New Muslims Prayer

`Eid Al-Fitr: Etiquettes and Prayer

The first day of the month following Ramadan is `Eid Al-Fitr (`Eid of Breaking the Fast). This is the celebration of fast-breaking. Muslims watch the western horizon immediately after sunset on the 29th day of Ramadan for the crescent. If the crescent is sighted, it is the first day of the new month and beginning of `Eid day. If the crescent is not sighted within ½ an hour after sunset on the 29th day of Ramadan the Muslims complete 30 days of fasting. Either way, the 1st of Shawwal (the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar) is `Eid Al-Fitr.

On `Eid day, Muslims gather in a larger facility than the neighborhood masjid and join in Salat Al-’Eid which is composed of salah followed by an address by the imam (leader of the prayer).

This is a major holiday for the Muslims. On this day, they visit many relatives and friends and give gifts to the children.

`Eid is, first, a day of thanks to Allah, and next, a gathering of families and friends. All financially able Muslims are required to give Sadaqat Al-Fitr, a form of charity, on behalf of each and every person of the family, including newborns, to the poor and needy during the Ramadan but before the `Eid Prayers.

There are a number of etiquettes and acts of Sunnah that the Muslim should observe on that day, including:

1. Ghusl (taking a bath):

One of the good manners of `Eid is to take bath before going out to the Prayer. It was reported that Sa`id ibn Jubayr said: “Three things are Sunnah on `Eid: to walk (to the prayer-place), to take a bath, and to eat before coming out (if it’s Eid Al-Fitr).”

2. Eating before coming out:

One should not come out to the prayer-place on `Eid Al-Fitr before eating some dates, because of the hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari from Anas ibn Malik who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) would not go out in the morning of `Eid Al-Fitr until he had eaten some dates… and he would eat an odd number.” On `Eid-ul-Adha, on the other hand, it is Mustahab (recommended) not to eat until after the Prayer, when one should eat from the meat of one’s sacrifice.

3. Takbir on the day of `Eid: This is one of the greatest Sunnahs of this day. Al-Daraqutni and others reported that when Ibn `Umar came out on `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid-ul-Adha, he would strive hard in making Takbir until he reached the prayer-place, then he would continue making Takbir until the Imam came.

4. Congratulating one another: People may exchange congratulations and good greetings on `Eid, no matter what form the words take. For example they may say to one another, “Taqabbal Allahu minnaa wa minkum (may Allah accept from us and from you our good deeds!)”. Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when people met one another on the day of `Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabbal Allahu minnaa wa minka.’” (Reported by Ibn Hajar)

5. Wearing one’s best clothes for `Eid: Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had a Jubbah (cloak) that he would wear on `Eid and on Fridays.” Al-Bayhaqi reported that Ibn `Umar used to wear his best clothes on `Eid, so men should wear the best clothes they have when they go out for `Eid.

6. Changing route on returning from Prayer-place: Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to change his routes on the day of `Eid. (Reported by Al-Bukhari) 

`Eid Prayers

The `Eid prayer is to be held outdoors in a large open ground.In inclement weather, or due to a lack of adequate arrangements, `Eid prayer is sometimes performed in the mosques.Muslims can be seen walking and driving to the praying area, carrying prayer rugs and glorifying God.His or her words ringing out: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahi El-Hamd” (God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest, there is none worthy of worship but God; God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest, Praise be to Him.)

As Muslim families begin to congregate at the prayer place, the praising of God is joined with words of congratulations.Children dart about in anticipation of gifts and feasts, older people reflect on the success of Ramadan and the Magnificence of God.

A quiet hush then spreads across the crowd as the `Eid prayer begins. It differs slightly from the normal prayers, and although it is not obligatory, it is highly recommended that Muslims attend.

Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder and give thanks to God not only for the joy of Ramadan, but also for the countless blessings He bestows upon us every day. 

Performance of `Eid Prayers

1- As on Friday, every worshipper should go to the `Eid Congregation in his best, neat, tidy and high-spirited. In the mosque or the place of assembly a certain verbal prayer is said before the actual prayer begins. This is known as Takbir.

2- The time of the `Eid prayers is any time after sunrise and before noon. No adhan or iqamah is required. The prayer consists of two units with the Imam reciting in each the Al-Fatihah (the 1st chapter of the Qur’an) and another passage from the Qur’an audibly.

3- The Imam declares his intention to lead the prayer saying Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest of all), then he repeats the same utterance seven times, raising his hands up to the ears and dropping them by his sides at the end of each utterance.

On completion of the seventh Takbir (utterance) he places the right hand over the left one under the navel as in other prayers. The worshippers follow the Imam in these movements step by step, doing and saying exactly the same

4- At the end of the first unit, the Imam rises up for the second, saying Allahu Akbar. Then he adds five such utterances doing the same thing as he did in the first unit, and followed by the congregation in a like manner

5- After the prayer is completed in two units, the Imam delivers a sermon of two parts with a short recess in between. The first part is begun by saying Allahu Akbar, nine times and the second by making same utterance seven times. The rest of the sermon goes along the lines of exhortation and advice like those of the Friday sermon

6- We must draw the attention to the matter of sadaqat Al-Fitr (the charity of breaking the fast). This is an obligatory tax, whereby every individual Muslim who can afford it must give at least one full meal, or its value, to the poor.

If he has any dependents, he must do the same thing for each one of his dependents. For example, if he provides for himself and three dependents, he has to distribute as a minimum four full meals or their value to the needy.

This charity should be distributed early enough before the Eid-l-Fitr prayer so that the poor may be able to receive the Day in a festive and cheerful spirit

7. In the sermon of the Second ‘Eid, the Imam should draw the attention to the duty of Sacrifice. On the day of `Eid Al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) every Muslim with means is to offer an oblation. A goat or sheep suffices for one household. A cow or steer suffices for seven different households. It is preferable to slaughter the animal of Sacrifice on the `Eid day after prayers. But if it is slaughtered on the second or the third day, it will be accepted. With regard to the meats of the slaughtered animals the Qur’an stipulates these instructions:

“Eat of them and feed the poor man who is contented and the beggar…” (Al-Hajj 22:63)

In the same reference, the Holy Qur’an declares that God is neither interested in nor does He get the meats of the oblations or their blood; but it is the piety of His worshippers that He gets and is interested in

It should be repeated that the `Eid prayers do not substitute for the Fajr (obligatory early morning) Prayers, and cannot themselves be substituted for by any other prayers

The Takbir, which is said before the prayers of both `Eid and after the ordinary congregations prayers offered during the three days following the second `Eid, is called Takbir At-Tashriq. It goes as follow:

Allahu Akbar, (thrice)

La illaha illa Allah

Allahu Akbaru (twice) wa lil-Lahi-l-hamd.

This Takbir means:

God is the Greatest, (three times)

There is no god but the One God.

God is the Greatest, (twice), and praise be to Him



Islam in Focus by Hammudah Abd Al-Ati


Fasting New Muslims

The Best 10 Virtues of Fasting in Islam: What Are They?

After few days, Muslims all over the world will be witnessing the blessed month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the lunar calendar.  In some Islamic countries, people celebrate this month of fasting through decorating streets and houses with lanterns and ribbons.

May the new moon of the month of Ramadan be bringing guidance and good! They say that the night just before the first day of the month.

The many names of the month of Ramadan highlight its importance to Muslims. It is called the month of Fasting, the month of the Gracious Qur’an, the month of the night prayer, and the month of patience.

The night of Decree is better than a thouthand month

Lailat al-Qadr, the night of Decree, is in the last ten days of Ramadan. It is better than a thousand months.

What is fasting?

It means abstinence from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset during Ramadan. This must be accompanied by the niyyah, intention.

The great commentator Al-Qurtubi, the author of Al-jami’ li Ahkam Al-Qur’an, adds to this definition that the perfect and complete Fasting is that in which acts of disobedience are avoided and acts of worship are maintained.

Applying the niyyah here means that you observe fasting as an act of worship only for the sake of Allah and out of obedience to Allah. (look at virtue 6 below)

The legal ruling concerning fasting:

It is obligatory to fast the month of Ramadan; however, the following criteria should be met:

The person must be:

1- Muslim

2- Adult (it is recommended for young boys to fast if they have the ability to observe fasting)

3- Sane

4- Able to observe fasting (sickness and old age can be legal excuses for one to break their fast)

5- Resident (not travelling)

Women experiencing menstruation or post-natal bleeding are forbidden to observe fasting.

If fasting causes any harm to the worshipper, they do not fast and feed an indigent person instead.

The virtues of the Month of Ramadan

1- It is easier for Muslims in this month to do good and live in good as Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. That is why in most Islamic countries, people are more active and keen on doing all the acts that bring them closer to Allah.

2- The voluntary night prayer may be performed in congregation in this month.

Abu Hurairah narrated that The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever prays during the night in Ramadan out of sincere faith and seeking its reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

3- The Gracious Qur’an was first revealed in Ramadan at the night of Decree. So, it is recommended to read the Qur’an and give to charity during this month.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) was the most generous of all the people and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) then used to be more generous than the fast wind. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

4- Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to perform I’tikaf (seclusion in the mosque) for the last ten days of Ramadan. This is because the night of Decree, which is better than a thousand month, occurs in these days. The worship at this night is better than the worship in more than 82 years.The reward for performing the night prayer at this single night is the forgiveness of all past sins provided that this is done out of sincere faith and in anticipation of Allah’s rewards. This is a great favour from Allah for Muslims.

The virtues of Fasting

1- Fasting is a shield or a screen from the Hell-Fire.

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

He who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah He would remove his face from the Hell to the extent of seventy years’ distance. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

2- Fasting is a shield that protects or helps the worshipper to withstand temptations

Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said to us:

O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford it should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

3- Those who perform fasting are the al-sāiḥūna

Allah says:

” Such are the repentant, the worshipful, the praise-giving; al-sāiḥūna, who bow to Him alone and who bow their faces down to the ground in Prayer to Him; those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and who diligently observe the ordained limits of God. So give glad tidings to the believers of everlasting delight in Paradise”. (Quran 09:112)

The great commentator, Al-Tabari, explains the meaning of al-sāiḥūna as those who fast.

4- There is nothing equal to Fasting as it is a means to be admitted into the Paradise.

It was narrated that Abu Umamah said:

“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an action (I should do).’ He said: ‘Take to fasting, for there is nothing equal to it.”‘ (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

5- Fasting intercede on behalf of its observers on the Day of Judgment. This is mentioned in Hadith collected by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in is Musnad.

6- Fasting is means to expiate sins and to have all one’s past sins forgiven.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

7- Fasting is a reason for happiness in this life and Afterlife.

Abu Hurairah narrated that:

The Messenger of Allah said: “There are two joys for the fasting person: the joy when he breaks his fast, and the joy of when he meets his Lord.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

8- Allah’s reward for Fasting is high and it highlights how great fasting is!

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

9- The virtue of the smell of the mouth of the person observing fasting

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said “Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

10- The supplication of a fasting person when he breaks his or her fast at sunset is not rejected.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
There are three whose supplications are not turned back: A just ruler, and a fasting person until he breaks his fast. And, the supplication of one who has been wronged is raised by Allah up to the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and Allah says, ‘By My Might I will help you (against the wrongdoer) even if it is after a while.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)