How, where and with whom to pray the ‘eid prayer under existing COVID preventative measures


Our Shaykh Abū Bilāl Al-Hadhramī- may Allāh preserve him- was asked the following question on 24th Ramadhān 1441H (18th May 2020) :

Question:

The Questioner says: How should the ‘eid prayer be prayed in a country where the the people have been prevented from gathering as a result of the coronavirus?

Is it a condition for it to be (prayed) in congregation or is it permissible for it to be prayed individually? and is the khutbah (sermon) a condition?

Answer:

As for the ‘eid prayer; it is wājib (obligatory) according to the most correct statement of the scholars and going out for it is mustahab (preferred).

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ would leave his masjid – despite the fact that the prayer in it is worth (more than) a thousand prayers [1] – for the musallā and jabāna (an open space outdoors) in order to establish the ‘eid prayer.

However, if the people are unable to go out for it due to an excuse from the legislated excuses, whether it be heavy rain that they cannot make their way to the musallā or masjid in, or the likes of this pandemic that is currently spreading, which countries have prohibited gatherings as a result of, out of fear for the people; there is nothing wrong with it being prayed at home in this case.

For indeed, gathering at the jabāna or musallā is not a condition for its validity; this is simply mustahab – but should not be taken lightly if it is possible to implement.

However, if it is not possible, then there is no harm in the people gathering for it and praying it within the home; for indeed, praying in congregation is desirable, whether it is the ‘eid prayer or other than the ‘eid prayer.

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ certainly stated that the duplicity of the prayer in congregation is twenty-seven [2] and twenty-five times [3] (the prayer alone).

As for your statement; ‘is it a condition for it to be in congregation?’; no, it is not a condition for it to be in congregation if it is not prayed at the jabāna. If they wish they can pray it in congregation and if they wish they can pray it individually if they are unable to (pray it in congregation); all of this is permissible if the prayer is not established with the Imām.

This is because Anas, (may Allah be pleased with him) as you know of him, missed the ‘eid prayer, as is reported in AlBayhaqi, then immediately returned home, gathered his family and led them in the prayer in the same way as the Imām.

So if a person prays in his home, whether he is making it up for performing it (because there is no congregational ‘eid prayer); he must certainly pray it like the prayer of its Imām that leads them at the jabāna.

He prays two units, making seven takbērs in the first – not including the opening takbeer – and five takbērs in the second – not including the transitional takbēr and recites aloud. So he prays it in exactly the same way as they pray in the jabāna and in exactly the same way as the Imām.

As for the khutbah, should he give the khutbah or not?; if he is making up the prayer – (for instance) he missed the ‘eid prayer and returned home to make it up, or made it up at the jabāna with a group of other people; then he should not deliver a khutbah but suffice with the prior khutbah given by their Imām.

For indeed, when Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) missed the ‘eid prayer and returned to his family and led them in prayer there was no mention of a khutbah from him. So if he is making it up he should not give a khutbah, but he should perform it in the same way it is performed by the Imām.

As for if performing it has been prevented as is the case now due to this illness and pandemic – we ask Allāh to remove it from the muslims – and they pray it and are not making it up; there is no harm in one delivering a khutbah (as long as) groups of people have gathered in some homes and they are not in ones, individuals or few in number. If they are few in number I advise them not to deliver a khutbah and to pray without the khutbah.

The majority of scholars uphold the view that if it is prayed at home a khutbah should not be given.

However, if one delivers a khutbah – especially in the circumstances that have been mentioned – and he is not making up the prayer he missed, rather he is fulfilling it due to this and the likes of these extenuating circumstances; if he gives a khutbah to them it is OK and if he leaves it, it is OK; for indeed the khutbah is simply mustahab and not wājib.

And Allāh is most knowledgeable.


[1] Narrated by Abū Hurreira (may Allah be pleased with him) in AlBukhāri (1190) and Muslim (1394)

[2] Narrated by Abū Sa’ēd AlKhudrī (may Allah be pleased with him) in AlBukhāri (646) and Muslim (649)

[3] Narrated by ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) in AlBukhāri (645) and Muslim (650)


Translated by : Abū Sufyān Sāmi ibn Daniel Al-Ghāni

✒️Read the arabic transcript here: https://t.me/abubilalhami/4480

🕪 Listen to the audio here: https://t.me/abubilalhami/4479