Print this pagePrint this page

Q/A: Takbeeraat of Eid

Take my Salaam... I am a Sunni Muslim. In the prayer of the Eid I always give extra six takbeer. But some of my friends asked me  why do I do so. I told them that I have learnt from my father. But in case of Islam every rule has the basis of Qur’an and Hadeeth. They told me that there is no authentic evidence for giving extra six takbir in the Salat of Eid. They show me a Hadeeth of ‘Abu Daud Sharif’ that the number of extra takbeer is twelve. Then I am puzzled and want a solution.

Badruddin, Bangladesh

You are correct in making six extra takbeeraat. With regard to the number of extra takbeeraat in the Eid salâh, there is legitimate difference of opinion among the scholars. There is no one narration of hadeeth in this matter which can be considered as unquestionably more authentic than the others. Thus, Imam Shawkâni recorded ten different practices of the salaf (pious predescessors).

The following is a summary of relevant sections from the discussion in several books of fiqh:

Imâm Shâfi’i holds that there are 12 extra takbeeraat – 7 in the first ra’kah, and 5 in the second. In both of the rak’ât, the takbeeraat are said before the recitation. A hadeeth in this regard is narrated by Tirmidhi on the authority of Hadrat ‘Amr bin ‘Awf Muzni (may Allah be pleased with him).

Imâm Mâlik and Imâm Hanbal hold that there are 11 extra takbeeraat – 6 only in the first rak’ah and 5 in the second, also said before the recitation. They similarly base this ruling on the ahâdeeth such as that narrated by Imâm Mâlik, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood, but they consider the takbeer-e-tahreemah to be included in the initial seven – thus, there are only 6 extra takbeeraat according to them.

The opinion of the Hanafiyyah is that there are 6 extra takbeeraat – 3 in the first rak’ah before the recitation, and 3 in the second rak’ah after the recitation of Qur’ân. (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)

The following are proofs of the Hanafi method:

In Sunan Abi Dawood it is narrated from Makhool, who said, “Abu ‘Âishah informed me that Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas asked Abu Mûsâ al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) and Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (may Allah be pleased with him) how the Messenger of Allâh (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to perform the takbeer in the (‘Eid of) al-Adhâ and al-Fitr. Abu Mûsâ said, ‘He used to perform 4 takbeeraat (in each rak’ah), just as in the janâzah (funeral prayer).’ Hadrat Hudhayfah confirmed this and Hadrat Abu Mûsâ said, ‘That is how I used to perform the takbeeraat in Basrah for as long as I lived there.’” In this hadeeth, the four takbeerat in the first rak’ah include the takbeer-e-tahreemah and in the second rak’ah, they include the takbeer for bowing down into rukû’.

The second proof of the Hanafi method is the recorded practice of Hadrat Ibn ‘Abbâs (may Allah be pleased with him), Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (may Allah be pleased with him), ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him), and others of the Sahâbah. Also, a large number of the Tâbi’een followed this method. (As recorded in Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, see Dars-e-Tirmidhi for citations.) For example, Sufyân ath-Thawri relates from Abi Ishâq, from ‘Alqamah and al-Aswad that: Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) used to make 9 takbeeraat in the ‘Eid prayers; 4 before the recitation (i.e. including the takbeer-e-tahreemah), then he would say takbeer and perform rukû’. And in the second rak’ah, he would recite (the Qur’ân), then when he finished he would make 4 takbeeraat (including the one for going into rukû’), and then he would bow down. This hadeeth is recorded by Abdur-Razaaq in his Musannaf and its chain of narration is authentic. (see I’lâ-us-Sunan).

A third piece of evidence is the following narration from Ibraheem al-Nakha’i as recorded in Sharh Ma’âni al-Âthâr: The Messenger of Allâh (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away and the people were of different opinions regarding the takbeeraat of the janâzah (funeral prayer). … (after some part of the narration, he continues) … They remained in this state until Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) passed away. When ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) assumed responsibility of leadership, he saw the differences of the people in this matter and it was unbearable for him. So he sent for some of the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said to them, “O you assembly of the companions of the Messenger of Allâh (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)! As long as you have differences among the people, they will differ after you. And when you come together (i.e. form ijmâ – consensus) on a matter, the people after you will have a consensus. So look for a way to come to a consensus in this matter.” And it was as if he had awakened them and they said, “Yes! What do you think (about this matter), O Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen? Advise us!” ‘Umar said, “Nay, you must advise me (i.e. give me shurâ) for truly I am a mortal like yourselves.” So the issue was turned to them and they came to consensus that the takbeeraat of the janâ’iz should be as the takbeeraat of the Adha and Fitr: four takbeeraat (i.e. including the takbeer-e-tahreemah, etc.). So this issue was settled with that consensus.

This narration shows that by the time of Hadrat ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), the issue of the number of takbeeraat in Eid had been settled (along with the funeral prayer) to be four – i.e. three extra in each rak’ah.

Again, with regard to the various narrations, there are differences of opinion as to the authenticity and reliability of their narrators. As Imam Hanbal said, “There is nothing related from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about the takbeeraat of ‘Eid that is an absolutely authentic (saheeh) hadeeth.” The difference of opinions in this matter is therefore legitimate and it is only a matter of which is the best practice to follow. The fuqahaa have stated that one may follow whatever method one’s imâm for the ‘Eid prayer practices, up to even 13 or 16 extra takbeeraat. (Dars-e-Tirmidhi)

Imâm Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybâni – the famous student of Imâm Abu Haneefah – says in his narration of Muwatta Imâm Mâlik: “The people have differed concerning the saying of Allâhu akbar in the two ‘Eids. Whatever you choose of that is fine. The best of it, in our opinion, is what has been related from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him), that he would pronounce Allâhu akbar in every ‘Eid nine times: five and four, including in them the takbeers for beginning the prayer, and on bowing. He would make the two recitations close to each other, placing it last in the first [rak’ah] and first in the second [rak’ah]. That is the verdict of Abu Haneefah.”

The practice of raising the hands with each of the extra takbeeraat has not been narrated directly from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However, this practice has been definitely established from Hadrat ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and his son, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) (Recorded in Naylul-Awtaar). The Mâlikiyyah hold that such a practice is makrooh, while the other a’immah hold that it is sunnah – since the Sahâbah would not engage in such a practice unless they had seen Rasulullâh (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) performing it.

And Allah knows best.


  • I’lâ-us-Sunan, Muhaddith Dhafar Ahmad Uthmâni at-Thanawi, Volume 8. (Idara-tul-Qur’ân wal-Uloom-il-Islâmiyyah, Karachi)
  • Dars-e-Tirmidhi, Maulana Muhammad Taqi Uthmâni, Volume 2. (Maktabah Darul Uloom, Karachi)
  • The Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, English trans. Mohammed Abdurrahman and Abdassamad Clarke. (Turath Publishing, London)
  • Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Muhammad ‘Âsim al-Haddâd. (Markazi Maktabah Islami Publishers, New Delhi)


Published: November 2005

Previous page: Forum
Next page: Q/A: Jum'ah and Eid