By Asad Mirza
It seems as if the Muslims across the globe have become habitual of observing their most important festival, the Eid ul-Fitr, under Lockdown. This year it’ll be the third Eid, after the two Eids last year that the Muslims will be praying the Eid namaaz at home, along with their families and not going outside to congregate to offer Eid prayers or to greet their relatives and friends and to enjoy.
Last year, for the the first time many Muslims around the world observed Eid-ul Fitr, the most important and looked forward-to festival amongst Muslims, in completely new and unparalleled circumstances. It was forced upon us by the Covid pandemic, which has changed everyone’s day-to-day life pattern. And this year too the same story will be repeated, to keep everyone safe and unaffected.
However, a positive result of the circumstances has been that for the first time in India, last year and this year too, the ulema and faqihs (jurists) of all sects and denominations had agreed and issued guidelines in advance due to the Lockdown situation in virtually every Indian city; that it is advisable for them to offer the Eid Namaz at home, to ensure safety for themselves and everyone else. Even Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, head of Saudi Scientific Research & Council, in an interview with Al Arabiya News Network, had urged people to offer Eid namaz at home.
But in spite of this one really wonders that why across the globe, there are two sets of rules? One for the Muslims and one for the non-Muslims. It is recorded that last year the Christmas festivities took place at the same pace all across the globe, a large number of Asians celebrated the Chinese New Year with same gaiety and fun. Most recently there was a large gathering at the holy Kumbh Snan in India at Haridwar. So why pick out only Muslims to observe their festivals in a confined atmosphere? The answer to this might not be an easy one, but it really sets one wondering.
How to offer Eid Namaz at Home
I’ll take here the liberty to reiterate for our readers on how to offer Eid namaaz at home. There might be a slight variation amongst Sunnis, Shias and Ahle Sunnat followers, but remember;
- Eid namaz has 6 additional takbeers
- Nafil or chasht prayers could be offered in lieu of Eid namaaz
Under the present circumstances, if there are 4 or more people in a home then they can offer 2 Rakah of Eid ul Fitr prayer at home with extra ‘takbeerat’. The ‘Khutbah” may be given after the prayer but it is not compulsory. If the number of people in a home is less than 4, then 4 Rakah nafil or chasht prayers should be offered in lieu of Eid namaaz.
The worshiper will recite takbeer to start salat and then follow it with Three more takbeer in the first rakat before reciting Surah Fatiha loudly and then it is ideal to recite Surah Al Qahf. Other surah can also be recited.
In the second rakah, there will be Four takbeer before Ruku at the end of the rakah, i.e. after reciting Surah Fatiha and then Surah Al Qamar, following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Following two Khutbas, with a break between the two could be read out after the namaz.
Ideal time for Eid-al Fitr prayer
As per Islamic scholars the time for Eid prayer begins after sunrise and the best time is after the sun rises by the height of one or two spears. So it would be best to offer Eid prayers after 7am, on the day of Eid.
- Paying Sadqa-e Fitr is obligatory
- At current rates Rs 100 per individual should be paid as Sadqa-e Fitr
The believers should remember that they have to pay Zakat-al Fitr or Sadqa-e Fitr, as per the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), before offering the Eid namaz.
Sadqa-e Fitr is obligatory on every Muslim – male and female including children. It is better, if it is given to a poor person a day before Eid-al Fitr, or after sighting of the Eid moon, better still if it is paid during the last ten days of Ramazan, so as to enable the poor person to buy clothes, sweets and eatables to enjoy on the festive day.
Sadqa-e Fitr’s quantum can be calculated in terms of dates, raisins, cheese and barley, the current price of 1kg. of wheat multiplied by 3.5 could be given for every individual. Currently, in monetary terms the Sadqa works out to be Rs 100/- per person. However, it can be increased based on a person’s financial status and his Niyah (niyat).
In addition, this year as far as possible, kindly avoid going outside and greeting people, instead try to stay at home. On the day of Eid, whatever clothes, old or new are available, can be adorned and one should thank Allah for it.
After Eid namaz, please pray that Allah gives us deliverance from the Coronavirus and we can return to our normal lives, as soon as possible. If it is a conspiracy to change the world order then the conspirators should be punished.
Asad Mirza is a political commentator based in New Delhi. He was also associated with BBC Urdu Service and Khaleej Times of Dubai. He writes on Muslims, educational, international affairs, interfaith and current affairs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org