بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Amina Oke Salau
Eid-ul-Adha, the second Eid festival, which is celebrated on the 10th Dhul Hijjah, is the biggest and most unifying of the two festivals in Islam, with a majority of Muslimsworshipping, eating, and spending time together. It’s a day of joy and happiness.
From the legacy of Ibrahim (alayhi salam) to the celebration of Eid during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions, this festival has always been about sacrifice and worshipping Allah (swt).
1. Attend the Eid prayer
Attending the Eid prayer is one of the most important sunnahs of Eid. Even though it is not stated as absolutely compulsory for women, we have on good authority that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged women, evenmenstruating ones, to attend the Eid prayer.
Umm Atiyyah narrated: “Allah’s Messenger would order the virgins, the mature women, the secluded, and the menstruating to go out for the two Eid prayers. Menstruating women had to stay away from the place of prayer, and participate in the supplications. One of them said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! What if she does not have a Jilbab?’ He said: ‘Then let her sister lend her a Jilbab.’” (at-Tirmidhi; sound)
2. Listen to the sermon
Apart from the two-unit prayer itself, what’s also important is the sermon after the prayer. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) delivered his sermons after concluding the prayers. This is an aspect of Eid that a lot of people miss these days.
Most of us are in a rush, to catch a ride, get away from the sun, slaughter our rams, or attend to last-minute preparations to entertain the guests. The worst part is that sometimes, we miss out on the sermon simply because we do not have the desire orpatience to listen to it.
Our purpose in life is to worship Allah, and we must always ensure that we take out time for anything that will bring us closer to him. The knowledge we gain from listening to the sermon is well worth it.
One of the best ways to make sure that one does not miss the sermon is to plan ahead of time. My mum always got everything ready before going for the Eid prayers. That way, she had no reason to rush back in order to finish her shopping or start her cooking.
3. Slaughter a ram after the prayer
Slaughtering a ram is mandatory for every family that can afford it. It is an essential part of Eid. The sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was to slaughter his ram after the Eid prayers, not before. Whoever slaughters one’s ram before the Eid prayers will need to slaughter another after the prayers.
It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that a man slaughtered on the day of sacrifice, before the Eid prayer. The Prophet (sa) ordered him to do it again. (Ibn Majah; sound)
4. Give voluntary charity to the needy
Eids are a time to celebrate with friends and family: hosting dinners, giving out gifts, and putting on beautiful outfits. It is also a time for giving, sharing what Allah has bestowed on us, and trying to make our fellow Muslims as happy as we are. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would always give alms to the poor, and emulating this sunnah not only earns us rewards from Almighty Allah, it also promotes love and unity amongst the Muslim nation.
Whatever we have, a little or a lot, sharing is a sunnah.
5. Dress well and eat moderately
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did everything in moderation, even celebrations. We are encouraged to wear our best outfits for Eid prayers, and to have a feast afterwards. It doesn’t matter if an outfit is old or brand new; putting on our best is the sunnah for Eid prayers. With regard to the feast, entertain the guests but do not go overboard by being wasteful and extravagant.
The Eid-ul-Adha celebration is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). What better way can there be to earn rewards, and have an enjoyable experience than following the sunnah?