Eid prayers amid COVID-19 lockdown

By Yasir Qadhi

In those communities where the masjids have not yet opened, Salat al-Eid should be prayed in one’s houses with one’s own family, and there is no need for a khutbah. “The Eid prayer is not the same as the Friday prayer, as Friday prayer has different conditions and rulings.

While the general rule is that Eid Salat should be prayed in a large congregation, it is permissible even in regular circumstances for the one who missed Eid salat to make it up at home.

The servant of the Prophet (saw), Anas b. Malik (r ) once missed the Eid prayer in Basrah, so he gathered his family and had one of his household lead them in two rak’ats. And Ata? b. Abi Raba? (d. 114 AH) said regarding the one who missed the Eid prayer, “Let him pray two rak’ats and say the takbirs”. Hammad b. Abi Sulayman (d. 120 AH), the famous scholar of Kufa and teacher of Abu Hanifa, said when asked the same question, “He should pray as they prayed, and do the takbirat as they did” (These reports are in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, 2/four-5).

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All of these reports are regarding those who missed Eid for any reason. Notice that the Friday prayer would not be ‘made up’ like this, and one who misses Friday prays Dhuhr instead. “Hence, given our current situation, there is no problem in advising families to observe all of the Sunnahs of Eid (of taking a ghusl, eating a breakfast, wearing one’s best (permissible) garments, saying the general takbirat after Fajr, etc.) and then praying a congregational prayer at home with one’s family.“The Eid prayer has special takbirat. There are seven takbirat in the first rak’at inclusive of takbirat al-i?ram, and six in the second rak’at inclusive of the takbirat al-qiyam – this is the position of the Hanbali school, and Ibn Taymiyyah.

Note that Shafi’is say seven not including the takbrat al-ihram (that would make eight total); as well the Hanafis state four takbirat inclusive of ihram and qiyam for both rak’ats.“As well, the Eid khutbah is not a requirement of the prayer, hence there is no need to give one. All four schools of law state that the khu?bah of Eid is not obligatory. In the report above, Anas (r ) merely prayed two rak’ats and didn’t ask his servant to deliver a khutbah. Alternatively, it would be allowed for masjids to broadcast Eid khutbah, and all families pray their individual congregational prayers at a given time, and then, after they finish their own Eid prayers, they can listen to a khutbah broadcast live from their masjid as a general reminder.

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