Question and answer details
|Salam. There is a prayer chanted before Eid Prayer: Allahu Akbar (three times) la ilaha illa-llah, Allahu Akbar (twice) wa lil-lahil-hamd, Allahu Akbaru Kabeeran, wal hamdu lillahi katheeran… Could you please tell me the English translation of the whole prayer and the significance of this prayer?Many thanks.|
Thank you for your question.
Let us quickly review the background of the chant you mentioned; it is called Takbir of Eid. Eid means an Islamic public celebration. Such celebrations occur twice a year, each time following the completion of one of the five pillars of Islam. The first, Eid al-Fitr, marks the completion of fasting the blessed month of Ramadan, which is the fourth pillar of Islam. The second is Eid al-Adha, and marks the completion of Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah), which is the fifth pillar of Islam.
According to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) everyone is urged to attend Eid Prayer—men, women, and children. During Eid, Muslims express their gratitude to Allah for enabling them to observe the major acts of worship preceding each Eid. They also visibly show joy and congratulate each other. Therefore, Eid is a day of joy, thanksgiving to Allah, brotherhood, and unity.
Muslims have no public celebrations apart from Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The Prophet said what means: "Every nation has its festival, and this is your festival." Here, he referred to the fact that these two Eids are exclusively for the Muslims.
The time for Eid Prayer is when the sun has risen about three meters (10 feet) above the horizon. Eid Prayers cannot be said after midday. It is better to hold Eid Prayers in the open if there is no rain or bad weather. The Prophet never performed Eid Prayers in the mosque except once due to rain.
There is neither Adhan (call to prayer) nor Iqamah (second call to prayer) for these prayers, which consist of two rak`ahs with twelve takbirs (Allahu Akbar); seven in the first rak`ah and five in the second. After performing prayer, the imam delivers a khutbah (sermon, speech) just like Friday khutbah.
It is also considered a good Islamic practice to visit one another and exchange gifts. The Prophet said, "Exchange gifts in order to foster love." (Al-Bukhari in his book Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)
There are other forms used by the Prophet's Companions and reported to us from trusted chains of transmission. They are generally combinations of the expressions below, which are the most respected forms of praise and exaltation to Allah in Prophetic traditions.
They are to be recited loudly and in unison by everyone attending Eid Prayer and everyone on their way there. This show of power enforces the feeling of unity and solidarity and declares the joy of Eid to all. Here are the meanings of the expressions used.
It means "Allah is the Greatest." Muslims praise Allah in every aspect of life, and as such, they say "Allahu Akbar" as they proceed to Eid Prayer.
It means "There is no god worthy of worship except Allah." The second part of this declaration is to say "Muhammadun Rasul Allah," which means "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
It means "all praise be to Allah" and is said as an expression of thanks and gratitude to Allah. A Muslim (a person who chooses to submit peacefully to the Creator) invokes the praises of Allah when he finishes any work, thanking Allah for His favors. A Muslim is grateful to Allah for all His blessings. It is a statement of thanks, appreciation, and gratitude from the Creature to his Creator.
It means: "Allah is Exalted. Glory be to Allah. Far removed is He from anything imperfect associated with Him and from anything unsuitably ascribed to Him."