There are two ‘Id festivals in a year. One is called ‘Idul-Fitr and the other, which comes about 10 weeks later is called ‘Idul-Adha. ‘Idul-Fitr is celebrated at the end of the month of fasting. On this day, Muslims rejoice for having been given the strength to fulfil their obligation of fasting.
‘Idul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th of the month of Dhul-Hajj to commemorate the obedience of Hadrat Ibrahim(as) (Abraham) and his son Hadrat Ishmael(as) (Isma’il). Allah accepted the devotion and obedience of both of them and directed that a lamb be sacrificed instead of Hadrat Ishmael(as). Muslims who gather in Makkah for Hajj, offer their sacrifices on the occasion of ‘Idul-Adha, following the example of Prophet Ibrahim(as). This act of sacrificing animals is repeated by Muslims all over the world.
All Muslims, men, women, and children, join in the congregational two Rak‘at Prayer held in the open outside a village or town, if possible, on both ‘Idul-Fitr and ‘Idul-Adha occasions.
Early in the morning, on an ‘Id day, after taking a bath, Muslims, young and old, put on their best clothes. Children specially, wear new garments. Perfume is worn by men and women alike, as it was the practice of the Holy Prophet(sa) to wear perfume on such occasion. Specially dishes are prepared on ‘Id days in Muslim homes.
On the occasion of ‘Idul-Fitr, one should pay Fitranah before the ‘Id Prayer. Fitranah is spent on the poor and needy so that they, too, can join in the festivities of ‘Id. Every member of the household is required to contribute towards the Fitranah at the rate fixed for that year. Fitranah is due in respect of children also, even of newborn babies, whose parents are expected to make the nescessary payments. One should have a full breakfast before proceeding to the ‘Id-gah, the place where ‘Id Prayer is offered. On the occasion of ‘Idul-Adha, it is reported that the Holy Prophet(sa) preferred not to eat anything until he slaughtered his own animal for sacrifice. With the meat of that sacrifice he would have the first meal of the day, but to eat before that is not forbidden.
As was the practice of the Holy Prophet(sa) Muslims generally go to the ‘Id-gah by one route and return by another route.
The time for ‘Id Prayer is before noon. Like Friday Prayer, ‘Id Prayer is always offered in congregation. No Adhan or Iqamah is called for ‘Id Prayers.
In the first Rak‘at of ‘Id Prayer, after reciting Takbir-i-Tahrimah and Thana’, but before reciting Ta‘awwudh the Imam raises his hands to his earlobes seven times saying Allahu Akbar each time in a loud voice and then drops his arms to his side each time until after the seventh Takbir when he folds his arms the normal fashion and proceeds with the Prayer. The followers also raise their hands to their earlobes saying Allahu Akbar but in an inaudible voice and then leave their hands hanging by their sides as done by the Imam. In the second Rak‘at there are five Takbirat, i.e. the Imam and the followers raise their hands to their ears five times saying Allahu Akbar and then leaving them hanging on their sides each time.
At the end of second Rak‘at, after the recitation of Tashahhud, and Durud and some of the prescribed Prayers, the Imam turns his face towards the right saying Assalamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullah and then turns his face to the left saying the same, to mark the end of the Prayer.
After the ‘Id Prayer, the Imam delivers a sermon. Like for the Friday Prayer, ‘Id sermon consists of two parts. It should be noted that the sermon for the Friday Prayer precedes the Prayer, while on the occasion of ‘Id, the sermon follows the Prayer.
After the two Rak‘at of ‘Idul-Adha Prayer, the Imam and the congregation recite the following words of glorification of God in an audible voice:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil hamd.
Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest. There is none worthy of worship except Allah; Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and all Praise belongs to Him.
Similarly, from the time of Fajr Prayer on the 9th Dhul-Hajj till the ‘Asr time of the 13th of Dhul-Hajj, loud recitations of the above verses are made after each congregational Fard Prayer service.
Note: To recite the above-mentioned verses while going to the ‘Id-gah and while coming back, is to follow the practice of the Holy Prophet(sa) of Islam.