Thursday 10 Rabi‘ at-akhir 1442 - 26 November 2020
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Ruling on offering the Eid prayer at home because of the curfew due to the coronavirus epidemic

Question

Because of lockdown and the coronavirus, is it permissible to offer the Eid prayer at home if there are more than three men in the house? Is this a valid excuse for praying at home? If someone offers this prayer at home with his family, because of quarantine, should he give a [email protected] or not?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

In the answer to question no. 96922, we stated that if someone misses the Eid prayer or it is not possible for him to attend it due to some impediment, it is permissible for him to offer this prayer in his house, even if he prays on his own. This is the view of the majority.

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (2/289): Whoever misses the Eid prayer does not have to make it up, because it is a communal obligation, that has been undertaken by those who have discharged the communal duty.

But if he wants to make it up, then he has the choice. If he wishes, he may offer this prayer with four rak‘ahs, either with one salaam or with two salaams.

This was narrated from Ibn Mas‘ood, and it is the view of ath-Thawri. That is because of the report narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood, who said: Whoever misses the Eid prayer let him pray it with four rak‘ahs, and whoever misses Jumu ‘ah, let him pray it with four rak‘ahs.

It was narrated from ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: If I instruct a man to lead the physically weak people in prayer, I instruct him to pray four rak‘ahs. Both reports were narrated by Sa‘eed.

Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said: That view is supported by the hadith of ‘Ali, according to which he instructed a man to lead the physically weak people in praying four rak‘ahs, and not to give a khutbah. Moreover, it is making up the Eid prayer, so it should be four rak‘ahs, like [when making up] Jumu‘ah prayer.

And if he wishes, he may pray two rak‘ahs, like a voluntary prayer. This is the view of al-Awzaa ‘i, because this is a voluntary prayer.

And if he wishes, he may offer it like the Eid prayer with (extra) takbeers. That was narrated from Ahmad Ismaa‘eel ibn Sa‘eed; this view was favoured by al-Jawzjaani, and is also the view of an-Nakha‘i, Maalik, ash-Shaafa‘i, Abu Thawr and Ibn al-Mundhir, because of the report narrated from Anas, that if he had not attended Eid prayer with the imam (governor) in Basra, he would gather his family and his freed slaves, then his freed slave ‘Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Utbah would lead them in praying two rak‘ahs, saying the (extra) takbeers in both rak‘ahs.

Because it is making up for a missed prayer, it is offered in the same manner as that prayer, like all other prayers. The individual has the choice: if he wishes, he may offer this prayer on his own, and if he wishes, he may offer it in congregation.

It was said to Abu ‘Abdillah: Where should he pray? He said: If he wishes, he may go to the prayer place [musalla], and if he wishes, he may pray wherever he likes. End quote.

Thus it becomes clear that the prayer should be offered in the manner of the Eid prayer with the imam; this is the view of the majority of scholars. So he should offer this prayer as it is usually done, that is, two rak‘ahs with the extra takbeeraat, and without the khutbah.

It is definitely to be done in the manner in which it is usually done, unless one is offering it as a missed prayer, as there are different views concerning that. But if he is offering it as a regular Eid prayer, so as to fulfil his duty or fulfil the communal obligation – as is the case at present, when the Eid prayer will not be offered in the prayer places or in the mosques, which is the case in most countries – it does not seem, in this situation, that it should be done in a manner different from the regular Eid prayer; rather if a man offers this prayer in his house and the like, then he should offer it in the same manner as the regular Eid prayer.

Secondly:

According to the view of the Shaafa‘i madhhab, it is Sunnah for the one who is praying on his own to offer the Eid prayer in his house. According to their view, that is not the same as the case of the one who missed it.

Al-Muzani narrated that ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Mukhtasar al-Umm (8/125): The one who is praying alone may offer the Eid prayers in his house; the same applies also to travellers, slaves and women. End quote.

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo‘ (5/26): With regard to rulings, is the Eid prayer prescribed for slaves, travellers, women and one who is praying on his own in his house or elsewhere?

There are two views concerning that, the sounder and more well-known of which is that it is definitely prescribed for them. End quote.

In their view, it is Sunnah to give the khutbah for any of these categories who is offering the prayer in congregation.

It says in Mughni al-Muhtaaj (1/589): It is Sunnah to deliver the two khutbahs after [the prayer] to the group, following the example of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who succeeded him, and it makes no difference whether the members of the congregation are travellers or otherwise. End quote.

It says in Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj (3/40): And it is prescribed for the one who is praying on his own, but there is no khutbah in his case. The same applies to slaves and women. As for free women and slave women going out for the prayer, all that is mentioned about them going out for other congregational prayers is also applicable in this case. And the traveller may offer it, like all other naafil prayers. It is recommended for the imam of a group of travellers to deliver a khutbah to them. End quote.

Then he said (3/45): The khutbah is not Sunnah for one who is praying on his own. End quote.

The view of the Maalikis is that it is mustahabb, not Sunnah, for one who is praying on his own, and for women and travellers.

Al-Khurashi (2/98) said: It is prescribed to pray two rak‘ahs for Eid in the case of one for whom Jumu‘ah prayer is obligatory, as soon as offering naafil prayers becomes permissible after sunrise, until the sun passes the meridian. That is, there was a difference of opinion regarding the Eid prayer, but the well-known view, as he said, is that it is an individual Sunnah; it was also said that it is a communal Sunnah. It is obligatory for the one for whom Jumu‘ah prayer is obligatory, and slaves, minors, women and travellers are excluded from that.

For those who live three miles away from the city, it is not Sunnah in their case, but it is mustahabb, as we shall see below. End quote.

It says in (2/104): It is mustahabb to offer the Eid prayer, for one for whom Jumu‘ah is not obligatory, or who missed it

That is, it is mustahabb for the one for whom Jumu‘ah prayer is not obligatory, or one who missed the Eid prayer with the imam, to offer this prayer. But should he pray it in congregation, or on his own? There are two views. End quote.

Some of the scholars thought it more likely that this prayer should be offered individually. See: Haashiyat ad-Daasooqi (1/401).

According to the Maalikis also, if they offer this prayer in congregation, they should pray it without a khutbah.

Al-Hattaab said in Mawaahib al-Jaleel (2/198): It is permissible for those who live in the city to offer this prayer in congregation, for those who have missed it, and no khutbah is required. There is no difference of opinion concerning that. The same applies to one who missed it because of an excuse, and also to slaves and travellers. There was a difference of opinion regarding those who live in small villages, and there are two views. And Allah knows best. End quote.

Based on that, if someone leads his family in offering the Eid prayer, it is Sunnah for him to give two khutbahs, according to the view of the Shaafa‘is, but he does not need to give a khutbah, according to the view of the Maalikis.

Both madhhabs quoted as evidence for it being permissible to offer this prayer at home the mu‘allaq majzoom report narrated by al-Bukhaari, who said: Anas ibn Maalik instructed his freed slave Ibn Abi ‘Utbah to gather his family and sons together. End quote.

Anas had not missed the prayer; rather he lived outside Basra, several miles from the city.

Ibn Rajab said in Fath al-Baari (9/76): When Anas missed the Eid prayer, he was not in the city; rather he lived outside the city, far from it, therefore he came under the ruling on those who live in villages. Imam Ahmad referred to that in a report from him. End quote.

Thirdly:

Al-‘Allaamah Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Barraak has issued a fatwa stating that if it is not possible to offer the Eid prayer in any land because of the epidemic and lockdown, then the ruling is the same ruling as applies to one who misses the Eid prayer. So this prayer may be offered at home without a khutbah.

He (may Allah preserve him) was asked: At a time like the present, when prayers are being offered at home, because of the coronavirus epidemic – may Allah relieve the Muslims of it – what is your view concerning Eid prayer? Can it be offered at home, and if so, how is it to be done?

Answer: Praise be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and all his companions. To proceed:

If it is not possible to hold the Eid prayers because of some impediment, as is the case at present, then the ruling on that is the same as the ruling on one who misses this prayer – meaning the Eid prayer.

There are several scholarly views concerning that. Some said that he should offer this prayer with two rak‘ahs, and others said that it should be four rak‘ahs.

And some said that it should be offered in the usual manner, which is the correct view. What that means is that it should be offered with two rak‘ahs and the extra takbeeraat, the recitation should be done out loud, and there should be no khutbah, as is the case with every act of worship that is being made up: it should be made up in the manner in which it is usually done, and it may be offered individually or in congregation.

The evidence for that is what Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) used to do. If he missed the Eid prayer, he would gather his family and his sons, then his freed slave ‘Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Utbah would lead them in praying two rak‘ahs, saying the takbeeraat, like the prayer and takbeeraat of the people of the city.

With regard to the view that the Eid prayer cannot be made up, that is not applicable in this case, because in the current situation the Eid prayer cannot be offered in the first place, so the obligation to offer it has not been carried out. Rather in this situation we may draw an analogy for the Eid prayer with the one who missed it, as noted above. And Allah knows best.

End quote from the Shaykh’s website:

https://sh-albarrak.com/article/18234

Conclusion:

  1. Whoever offers the Eid prayer on his own, should do so without a khutbah.
  2. Whoever offers it in congregation, then according to the view of the Shaafa‘is, it is sunnah for him to give two khutbahs after it. What supports the view that he should give the two khutbahs is the comment made by the Shaykh in his answer, that the prayer has not been offered at all in the first place, and no khutbah has been given for it in public gathering places.

According to the view of the Maalikis and Hanbalis, and those who think that the one who is excused today is like the one who has missed the prayer, this prayer should be offered in congregation without a khutbah.

For more information about the number of people required for the Eid prayer, please see the answer to question no. 337550.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A