There is a hadith in Sunan Abi Dawood that has to do with the takbeeraat:
Muhammad ibn al-‘Alaa’ and Ibn Abi Ziyaad told us: Zayd ibn Habbaab told us, from ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Thawbaan, from his father, from Makhool who said: Abu ‘Aa’ishah, the companion of Abu Hurayrah, told me that Sa‘eed ibn al-‘Aas asked Abu Moosa al-Ash‘ari and Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan: How did the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say the takbeer on (Eid) al-Adha and (Eid) al-Fitr? Abu Moosa said: He used to say takbeer four times, as he did for the funeral prayer. Hudhayfah said: He is right. Abu Moosa said: That is how I used to say the takbeer in Basrah when I was the governor there.
Abu ‘Aa’ishah said: And I also attended the prayer when it was led by Sa‘eed ibn al-‘Aas.
Shaykh al-Albaani said: It is hasan saheeh.
Did anyone other than Shaykh al-Albaani class this hadith as saheeh? What is your opinion concerning it?
Praise be to Allah
What is indicated by many marfoo‘ hadiths [those with an intact chain of narrators going back to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)] is that the number of takbeeraat in the Eid prayer is seven takbeeraat in the first rak‘ah, apart from the opening takbeer, and five takbeeraat in the second rak‘ah, apart from the takbeer of standing (up, from prostration).
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The takbeer in (the prayer of Eid) al-Fitr is seven in the first rak‘ah and five in the second, and the recitation is to be done after them in both rak‘ahs.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (1151).
At-Tirmidhi narrated from al-Bukhaari that he classed this hadith as saheeh. See: Tarteeb al-‘Ilal al-Kabeer (154). It was classed as hasan by an-Nawawi in al-Khalaasah (2/831), and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
It was narrated from Katheer ibn ‘Abdullah from his father from his grandfather that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said takbeer in the Eid (prayer): seven in the first rak‘ah, before the recitation, and five in the second, before the recitation. Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (536). He said: Concerning this topic there was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah, Ibn ‘Umar, and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, a hadith from the grandfather of Katheer, a hasan hadith, which is the best report that was narrated concerning this topic from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). His name is ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf al-Muzani. End quote.
At-Tirmidhi quoted al-Bukhaari (may Allah have mercy on him) as saying:
There is nothing more saheeh (sound) than this concerning this topic. This is my view. End quote.
Tarteeb al-‘Ilal al-Kabeer (153)
These hadiths were followed by huge numbers of the scholars, and it is narrated that many of the Sahaabah and Taabi‘een acted in accordance with them.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Our view is that there are seven (takbeers) in the first (rak‘ah), and five in the second. Al-Khattaabi narrated that in Ma‘aalim as-Sunan from most of the scholars. It was also narrated by the author of al-Haawi from most of the Sahaabah and Taabi‘een. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri, Yahya al-Ansaari, az-Zuhri, Maalik, al-Awzaa‘i, Ahmad, and Ishaaq. Al-Mahaamili narrated it from Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Zayd ibn Thaabit, and ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with them). Al-‘Abdari also narrated it from al-Layth, Abu Yoosuf and Dawood. End quote.
Al-Majmoo‘ (5/ 24-25)
With regard to the marfoo‘ hadiths that differ from what is mentioned above, one of them is the hadith mentioned by the questioner. It was classed as da‘eef (weak) by many of the scholars for the following reasons:
Its isnaad includes ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Thaabit ibn Thawbaan. Imam Ahmad said: His hadiths are munkar (odd). On one occasion he said: He is not strong in hadith. Ibn Ma‘een said: He is da‘eef. An-Nasaa’i said: He is da‘eef. Abu Haatim classed him as thiqah (trustworthy). Ibn Ma‘een said of him: There is nothing wrong with him.
See: Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (6/151)
Its isnaad includes Abu ‘Aa’ishah, the companion of Abu Hurayrah. He is majhool (unknown) and nothing is known about him. This was stated by Ibn Hazm, Ibn al-Qattaan and adh-Dhahabi, as it says in Bayaan al-Wahm (5/44) and Mizaan al-I‘tidaal (4/543).
This report differs from that which is more well-known and was soundly proven. In that report, Abu Moosa and Hudhayfah only narrated the report of the takbeer of the Eid payer as being four from Ibn Mas‘ood; they did not narrate that from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
Al-Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
There are two points to be taken into consideration with regard to this hadith:
1. Whether it can soundly be attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
2. concerning the response of Abu Moosaa.
What is well-known concerning this story is that they referred the matter to Ibn Mas‘ood, and Ibn Mas‘ood gave them a fatwa to this effect, and he did not attribute that to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
This is how it was narrated by Abu Ishaaq as-Subay‘i, from ‘Abdullah ibn Moosa or ibn Abi Moosa: that Sa‘eed ibn al-‘Aas sent word to Ibn Mas‘ood, Hudhayfah and Abu Moosa, asking them about the takbeer in the Eid (prayer), and they referred the matter to Ibn Mas‘ood, who said: Say takbeer four times before reciting, then recite. Then when you have finished reciting, say takbeer and bow, then when you stand up for the second (rak‘ah), recite, and when you have finished, say takbeer four times.
‘Abd ar-Rahmaan is ibn Thaabit ibn Thawbaan. He was classed as da‘eef by Yahya ibn Ma‘een, who said: He was a righteous man. It was also narrated by an-Nu‘maan ibn al-Mundhir, from Makhool, from the envoy of Abu Moosa and Hudhayfah, from the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and he did not name the envoy. He said: … apart from the opening takbeer and the takbeer of rukoo‘ (bowing). End quote.
As-Sunan al-Kubra (3/289)
Concerning this, Abu Dawood narrated a da‘eef hadith – and he quoted it. End quote.
Ma‘aalim as-Sunan (1/251)
Ibn Hazm (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
It is not saheeh. End quote.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
It is da‘eef. End quote.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
It is a da‘eef hadith. End quote.
It was classed as da‘eef by Ibn ‘Abd al-Haadi in Tanqeeh at-Tahqeeq (2/93)
There is another hadith that was narrated from one of the Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) led us in prayer on the day of Eid. He said takbeer four times and four times, then he turned to face us when he had finished praying and said: Do not forget, like the takbeer of the funeral prayer, and he held up his fingers and tucked in his thumb.
Narrated by at-Tahhaawi in Sharh Ma‘aani al-Athaar (4/345).
He said: ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan and Yahya ibn ‘Uthmaan told us: ‘Abdullah ibn Yoosuf told us, from Yahya ibn Hamzah who said: al-Wadeen ibn ‘Ata’ told me that al-Qaasim Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan told him: one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said – and he quoted the hadith.
Then at-Tahhaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The isnaad of this hadith is hasan. ‘Abdullah ibn Yoosuf, Yahya ibn Hamzah, al-Wadeen and al-Qaasim are all qualified to narrate, and are known for narrating sound reports, unlike those from whom we narrated the first report. If this issue is to be settled on the basis of the soundest isnaad, this hadith is the best one to base this issue on, as opposed to the other reports. End quote.
And al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) agreed with him in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah (2997).
But with regard to al-Wadeen ibn ‘Ata’, even though Ibn Ma‘een and Ahmad said that there is nothing wrong with him, some of the scholars had something to say about him. It was narrated from al-Waleed ibn Muslim that he said concerning him: He used to deliver good khutbahs but he was not very strong in narrating hadith. Muhammad ibn Sa‘d said: He was da‘eef in hadith. Al-Jawzjaani said: He is waahin (weak) in hadith. Abu Haatim said: Some of his hadith may be recognisable and other are odd. Ibraaheem ibn Ishaaq al-Harbi said: Others are more trustworthy than him. ‘Abd al-Baaqi ibn Qaani‘ said: He is da‘eef.
See: Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (11/ 121)
Based on that, the hadiths in which it says that the number of takbeers is seven in the first rak‘ah and five in the second are more numerous and more sound, so this is more deserving of being given precedence, especially since the majority of the Sahaabah and the fuqaha’ did that.
Al-Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The hadith that has a chain of narrators going back to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), combined with the practice of the Muslims, is more deserving of being followed. End quote.
As-Sunan al-Kubra (3/291)
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Those who narrated the view that we follow are more numerous, had better memories and are more trustworthy; moreover the number of takbeers mentioned in their hadith is greater. And Allah knows best. End quote.
We have quoted above the view of Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning the hadith which speaks of seven takbeers in the first rak‘ah and five in the second, that it is the soundest opinion concerning this matter.
It is proven from Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to say takbeer four times in the first rak‘ah and four times in the second, but something other than that was narrated from other Sahaabah.
See: Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (2/78-81)
Based on that, this issue is one of the issues of ijtihaad, in which each Muslim may do that which he thinks is most likely to be correct, and should not denounce anyone who differs from him.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If he does something other than that, so he makes it five (takbeers) in the first rak‘ah and in the second, or he makes it seven in the first rak‘ah and in the second, according to what was narrated from the Sahaabah, then we should note that Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) differed concerning the number of takbeers, and all views are acceptable. In other words, Imam Ahmad thought that this matter was broad in scope, and that if a person says a different number of takbeers, based on the reports that were narrated from the Sahaabah, there is nothing wrong with that. This is one of the principles on which the madhhab of Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) is based: he thought that if the salaf (early generations) differed concerning something, and there was no definitive text concerning it, then all views are acceptable, because he (may Allah have mercy on him) venerated and respected the views of the Sahaabah. He said: If there is no definitive text to rule out any of these views, then the matter is broad in scope. Undoubtedly this view of Imam Ahmad is one of the best means of bringing the ummah together and uniting them, because there are some people who take the differences of opinion in matters in which ijtihaad is justified as a means of division and dissent, to the extent that they may even regard a brother as being misguided when they themselves may be the ones who are misguided. This is one of the problems that have become widespread nowadays, despite the optimism one may feel at this awakening among the youth in particular. But this awakening may be spoiled by that and revert to a steep decline because of this division, and you may see any one of them, if his brother differs from him with regard to a matter of ijtihaad concerning which there is no definitive text, feelin put off by him and begining to revile him and speak ill of him. This problem is the greatest cause of rejoicing among the enemies of this awakening – may Allah cause them to fight among themselves. It has gone so far that some people may hate a brother in faith more than they hate the evildoer – Allah forbid. This is undoubtfully harmful and the seekers of knowledge should put an end to this matter that harms us all. Has revelation come to you from Allah to tell you that your view is the correct one? If no revelation has come to him to tell him that his view is the correct one, then how can he know that? Perhaps the view of his companion is the correct one, and he is mistaken. This is the reality: nowadays no revelation comes to anyone, but the Qur’an and Sunnah are before us. If the matter is open to ijtihaad, then each of us should be tolerant of his brother’s ijtihaad. There is nothing wrong with calm and beneficial discussion among brothers, but I prefer that the discussion between those who hold different points of view should not be in the presence of others, because others may interpret this discussion in a way not intended by those who are discussing the matter, and those who are discussing it may end up reaching an agreement, whereas others who are present may develop some resentment in their hearts even after this agreement is reached, so the Shaytaan may stir up enmity between them, in which case the problem still remains.
I say: May Allah reward Imam Ahmad with good for this excellent approach, that if the early generations differed about a matter concerning which there was no definitive text, then the matter is broad in scope and all opinions are acceptable. End quote.
Ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘ (5/136-138)
For more information, please see also the answer to question no. 36491
And Allah knows best.