The Significance of Eid
( Imam Ali Siddiqui )

Unas (ra) reported that when the Prophet Muhammad (saw) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked the Ansaar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The  Prophet Muhammad (saw) told them: 'Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.' (Hadith)
EID-AL-FITR is celebrated on the first day of Shaw'waal, at the completion of Ramadan. Shaw'waal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The Eid-al-Fitr is a very joyous day; it is a true Thanksgiving Day for the believing men and women. On this day Muslims show their real joy for the health, strength and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to them to fulfill their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month ofRamadan.
EID-AL-ADHA is celebrated on the tenth day of Zulhijjah, the 12th and the last month of the Islamic calendar. It is also very joyous day; it is a feast of self-sacrifice, commitment and obedience to Allah. It commemorates the great act of obedience to Allah by the Prophet Ibrahim (as) in showing his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael (as).  Allah accepted his sacrifice and replaced Prophet Ismael (as) with a lamb. Although Hajj has no relation with the Eid-al-Adha, but the five days long rituals of Hajj are also done
during this month culminating on 9th of Zdilhijjah. Many rituals of Hajj are enactment of the struggle of the family Ibrahim (as) specially his second wife Hajirah (as) and her son Prophet Ismael (as). 

1. Wake up early. 
2. Offer Salatul Fajr.  
3.Prepare for personal cleanliness take care of details of clothing, etc. 
4. Take a Ghusl (bath) after Fajr. 
5. Brush your teeth. 
6. Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old ones. 
7. Use perfume (men only). 
8. Have breakfast on Eid-al-Fitr before leaving for prayer ground. On Eid-al-Adha, eat

    breakfast after Salaat or after sacrifice if you are doing a sacrifice. 
9. Pay Zakaat-al-Fitr before Salaat-al-Eid (on Eid-al-Fitr). 
10. Go to prayer ground early. 
11. Offer Salaat-al-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is not

       permitting like rain, snow, etc. 
12. Use two separate routes to and from the prayer ground. 
13. Recite the following Takbir on the way to Salaat and until the beginning of

      Salaat-al-Eid. On Eid-al-Adha, Takbir starts from Mughrib on the 9th Zdilhijjah and
       last until the Asr on the 12th Zdilhijjah: Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. La ila-ha
       ill-lal-lah.  Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber.  Wa-lilahill hamd. (Allah is greater.  Allah is
       greater. There is no god but Allah. Allah is greater. Allah is greater. And all praises
       are for Allah).

Ibn Abbass (ra) reported: 'I participated in the Salaat-al-Eid-al-Fitr with the Messenger of Allah (saw), Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra) and Uthman (ra), and all of them held Salaat-al-Eid before Khutbah, and then the Prophet Muhammad (saw) delivered the Khutbah (sermon)'. Hadith, Muslim

Umm Atiyah (ra) reported: 'The Messenger of Allah (saw) commanded us to bring out on Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, young women, hijab-observing adult women and the
menstruating women.  The menstruating women stayed out of actual Salaat but
participated in good deeds and Duaa (supplication)'.
I (Umm Atiyah) said to the Holy Prophet (saw): 'O! Messenger of Allah, one does not have an outer garment.'
He replied: "Let her sister cover her with her garment." Hadith Muslim.
On the Eid day, every believing man, woman and child must go to the prayer ground and participate in this joyous occasion.

Salaat-al-Eid is wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory). It consists of two Rakaat (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs.  It must be offered in congregation.  The Salaat is followed by the Khutbah.  The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is Sunnah.  During the Khutbah, the Imam must remind the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow human beings.  The Imam must encourage the Muslims to do good and ward off evil. The Muslim community must also be directed to the state of the community and the Ummah at large and the feelings of sacrifice and Jihaad should be aroused in the community.

At the conclusion of the Salaat the Muslims should convey greetings to each other, give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes.  Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid festivities to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture.

Those who have enough wealth to pay Zakaat must offer the sacrifice for Allah. It is the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and a strongly recommended Sunnah. A lamb, sheep, goat , cow, buffalo, or camel can be offered as the sacrifice. There are seven shares in a cow, buffalo and camel. The sacrifice should be accomplished by slaughtering the animal after Salaat-al-Eid. The sacrifice also called Udhiyah or Qurbani last for three

days from 10th Zdilhijjah until the sunset of 12th Zdilhijjah. The meat should be divided into three shares: one for the family the second for relatives and friend and the third share is for the poor and the needy. 

(Written & copyright by Imam Ali Siddiqui, 1982)

You can find additional information from web sites including Islamicity and
books of Hadith including Bukhari, Muslim, Riadus-Salahin, and Mishkat-al-
Masabih. (Imam Ali Siddiqui


(Imam) Ali Siddiqui with 25 years of service, is a Friday Khatib, Islamic teacher, Muslim Chaplain, organizer, worker, youth advisor, family/marriage Counselor, curriculum advisor, poet and writer with a vision who has been involved  in the teaching Islam, comparative religion, history, contemporary
issues to Muslims and non-Muslims and the community service including spiritual/educational development, service to the sick and the incarcerated. He has been on speaking tours to  Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Iran, Pakistan and across the USA. He frequently presents Islamic Prospective and Muslim Point of View on current affairs to Non-Muslims and Muslims. He has been very active in organizing seminars, workshops, conferences and teach-ins to promote Islamic awareness and inter-faith understanding. He has received many commendations  for his work, service and scholarship including the title of Imam in 1994 and Community Leadership Award in 1997.
Congregation Leader  (Friday Khatib), Masjid al-Shareef, Long Beach, CA,
Muslim Chaplain, Pomona Valley Community Hospital, Pomona, CA, 1997-Present
Contributing Imam, Ask the Imam,
Guest Lecturer, World Religions - Dept. Of Sociology - Cal Poly University,
Pomona, CA, USA, 1994-Present
Guest Lecturer, World Religions - Riverside Community College, Moreno Valley,
CA, USA, 1997-Present
Muslim Representative, Religious  Advisory Board (Proposed) - Chino  Unified
School District, Chino, CA,  USA, 1996
Program Coordinator/Islamic Teacher, Muslim Family Program, Southern
California, USA, 1993-Present
Youth Advisor/Islamic Teacher, Muslim Youth  Program - Inland Empire, CA, USA,
Director, Peace with Justice Center of Pomona Valley, La Verne, CA, USA,
Director, American Society for Education & Religion, USA, 1977-Present

Member, International  Shu'raa' - Jamaat al-Muslimeen International, 1995-1996
Islamic Teacher, Qur'anic Arabic, Deeniyat, Comparative Religion, History,
Contemporary Issues, 1974-Present
Friday Khatib (Congregation Leader), 1972-Present
Volunteer Chaplain, California, 1990-Present
Ameer, Jamaat al-Muslimeen of California