Festivities are in full swing. Mum’s running back and forth checking everyone’s clothes are ironed and ready. Dad’s checking the car is spick and span. The kids are blowing balloons decorating the house with their laughter and smiles. Grandparents sit counting their envelopes for Eidi. Uncles are busy adding the final touches to gifts with ribbons and bows, aunts eagerly roll their famous laddus and fold sambosas.
All this happiness and fun is sometimes shadowed by not-so-righteous-practices. Let us identify some of these acts that taint the fun and games of Eid:
- The belief of some that it is prescribed to spend the night of Eid in worship:
This belief stems from the following hadith;
Abu Umaamah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Whoever spends the nights of the two Eids in praying qiyaam al-layl, seeking reward from Allah, his heart will not die on the Day when hearts will die.” (Ibn Majah, da’eef/weak)
However the scholars have concluded that this hadith is weak, and therefore cannot be taken as a basis for our acts of worship. Sh Al-Albaani said it is fabricated. (Taken from https://islamqa.info/en/12504) Therefore this ‘hadith’ cannot be attributed to the Prophet as his words, and so we cannot act upon it.
To act upon this hadith, by performing Qiyaam specifically believing in the virtue mentioned in the hadith is incorrect, and a form of bid’ah.
However, if one regularly does qiyaam and other acts of worship during the night it is permissible to keep this up. However, one should not single out this night.
- Visiting graves on the two Eid days:
Eid is a day of celebration, and happiness. Visiting graves on the day of Eid was not done by the Prophet nor his companions, nor the righteous predecessors, thus it becomes an innovation.
- Women mixing with men in the prayer place, the streets and elsewhere, and crowding together with men in those places: women are encouraged to attend the Eid prayers, but should be cautious of how she carries herself, and where she goes. She should wait for the men to disperse and should avoid the places where men gather.
Narrated Usama bin Zaid: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “After me I have not left any trial more severe to men than women.” (Bukhari)
- Some women going out wearing perfume and makeup, and without veils: A woman should veil herself properly before going out, and she should not go out perfumed.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who puts on perfume and passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance, is an adulteress.” (An-Nasa’i, Tirmidhi, Hasan by Sh Al-Albaani)
Whilst it is permissible to adorn oneself with make-up, jewellery and the like, on this auspicious day, one should follow the commands of Allah, and not display their adornments, nor make wanton display of themselves.
- Listening to and singing and haraam things: Sadly, many celebrate Eid by listening to music, watching movies and the like. These are not permissible, and one should fear Allah. Ramadaan/the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah should bring us closer to Allah, so that we obey His commands and leave off what he prohibited permanently.
- Men abandoning the congregational prayers: many men claim they are too busy ‘having fun’ to attend the prayers in congregation, however this is a careless mistake, and they should endeavour to attend the prayers in congregation.
- Completely missing prayers altogether: there are some that believe all worship ends with the end of Ramadaan/the days of hajj and so give up on their prayers. Such a person should be careful for the Prophet peace be upon him said, “The covenant that stands between us and them is the prayer; whoever forsakes it is a kaafir.” (Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa’i, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani)
- Over-Eating: Yep, I’m sure the Eid delicacies has your stomach rumbling, and your mouth-watering. But be sensible my friend, do not over-eat such that you cannot stand to pray. Rather follow the Prophetic advice, divide your stomach into three, and I’m sure you can still enjoy your day without feeling like a stuffed turkey!
After a month long of worship, or the ten spiritually reforming days of Dhul-Hijjah one would expect that a person would be charged up with enough iman to prevent them from overstepping the limits of Allah. However, sadly this is not the case. We all make mistakes, none of us are perfect, but we continually should seek to improve. Now that we’ve learnt what’s wrong, let us make a resolution to avoid it this Eid.
“Whoever fasts Ramadaan while inwardly saying; ‘once the month is over, I will disobey Allah,’ this person’s fasting is rejected.” (Lataa’if Al Ma’arif of Ibn Rajab, Chapter: The Ending of Ramadaan)