Is Eid Salat obligatory?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

According to Islamic jurisprudence, the obligation of performing Salat al-Eid, also known as the Eid prayer, varies among the different schools of thought. The Hanafi scholars consider it to be Wajib, which means it is obligatory and must be performed. The Hanbali school, on the other hand, views it as Fard, which is also a term used to denote something necessary or obligatory. In the context of Salat al-Eid, both Wajib and Fard essentially convey the same meaning.

In contrast, the Maliki and Shafiʽi schools consider Salat al-Eid to be Sunnah Al-Mu’akkadah. This term refers to confirmed Sunnah, meaning an action that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) consistently performed and never abandoned. However, it is important to note that according to these schools, Salat al-Eid is not considered mandatory. While it is highly recommended and strongly encouraged to perform, it does not carry the same level of obligation as the Fard or Wajib acts of worship.

The differing views on the obligation of Salat al-Eid stem from the interpretation of hadiths and the understanding of the early scholars. Each school of thought has its own methodology and principles in deriving rulings from the sources of Islamic law. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find differences in opinions on certain matters, including the obligation of Salat al-Eid.

In practice, Muslims around the world, regardless of their school of thought, generally observe and perform Salat al-Eid as a significant and joyous occasion. It is a communal prayer held on the day of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, marking the end of Ramadan and the culmination of Hajj, respectively. The prayer is typically performed in congregation, led by an imam, and involves specific supplications and actions.

Personal experiences may vary among individuals and communities, but the general consensus is that Salat al-Eid holds great importance and is highly recommended to be observed. It is a time for Muslims to come together, express gratitude, and seek blessings from Allah. The prayer serves as a reminder of unity, brotherhood, and the joyous celebration of important milestones in the Islamic calendar.

According to the Hanafi and Hanbali schools, Salat al-Eid is considered obligatory (Wajib/Fard), while the Maliki and Shafiʽi schools view it as a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah Al-Mu’akkadah) but not mandatory. Regardless of the varying opinions, Salat al-Eid is widely observed and celebrated by Muslims worldwide as a significant and joyous occasion.