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Narrated al-Bara (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) delivering a khutbah saying: “The first thing to be done on this day (first day of Eid-ul-Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he has acted according to our sunnah.  (Kitaabul-‘Eidayn, Bukhari)


Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th through 12th day of Dhil Hijjah, the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Many of the rituals related to the Eid directly commemmorate the sacrifices of Hadrat Ibrâhîm (alayhis-salaam) and his family for the sake of Allâh.  On the way to the Eid prayer, while waiting for it and on the way back from the prayer one should recite the following takbeer as much as possible:

Allaahu akbar - Allaahu akbar – Laa ilaaha illallaahu – wal-laahu akbar Allaahu akbar wa lil-laahil-hamd
(Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest; There is no god except Allah; And Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and for Allah is all praise.)

It is the tradition of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) to go to the prayer by one way and return by another. The takbeer-e-tashreeq above is also to be recited after every fard prayer beginning from the Fajr prayer of the 9th to the ‘Asr prayer of the 13th of Dhil Hijjah (23 times in all). The following actions are also sunnah on the day of Eid:

To clean the teeth with miswaak;
To take a bath;
To adorn oneself and dress in the best clothes that are available and are permitted in Shari’ah;
To use perfume;
To rise early and go to the prayer grounds early;
To walk to the prayer grounds if possible and to recite the takbeer above;
Nothing is to be eaten before the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr;
No (nafl) prayers should be prayed at the Eid prayer ground, neither before or after the Eid prayer.


Procedure of the Eid Prayer

Eid-ul-Adha prayer consists of two raka’ah in congregation. The procedure of the prayer is as follows:

      First, make the niyyah for the Eid salaah:

Nawaytu an usallee rak’atayil-waajibi salaata ‘eidil-adhaa ma’a takbeeraatin waajibatin
(I intend to pray 2 raka’ah of waajib prayer of Eid-ul-Adha with the (extra) waajib takbeeraat )

      Then the Imam says Allahu akbar (and the followers do so after him). Then the hands are folded as in other prayers and the thana’ is recited:

Subhaanakal-laahum-ma wa bi hamdika wa tabaarakas-muka wa ta’aalaa jad-duka wa laa ilaaha ghairuk
(O Allah! Glory and Praise are for You, and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty; and there is no god except You.)

Then Allahu akbar is said 3 times, every time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them except the last time when they are folded.  Then the Imam recites the Ta’awwudh and Bismillah quietly and then recites Surah Fatiha and another Surah.  Then ruku’ and sujood are performed as in other prayers.  In the second raka’ah, the Imam recites Bismillah quietly and then Surah Fatiha and another Surah loudly and then says Allahu akbar 3 times, each time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them.  Then Allahu akbar is said a fourth time and the congregation goes into ruku’ and finishes the prayer as any other. After the Eid prayer is completed, the Imam stands up and gives two khutbah in Arabic, sitting between them, as was the practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam).

An alternate method of performing twelve extra takbeeraat during the prayer, instead of the six extra that are described above, is also permissible: 7 and then 5 extra takbeeraat are performed during the first and second raka’ah respectively (Umdatus-Saalik, Shafi’ madhhab).


Selected Traditions from Sahih-al-Bukhari: The Chapter of the Two Eids.

      • Narrated Aisha (Radiyallaahu ‘anhaa) that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.”

      • Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (Radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr and then deliver the khutbah after the prayer.

      • Narrated Ibn Abbaas (Radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first 10 days of Dhil Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even jihaad?” He replied, “Not even jihaad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.”

      • Narrated Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (Radiyallaahu ‘anhu): On the day of ‘Eid, the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) used to return (from the prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.

     • Narrated ‘Urwa on the authority of ‘Aisha (Radiyallaahu ‘anhaa) that on the days of Minaa (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhil Hijjah) Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu ‘anhu) came to her while two girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu ‘anhu) scolded them and the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Eid and the days of Minaa.”


Procedure of the Sacrifice

The offering of sacrifice (‘udhiyyah or qurbaani) is of very great virtue. The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam) is reported to have said that during the days of Dhil Hijjah no other thing is dearer to Allah than the qurbaani (sacrifice) and during these days this good act is better than all others. Every drop of blood that falls is accepted by Allah before it reaches the ground and for every hair of the sacrificial animal, one virtue is recorded for one who offers the sacrifice! Therefore, qurbaani should be done with pleasure and a joyous heart. If anyone has the means, then it is desireable for him to offer sacrifice for the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam), his wives and other pious Muslims, and also one’s deceased parents and relatives so that their souls may also benefit by this reward. If a person is able but does not offer qurbaani at least for himself, then it will be not only a misfortune but a sin.

The method of performing the qurbaani is to lay the animal down on the ground with the head towards the Ka’bah and recite the following du’a:

Innee waj-jahtu wajhiya lilladhee fataras-samaawaati wal-arda haneefan wa maa ana minal-mushrikeen
Inna salaatee wa nusukee wa mahyaaya wa mamaatee lillaahi rabbil-‘aalameen • Laa shareeka lahu wa bi dhalika umirtu wa ana aw-walul-muslimeen.
Allaahumma minka wa laka                   Bismillaahi Allaahu akbar
(Verily I divert my attention to the Lord Who has created the heavens and the earth: (I do so) as one by nature upright, and I am not of the idolaters. Truly my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allah the Lord of the Worlds – He has no partner and thus am I commanded and I am the first of those who surrender to Him.  Oh Allah! (This sacrifice is) from You and for You;   In the name of Allah. Allah is the Greatest!…)

Then, while reciting Bismillahi Allahu akbar, cut the throat of the animal and then recite the following prayer:

Allaahumma taqabbalhu minnee kamaa taqabbalta min habeebika Muhammadin wa khaleelika Ibraahima ‘alayhimas-salaatu was-salaam
(O Allah! Accept this from me as You accepted it from Your beloved Muhammad and Your befriended Ibrahim, peace and blessings be upon them both.)


      • It is most undesireable to slaughter an animal with a blunt knife because it is extremely painful for the animal. It is also execrable to remove its skin or to break its bones before the animal is cold.

      • The period of sacrifice is on any of the 3 days of Eid-ul-Adha but the best time of sacrifice is the first day and then the second.

      • Offering of the sacrifice should be done after the prayer, not before.

      • The sacrifice is to be performed by anyone who fulfils the requirements of giving Sadaqatul-Fitr.

      • The sacrifice of goat, sheep, bull, buffalo or camel – whether male or female – is permissible.

      • One-third of the sacrificed meat should be given in charity to the poor and the rest is to be consumed by oneself and given as a gift to relatives and friends. However, if less than one-third is given in charity, it will not be a sin.


This is only a very brief account of the do’s and don’ts of qurbaani and Eid-ul-Adha. Please consult your local Imam and/or an authentic book on this subject. A recommended book is Bahishti Zewar (Heavenly Ornaments) by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi.


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Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756