Eid al-Fitr 2020 is going to be celebrated in self-isolation, which kind of seems to go against the spirit of Eid, doesn't it? Around the world, Eid is a holiday celebrated with the community, from praying together in the Masjid to visiting our extended family to giving Zakat al-Fitr to the needy.
However, we can still share in the blessings of Eid from the safety of our homes, while upholding our community spirit and spending time with family! Here are ten simple tips for how you can have a blessed Eid during lockdown.
1) Make du'a on the night before Eid
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, 'There are five nights on which du'a is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha'ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha)'. [Suyuti]
The blessings of Eid don't begin on Eid morning; they begin the night before Eid. In the midst of your Eid preparations, take the time to make a long du'a that Allah accepts your Ramadan efforts, and it won't be rejected, in sha' Allah.
On a serious note, some of us may have lost loved ones in the last year, making this the first Eid al-Fitr we spend without them. The night before Eid is the ideal time to make du'a for loved ones who are no longer with us; this will also help us feel closer to them on this blessed day.
2) Make ghusl in the morning
Ibn ’Abbas narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to have a bath on the day of Fitr’. [Ibn Majah]
Even though you aren't going to the Masjid or leaving the house take the time to make ghusl, put on some perfume and dress up on this blessed day! This will make the day feel more special and give you a break from your normal routine during lockdown.
3) Pray Eid Salah at home (or pray Salat al-Duha)
Sadly, in the UK, it is still not safe to observe Eid prayers in the Masjid. Eid won't be the same without Eid prayer: angels fill the streets on Eid morning, praying for everyone who goes to the Masjid, and greeting everyone in the Masjid with 'Eid Mubarak' is a great way to begin Eid day.
The Hanafi school of thought states that Eid salah must be prayed in the Masjid and it is not valid to pray it at home. During this crisis, a person should instead perform the Duha prayer at home at the time of Eid salah i.e. at mid-morning. The Duha prayer is a minimum of two raka'at, but you can say tasleem after these two raka'at and then pray two more, then tasleem again and two more, and so on. Aisha (ra) said, 'The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to observe four raka'at in the forenoon (Duha) prayer and he sometimes observed more as Allah pleased'. [Muslim]
The Maliki, Shaafi and Hanbali schools of thoughts allow you to pray Eid salah at home if you miss it in the Masjid (i.e. if you tried to go but you missed the prayer, you should make it up at home). This is based on the hadith:
The Prophet (saw) said, 'If you hear the Iqamah, you must walk to the prayer (place) with tranquillity and dignity, and do not hasten; and whatever portion of the prayer you get (along with the Imam) offer it, and complete afterwards whatever you missed'. [Bukhari]
Anas (ra) also said that if he missed the Eid prayer with the imam, he would gather together his family and freed slaves, then his freed slave Abdullah ibn Abi Utbah would lead them all in Eid Salah.
Since no one can attend the prayer right now, if you follow these schools of thoughts (Maliki, Shaafi and Hanbali), you can pray Eid salah at home, but without the Eid khutbah. It is permissible to pray on your own, but it is better to pray in congregation with your family. If you follow the Hanafi madhab, perform the Duha prayer instead. And Allah knows best.
Even if you don't observe Eid prayer at home, it would still be nice to experience beginning 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?
4) Eat dates in the morning
Begin the day by eating an odd number of dates, to show that you are not fasting. This is from the Sunnah and, again, will help you get that essential Eid feeling, even during lockdown.
5) Schedule video meetings with your family
One of the blessings of Eid is strengthening the ties of kinship - in this day and age, you don't have to leave the house to do that! You can still hold onto the Eid spirit while talking to your family on a video call.
Top tip: as well as having the entire extended family on a 'Zoom party', it would be nice to also have scheduled calls with smaller groups of four or five people, so you really get some quality time with your family.
6) Call people up instead of sending a group message
Everyone has had a difficult time over the last few weeks and our friends would surely find it touching to receive a phone call on the day on Eid, or even a voice or video message. It's surely more personal and blessed than sending out a group message of 'Eid Mubarak!'
Like the Sahabah used to, remember to tell people: ‘Taqabbal Allaahu minnaa wa minka’, which means ‘May Allah accept (the fast and worship) from us and from you’. [Fath al-Bari]
7) Make an effort to create a blessed and celebratory atmosphere at home
Even though you can't leave the house, dress up! Decorate the house! Plan fun activities for the kids! If the past few weeks have taught us anything, it's that we don't need as much as we think we do - it's possible to have a fun and meaningful time at home, with limited resources, and create beautiful memories.
8) Recite Eid takbeer around the neighbourhood
Get the whole family to recite Eid takbeer softly while walking around the neighbourhood on your daily walk. As the Prophet (saw) said:
Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated,'When the day of Eid-ul-Fitr [begins], the angels descend on earth, where they take their positions at access points of roads, calling out with a voice that is heard by the whole creation of Allah, except men and Jin, "O Ummah of Muhammad (saw)! Come out to your most Noble and Gracious Lord, who grants much, and pardons the major sins". When they proceed to their places of prayer, Allah, Exalted is He, says to His angels, "O My angels! What is the reward of a worker when he has done his work?" So they say, "Our Lord and Our Master! To receive his reward [for the work, in full]". So He says, "I call you to witness that, for their fasts [during Ramadan], and for their standing in prayer at night, I have made their reward My Pleasure, and my Forgiveness. Depart [from here], you are forgiven"'. [Lataif al-Ma’arif]
Even though we can't go to the Masjid, in sha' Allah, we can still earn these rewards by reciting the Eid takbeer around our neighbourhood. The Eid takbeer are: ‘Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. La illaha illallaah wallaahu akbar. Allahu akbar wa lillaahil hamd’.
9) Give gifts to others - online!
The Prophet (saw) said, 'Give gifts and you will love one another'. [Bukhari]
Maybe you've been unable to buy presents for people this Eid due to lockdown - but we have a solution for you! We've launched a new website, Great Charity Gifts, filled with meaningful gifts that you can purchase online for your loved ones.
Your loved one will receive an e-card on Eid day and, somewhere in the world, a person in need will soon receive a life-changing gift, thus spreading the blessings of Eid far and wide!
10) Don't forget to pay Zakat al-Fitr
We can still uphold the community spirit of Eid in self-isolation. Zakat al-Fitr is a way of expressing love and care for needy Muslims in our worldwide communities and sharing the blessings of Eid with them.
Ibn Umar (ra) said, ‘The Prophet (saw) ordered the people to pay Zakat-ul-Fitr BEFORE going to the Eid prayer’. [Bukhari]
Zakat al-Fitr is due for each member of your household and it is not valid if given after the time of Eid salah, as those in need must receive the meal in time for Eid. Our recommended rate is £3.50 per person, but if you can give more, that would be amazing!
We hope this article was helpful to you! If you want to earn a good deed in less than 30 seconds, share this article with friends and family! The Prophet (saw) said, ‘Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a reward like one who did it’. [Muslim]
May Allah accept your Ramadan efforts and shower you and you family with blessings this Eid, ameen.