Eid prayer is very important in Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never neglected it. He has ordered the men, women and children to proceed to the Eid prayer ground.
Even menstruating women are encouraged to go to the Eid ground but they should keep away from the actual place of prayer.
Self Preparation for Eid Prayer
It is highly recommended to have major ablution (Islamically correct bath or ghusl) and to use the most beautiful dresses and the best perfumes one can obtain. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do so. There is also a tradition that one should eat something, preferably dates, before going to the Eid ul Fitr prayer
The time for Eid ul Adha is when the sun has risen two meters (7 ft.) above the horizon and the time for Eid ul Fitr is while the sun has risen to three meters (10 ft.) above the horizon. Eid prayers cannot be said after midday.
It is better to hold Eid prayers in an open place or ground if there is no obstacle like rain or bad weather. The Prophet peace be upon him never performed Eid prayers in the mosque except once due to rain.
No Adhan, No Iqamah:
There is neither Adhan nor Iqamah for Eid prayers.
Performance of Eid Prayers:
Eid prayer consists of two Rak'a with twelve takbeeras, (Allahu Akbar), seven in the first Rak'a and five in the second. In the first Rak'a just after takbeeratul Ihram, say six Takbeers lifting your hands with each Takbeera and after finishing seven Takbeeras go on with prayer in the usual way (reading al Fatihah and surah aloud.) In the beginning of the second Rak'a after the takbeer of raising from the second sajdah, say five Takbeeras in the usual way. There is no special Dhikr between Takbeeras
After performing the Prayer (Salah) , the Imam must deliver a sermon (khutbah) just like jum'a khutbah. But Imam Nawawi and some other scholars say that the khutba of Eid is not broken up into two parts with a period of sitting in between.
On returning home from the Prayer (salah), it is recommended to take a different route than that which was taken to the prayer.
It is strongly recommended to repeat in a loud voice (a) Allahu Akbar, on the way to the salah and while waiting for the imam; (b) to repeat Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar La ilaha illa Allah, wa Allahu Akbar, wa lillahi-al-hamd after every congregational prayer starting from the fajr, (dawn prayer) on the day of Eid , to the asr (afternoon prayer) on the last of the Days of Tashriq (the thirteenth day of Dhul Hijja). For the Pilgrims, the starting time is the dhur, (noon prayer) of the Day of Nahr (tenth of Dhul Hijja).
The takbir applies to Eid ul Adha from fajr till 13th of Dhul Hijjah, but for Eid Al-fitr from fajr till Eid prayer only.
Zakatul Fitr :
Zakatul Fitr is obligatory for every Muslim man and woman, adult and child. It should be distributed before the prayer of Eid. If you may not find a poor Muslim at Eid day then you may give it a day or two days before Eid prayer, Every person, having savings beyond his own and his family's feeding for one day and night should give one SAA of food which is about 2.5 kilos of rice, dates, raisin, wheat or any similar food, some scholars said zakatul Fitr would be given as money but according to the hadeeth it must be food, Zakatul Fitr is meant to purify the fasting (saum) and to keep everybody in society happy and pleasant - rich and poor equally - so that nobody should go hungry on that day. Thus, it presents a magnificent example of comprehensive social justice in Islam.
Sacrificial Slaughter (udhhiya):
Udhhiya or sacrificial slaughter on Eid al Adha is a strongly recommended, It reflects the fact that the Muslim being a committed, obedient servant of Allah is always ready to sacrifice anything, even his life, in Allah's way. Udhhiya is an imitation and remembrance of the great sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim submitted to God by attempting to sacrifice his own son, Isma'il, to fulfil the command of Allah Almighty.
The following are the essentials of sacrifice:
i) Allah's name (Bismillahi Allahu Akbar) must be said while slaughtering.
ii) Udhhiya cannot be slaughtered before Eid prayer. It should be done immediately after prayers or in the three days after Eid ( Dhul Hajj 11, 12, 13).
iii) One Udhhiya is enough for the man and his family, it can be a goat, sheep, cow, bull, buffalo or camel of either sex. Pregnant female animals should not be slaughtered. Seven families can share in the last named four animals.
iv) The meat of the slaughtered animal can be totally consumed by the one's family or may be divided into three parts. It is essential to give one third as gift to the poor and the needy. One third should be given to friends and relatives and one third kept to oneself.
v) For the head of family who intends to make the sacrificial slaughter it is sunnah not to shave or clip his hair nor nails from first of Dhul Hajj , until his Udhiyah has been slaughtered . (Sahih Muslim)
Enjoyment in Eid Days:
Islam urges us to enjoy life with every lawful means of enjoyment. Especially on Eid days, the Islamic spirit of enjoyment and brotherhood becomes manifest. Thus Islam nourishes the spiritual aspirations of mankind along with its physical abilities.
On these days everyone should be happy with his wife, his children, his Muslim brothers and sisters. Show mutual concern by exchanging gifts, smiling on the face of each other and expressing sincere love and affection to show the bondage of real brotherhood which stems from the belief in Allah. All Muslims should cherish brotherly feeling in their hearts toward each other, avoid talking behind each other's backs, avoid blaming one another and avoid causing disruption in the Muslim community. These are days when we should glorify the symbols of Allah and observe His signs to have piety in our hearts.
With the compliments of www.worldreminder.com
Collected and Prepared
Manager of Editing and Translation
Jeddah Dawah Center