again if Allah wills' (Ibn Majah), i.e. here the holy Prophet (pbuh) addressing the people of the city says to them that very soon we will be gathering for Jumuah Salah. Therefore, the standard answer to all the narrations is that the holy Prophet (pbuh) did give permission to miss Jumuah Salah if Eid falls on a Friday but this permission was only for the bedouins/villagers because Jumuah Salah was not Wajib on them at all in the first place. In order to substantiate this even further, we can once again refer to the narration wherein Sayyiduna Uthman (r.a.) in his time, once addressed the congregation after the Eid Salah which also fell on a Friday. He said to them, 'Whomsoever from amongst the villagers wishes to wait for Jumuah, then he may do so and whomsoever wishes to return then I have granted him permission.' (Saheeh Bukhari & Muwatta)

Fifthly:  aSalatul Eid is Wajib and Salatul Jumuah is Fardh, thus how can something wajib take the place of something fardh? Similarly, the permissible timing for Eid Salah is before Zawal (midday) whereas Jumuah Salah is only permissible after Zawal, thus, how is it possible that the prayer which is offered before Zawal take the place of the Jumuah prayer?


According to the Jamhoor (consensus of scholars, jurists and fuqaha) Salatul Jumuah will not be dropped by performing Eid Salah. This is also the view of Imam Malik, Imam Shafe’ee, Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a) and other great scholars of the ummah. As explained above, the narrations which indicate the permission to skip Jumuah Salah and suffice on Eid Salah was only granted for the villagers. Even though travelers and villagers who come from out of town to attend the Eid prayer are exempted from performing the Friday prayer (Jumuah Salah), they must still offer the Salatul Zhuhr. And Allah knows best.

May Almighty Allah save us from following our desires and keep us steadfast on his genuine deen.

  Hadith 2.73 (Al-Bukhari)

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of Eid-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas (radiallahu ‘anhu) also narrated: The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to eat odd number of dates.

Hadith 2.76 (Al-Bukhaari)

Narrated Abu Sai’d Al-Khudri (radiallahu ‘anhu): The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to proceed to the musallah on the days of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha; the first thing to begin with was the prayer and after that he would stand in front of the people and the people would keep sitting in their rows. Then he would preach to them, advise them and give them orders, (i.e. Khutba). And after that if he wished to send an army for an expedition, he would do so; or if he wanted to give an order, he would do so, and then depart. The people followed this tradition till I went out with Marwan, the Governor of Medina, for the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha or Eid-ul-Fitr.

When we reached the musallah, there was a pulpit made by Kathir bin As-Salt. Marwan wanted to get up on that pulpit before the prayer. I got hold of his clothes but he pulled them and ascended the pulpit and delivered the Khutba before the prayer. I said to him, “By Allah, you have changed (the Prophet’s tradition).” He replied, “O Abu Sa’id! Gone is that which you know.” I said, “By Allah! What I know is better than what I do not know.” Marwan said, “People do not sit to listen to our khutba after the prayer, so I delivered the khutbah before the prayer.”

Hadith 2.77 (Al-Bukhaari)

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr and then deliver the Khutba after the prayer.

Hadith 2.78 (Al-Bukhaari)

‘Ata (radiallahu ‘anhu) said, “Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said, ‘The Prophet went out on the Day of Eid-ul-Fitr and offered the prayer before delivering the khutba. ‘Ata told me that during the early days of Ibn Az-Zubair, Ibn Abbas had sent a message to him telling him that the Adhan for the ‘Id Prayer was never pronounced (in the life time of Allah’s Messenger) and the khutbah used to be delivered after the prayer. ‘Ata told me that Ibn Abbas and Jabir bin ‘Abdullah had said there was no Adhan for the prayer of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Aqha.’ ‘Ata said, “I heard Jabir bin ‘Abdullah saying, ‘The Prophet stood up and started with the prayer, and after it he delivered the khutbah. When the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) finished (the khutbah), he went to the women and preached to them, while he was leaning on Bilal’s hand. Bilal was spreading his garment and the ladies were putting alms in it.’” I said to Ata, “Do you think it incumbent upon an Imam to go to the women and preach to them after finishing the prayer and Khutba?” ‘Ata’ said, “No doubt it is incumbent on Imams to do so, and why should they not do so?”

Hadith 2.102 (Al-Bukhaari)

On the Day of Eid the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to return (after offering the Eid prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.

Hadith 2.104 (Al-Bukhaari)

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) went out and offered a two Rak’aat prayer on the Day of Eid-ul-Fitr and did not offer any other prayer before or after it and at that time Bilal (radiallahu ‘anhu) was accompanying him..So pray the way he did. 

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