Sunan of 'Eid
Dr. Amin ibn 'Abdullah Ash-Shaqawy
All praise be to Allah, and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah (peace be
upon him). I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone who has no
partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.
So, we ask Allah to accept Ramadan from us as He helped us reach Ramadan,
fast, and perform Qiyam, for He is the Most Generous.
Of the things which we should remind of is: The rulings pertaining to
Salat-ul-'Eid (the Festival Prayer) and what should a Muslim do on the Day of
'Eid according to the authentic Sunnah reported from the Prophet (peace be
upon him); of which are:
First, a Muslim should take a shower and apply perfume as was desirable to
some scholars. It was reported from Ibn 'Umar that he used to take a shower
before going to Salat-ul-'Eid.
Some scholars said: It is desirable to remove the hair of the armpit, clip the
nails and wearing new clothes because these actions are parts of adornment.
It was authentically reported from Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)
that he used to wear his best clothes in the Two Days of 'Eid. 
Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: The Prophet (peace be
upon him) used to wear his most beautiful clothes for 'Eid, so he had a
garment which he used to wear on the Two Days of 'Eids and on Friday." 
Second, it is desirable for a person to eat odd number of dry dates before
going to Salat-ul-'Eid. Odd number is: three, five, or seven. Anas (may Allah
be pleased with him) said: Allah's Messenger never proceeded (to Salah) on the
Day of 'Eid-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The
Prophet used to eat odd number of dates."
Third, it is desirable for a person to go for Salah from one way and come back
from a different way. Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "On the Day
of 'Eid the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to return (after offering the 'Eid
prayer) through a way different from that by which he went." 
Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Indeed, in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad
peace be upon him) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for
(the Meeting with) Allâh and the Last Day, and remembers Allâh much." [Surat
Al Ahzab: 21].
Fourth, it is a Sunnah to perform Salat-ul-'Eid in the open air and not inside
majids; because that was the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as
was decided by a group of scholars.
Fifth, it was not reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he
offered a supererogatory Salah before or after Salat-ul-'Eid. It was reported
by Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon
him) went to perform Salat-ul-'Eid then he performed the Salah without
performing Salah before or after."
However, if Salah is performed inside a masjid, a person should offer two
Rak'ahs as Salah Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid (two-unit-Salah to greet the masjid). Abu
Qatadah As-Sulamy (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet
(peace be upon him) said: "If anyone of you enters a masjid, he should pray
two Rak'ahs before sitting." 
Sixth, when a person comes back home, it is permissible for him to perform two
Rak'ahs. It was reported from Abu Sa'id Al Khudry (may Allah be pleased with
him) that he said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used not to offer Salah
before Salat-ul-'Eid, but when he returned home, he would offer two Rak'ahs."
Seventh, it is desirable to start saying: "Allah Akbar" [Allah is the
Greatest] from the setting of the sun on the night of 'Eid until the Imam
comes to perform Salat-ul-'Eid, however some scholars made it obligatory
because of Allah's Saying: "The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the
Qur'ân, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the
criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on
the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he
must observe Saum (fast) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the
same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fast) must be made up]
from other days. Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make
things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number
(of days), and that you must magnify Allâh [i.e. to say Takbîr (Allâhu Akbar;
Allâh is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to
Him." [Surat Al Baqarah: 185].
A person should pronounce Takbir "Allahu Akbar" since he leaves his home until
the Imam comes to the praying place, and that Takbir is permissible by the
agreement of the Four Imams (Abu Hanifah, Malik, Al-Shafi'y, and Ahmad). It
was reported from Ibn 'Umar that he used to go out for Salat-ul-'Eid starting
from the masjid (after performing the Fajr Salah) and continued pronouncing
Takbir until he reached the praying place and until the Imam comes. 
It was reported from Ibn Mas'ud that he used to say: Allahu Akbar, Allahu
Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah, Wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Walillahi Al Hamd.
[Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. No god but Allah, and Allah is
the greatest. Allah is the greatest and praise be to Him]." It is desirable to
pronounce Takbir in masjids, homes, and paths.
Eighth, Salat-ul-'Eid is stressed to be performed by men and women equally,
however some scholars said: It is obligatory on them and held the Hadith of Um
'Atiyyah as a proof that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The unmarried
young virgins and the mature girl who stay often screened or the young
unmarried virgins who often stay screened and the menstruating women should
come out, but the menstruating women should keep away from the praying place.
Let them participate in the good deeds as well as the religious gathering of
the faithful believers."
Ninth, congratulating people on the 'Eid. It was reported from some Companions
that they used to say in 'Eid: "May Allah accept from you and from us." as was
mentioned by the Shaykh of Islam, Ibn Taymiyah, (may Allah bestow mercy on his
Praised be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds [i.e., people], and peace be upon
our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and all his Companions.
 Muwatta' Malik (1/189).
 Sunan Al Bayhaqy (3/281).
 Zad Al Ma'ad (1/441).
 Sahih Al Bukhari (1/302) No. (953).
 Sahih Al Bukhari (1/311) No. (986).
 Sahih Al Bukhari (1/312) No. (989).
 Sahih Al Bukhari (1/160) No. (444) and Sahih Muslim (1/495) No. (714).
 Sunan Ibn Majah, (1/410) No. (1293) Al Hakim graded it as authentic, and
Al Hafizh ibn Hajar graded it as good in Fathul-Bary (2/476).
 Sunan Ad-Daraqutny (2/44) No. (4).
 Musannaf Ibn Abu Shaybah (2/167).
 Sahih Al Bukhari (1/310) No. (980).