Praying Eid Prayer at Home during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Updated: 4 days ago

Praying the Eid Prayer at home for whoever has missed this prayer in public congregation is encouraged with the majority of scholarship. This is the choice of Ibn Baz and al-Fawzan.

Subsequently, it is of even higher consideration for the one who is unable to perform it in public congregation to pray this prayer at home. This line of thought is even further impressed in the event public congregation cannot be performed at all due to an extenuating circumstance such as the Coronavirus Pandemic, as we remain under stay at home order.

Hence, whoever prays this prayer in his home, he prays it without a sermon after the prayer, since the sermon is the station of the Imam or whoever stands in his stead.

The majority of scholarship sites as evidence for this the fact that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, if he missed the Eid Prayer with the Imam, would gather his family and pray with them just as the Imam does during the Eid. Al-Bukhari annotates this narration with decisiveness, Ibn Abi Shaybah connects its transmission, and its transmission is sound.

This is because in this situation this prayer is considered voluntary, so it becomes legislated to perform it within the home, just as the remainder of voluntary prayers can be performed within the home. A point of benefit, al-Albani is of the view that the Eid Prayer can be made up if one misses it with a valid excuse.

Hanafi scholarship, along with a party of the jurists, hold the view that the Eid prayer is not to be prayed without the Imam, and whoever misses it does not make it up. This is because their view is the Imam is a condition of the validity of the Eid Prayer. This is the choice of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Uthaymin, may Allah bestow mercy upon them both, since the Eid Prayer was legislated with the Imam to the extent the Prophet ordered all women to come out for this prayer, even the menstruating amongst them, even the one who did not have a veil to cover herself properly, he ordered for her to share the veil of her sister.

The fact that he did not order women to pray this prayer within the home and the fact that he did not order the menstruating to remain in the home is all indicative of this prayer being legislated in public congregation.

What is apparent to me, and Allah knows best, is this matter has elasticity. Take note of the fact that the jurists who are speaking about this matter within the books of jurisprudence are only speaking to the academics of the one who misses the Eid Prayer making it up in a country in which the Eid Prayer is prayed in public congregation. A land in which the Eid Prayer is not established is a separate issue entirely.

A remaining point of complication is not establishing the Eid Prayer in public congregation due to the excuse of a stay at home order. If a man prays the Eid Prayer with his family under these circumstances, does he also deliver a sermon? The view of ancient scholarship is that he does not deliver a sermon, as the Imam would deliver the sermon. As for if the Eid Prayer is not being established in public congregation at all, then I have not come across a statement of scholarship in that regard, and I am reluctant to present a statement without having a precedent for it amongst our body of scholarship, so this point remains as an academic topic of research.

Shaykh Sulayman bin Salim Allah ar-Ruhayli, Phd.

Thursday, the 14th of Ramadan 1441 anno Hejirae coinciding with the 7th of May 2020 anno Domini.

Translated from the Original Arabic by Kenneth “Aqil” Ingram II with adjustment.

Wednesday, the 20th of Ramadan 1441 anno Hejirae coinciding with the 13th of May 2020 anno Domini.

Source: The Official Twitter Account of Shaykh Sulayman bin Salim Allah ar-Ruhayli, Phd.; @solyman24.

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