In a few days, Muslims will take to the streets and squares in multitudes, filling them up with chants of “Allahu Akbar” (Greatness to Allah). Muslims are rejoicing at what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and what He has guided them to perform ordained ibadat (worships). As it’s known, fasting is hard, so Allah gives His believers Eid-ul-Fitr (a feast after the month of Ramadan). Hajj (pilgrimage) is hard as well, so it is followed by Eid-ul-Adha. Thus, every hard act of worship is followed by Eid (days of festivity). So, the question comes up,
Why do Muslims pray Eid in the streets?
Muslims follow the Qur’an’s teachings and Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) teachings. Eid prayer is one of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Messenger of Allah.
So, every saying, act, or tacit approval of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a revelation from God. And he has prayed Eid in open areas. Abu said Al-khudri narrated that,
“The Prophet (ﷺ) used to proceed to the Musalla (out of Masjid/ open area) on the days of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha; the first thing to begin with was the prayer and after that he would stand in front of the people and the people would keep sitting in their rows. Then he would preach to them, advise them and give them orders, (i.e. Khutba).” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Praying in the streets and open areas has many benefits like gathering large numbers of Muslims in one place to attend the prayer and perform the Islamic ritual together.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that when the Prophet (ﷺ) went out to Eid (prayers), he would return via another route than the first one he took. [Sunan Ibn Majah]
One of the benefits of this is to have the chance to congratulate as many Muslims as possible by going to the Musalla from one way and returning from another, following the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Muslims follow the transmitted Sunnah (teachings of Prophet Muhammad) in taking to the streets for Eid prayer.
Just as it’s unusual to pray in open areas, the manner of the prayer is unusual as well. Muslims in their usual prayer start their prayers with one takbirah (to stand facing the Ka’bah with hands close to ears saying Allahu Akbar, which means Allah is the Greatest) which is takbirat-ul-ihram, but in Eid prayer, they start with takbirat-ul-ihram followed by seven takbirat in the first Rak’ah (the unit prayer) and in the second Rak’ah there are only five.
Narrated Aisha, Umm-ul-Mu’minin (mother of the believers) may Allah be satisfied with her,
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would say the Takbir (Allah is most great) seven times in the first rak’ah and five times in the second rak’ah on the day of the breaking of the fast and on the day of sacrifice (on the occasion of both the Eid prayers, the two festivals)”. [Sunan Abi Dawud]
Do you notice the difference between the numbers of takbirat?!
What’s the significance of chanting over and over again Takbir?
Saying Allahu Akbar is a declaration to the greatness of Allah, that Allah is greater than our desires. So, we sacrifice our bodily needs in the month of Ramadan. Also, Allah is greater than our money that we pay, and effort that we do to perform Hajj (pilgrimage). Muslims show in everything they do that Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar when they obey Him. And Allahu Akbar in the rejoicing. Allahu Akbar in the prayers.
Muslims present a living example of Allahu Akbar (the greatness of Allah).
What about women!
Prophet Muhammad ordered women to participate in Eid prayer, even menstruating women.
Narrated Um Atiya:
“We used to be ordered to come out on the Day of Eid and even bring out the virgin girls from their houses and menstruating women so that they might stand behind the men and say Takbir along with them and invoke Allah along with them and hope for the blessings of that day and for purification from sins.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Even women who don’t have a dress or veil, he ordered them to borrow one from their friends.
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. As for the menstruating women, they were to stay away from the Musalla and participate in the Muslims supplications.” One of them said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! What if she does not have a Jilbab? He said: ‘Then let her sis lend her a Jilbab.’ “ [Jami at-Tirmidhi]
Eid prayer in the streets is not a power parade, but just a performance of an Islamic ritual, a sign of obedience and gratitude to Allah. Constitutions all over the world guarantee the freedom of worship. So, Muslims use their freedom in performing their right in the most elaborate and public way as it’s ordained.
Muslims pray in the streets and open areas to perform their Islamic ritual, and meet together to congratulate and rejoice. Why not participate in the next one, Eid-ul-Adha, and tell us about your experience?
It will be on the 21st of August, 2018 😃