The days of the two Eids are days of joy and happiness, and these days are singled out for some acts of worship, special practices, and traditions, including the following:
1. Doing ghusl:
This is narrated in saheeh reports from some of the Sahaabah.
A man asked ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) about bathing and he said: Bathe every day if you wish. He said: No, (I mean) bathing in the sense of ghusl (as an act of worship). He said: (Do ghusl) on Fridays, the day of ‘Arafah, the Day of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) and the day of al-Fitr (Eid al-Fitr).
2. Wearing new clothes to beautify oneself
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) found a suit of brocade being offered for sale in the market, so he took it and brought it to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, buy this and adorn yourself with it for ‘Eid and for (meeting) the delegations. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “This is only a garment for the one who has no share in the Hereafter.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (906) and Muslim (2068).
What we may conclude from this hadith is that it is prescribed to beautify oneself for Eid because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) basically approved of ‘Umar’s idea about beautifying oneself for Eid, and he only objected to the one who would wear such a suit because it was made of silk.
3. Putting on the best perfume
It is narrated in a saheeh report from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to put on perfume on the day of al-Fitr, as it says in Ahkaam al-‘Eidayn by al-Firyaabi (p. 83)
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Maalik said: I heard the scholars describing it as mustahabb (encouraged) to adorn oneself and put on perfume on every Eid.
That was also regarded as mustahabb by Ibn Rajab
This beautifying oneself and putting on perfume is only to be done at home in the case of women, in front of their husbands, fellow women and mahrams.
With regard to women, if they go out they should not adorn themselves; rather they should go out in scruffy clothes and not wear beautiful clothes or put on perfume, because of the fear that they may cause temptation. The same applies to old women. And they should not mix with men; rather they should be in a separate area from them.
It is Sunnah to recite takbeer on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, for the one who sights the moon, because Allah, may He exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah (i.e. to say Takbeer (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal) for having guided you…” [al-Baqarah 2:185]. Completing the same number of days means completing the fast. Recitation of takbeer ceases when the imam comes out to deliver the khutbah [before the Eid prayer].
5. Visiting one another
On Eid there is nothing wrong with visiting relatives, neighbours and friends. This is something that people are accustomed to doing on the Eids, and it was said that this is one of the reasons for changing one’s route when coming back from the Eid prayer place.
Most of the scholars are of the view that it is mustahabb to go to the Eid prayer via one route and come back via a different route.
It was narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: On the day of Eid, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to come back via a different route.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari.
6. Congratulating one another
This may be done in any permissible wording, the best of which is: “Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum (May Allah accept it from us and from you),” because this is what is narrated from the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them).
It was narrated that Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: When the Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) met one another on the day of Eid, they would say to one another: “Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum (May Allah accept it from us and from you).”
7. Enjoying fine food and drink
There is nothing wrong with enjoying fine food and drink, or eating good food, whether that is at home or at a restaurant outside the home, but it is not permissible for that to be in a restaurant in which alcohol is served, or a restaurant in which music is played or in which men can see non-mahram woman.
In some countries it may be better to go for a trip on land or on the water so as to get away from places in which there is free mixing between men and women, or in which there are other things that are contrary to Islamic teaching.
It was narrated that Nubayshah al-Hudhali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The days of at-Tashreeq are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah.” Narrated by Muslim.
We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to accept from us and from our righteous deeds, and to guide us and you to that which is best for us in both religious and worldly terms.
And Allah knows best.