Some of us have been in the following slightly embarrassing situation: we’re performing Eid prayer and the Imam starts the prayer with the first takbeer. He then calls the second takbeer, and thinking this is just like any other prayer, we bend down into rukuh, only to find out that everyone else is still standing. Many of us do not understand the rulings behind the Eid prayer and can often get to the masjid very confused, and as a result, we end up praying incorrectly.
1. The first thing to note is that there are no nafl (voluntary) prayers offered before or after the Eid prayer. As reported by Ibn ‘Abbas (ra): 'The Prophet (saw) went out to the place of prayer on the Day of Fitr and prayed two raka’ah of Eid prayer, not praying before or after them'. (Bukhari)
2. At the start of the prayer, niyyah (intention) should be made. This intention must be present in the heart. However, if you wish to verbalise it too, you can do so as follows, ‘I am performing two raka’ah Eid ul-Fitr salah'.
3. In the first raka’ah the Imam will say the takbeer (Allahu Akbar) to start the prayer, after which he will say multiple more takbeers. The number of takbeers can vary, depending on which Imam you are following. Typically, your Imam will run through the amount of takbeers prior to the start of the prayer. After this, Surah al-Fatihah will be recited followed by another surah.
4. During the second raka’ah you should stand up after the Imam has said the first takbeer, after which the takbeer will be repeated several times. Surah al-Fatihah will then be recited, followed by another surah.
5. After the prayer, the Imam will address the people in a khutbah (sermon). This can last anywhere from around 10-30 minutes, during which the Imam will address important Islamic issues. It is essential that you listen to the sermon.
Remember to pay your Zakat al-Fitr (Fitrana) before the start of Eid prayers, so the poor can be fed on Eid day. Zakat al-Fitr (£3.50 per person) is obligatory upon every member of your household, including children and the elderly, and cannot be made up if neglected.
We hope that you found this short guide on the Eid prayer helpful. You can read more about the Sunnah acts you can perform on Eid on our blog.
From all of us at Muslim Hands, we would like to wish you a wonderful Eid al-Fitr. May Allah (swt) accept all of our fasts and prayers and bring us all endless happiness on this blessed day.