Praying At The Musalla

The Sunnah is to hold the Eid prayer in the open. This outdoor place of prayer is known as the musalla. Abu Sa Eid al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

"The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to go on the day of Fitr and the day of Adha to the musalla; and the first thing he did when he reached there was perform the prayer."

The `Allamah (great scholar) Ibn al-Hajj al-Maliki said:

"The established Sunnah for the prayer of the two Eids is to be held in the musalla; for, even though the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

One prayer in this Masjid (mosque) of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other masjid - except for al-Masjidul-Haram (the Sacred Mosque of Makkah).

Yet, and despite this great merit, he (peace be upon him) left it and went out (to the musalla) (on the days of Eid)."

Ibn Qudamah said:

"The Sunnah is to hold the Eid prayer in the musalla. `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) commanded with that; and al-Awza`i recommended it - as did the people of reason; it is also the opinion of Ibnul-Munthir."

As for the one who is incapable to go out to pray in the musalla, because of a weakness or old age, then he may pray in the masjid, and there is no blame on him - insha'Allah.

It should be noted here that the goal of holding the Eid prayer in the musalla is to gather the largest possible number of Muslims in one place.

However, we see in many counties today the establishment of many musallas, even without a need for them. The scholars have warned people against such a thing.

And these numerous musallas have been turned into podiums set up to declare loyalty to different parties and divide the word of Muslims. Indeed, there is no might or power except from Allah.

Taking Different Routes

Jabir Bin `Abdillah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

"The Prophet (peace be upon him) would take different routes on the day of the Eid."

Ibnul-Qayyim said:

"He (peace be upon him) would take different routes on the day of the Eid, going one way and returning another one. It has been said that the wisdom behind this is:

to greet the people of both routes,

so that the people of both routes will receive blessings from him (through his supplication, salam, etc),

to fulfill the needs of the needy on both routes,

to display (by the Takbir, etc.) the Islamic rites,

(and the best opinion of all:) for all of these reasons, in addition to other aspects of wisdom that are always associated with his (peace be upon him) actions."

After mentioning the above opinions, Imam an-Nawawi said:

"Even if the reason were not known, it would still be absolutely recommended to follow his example; and Allah knows best."

Going Early

Imam al-Baghawi said:

"It is recommended for the people, as soon as they complete the Subh (morning) prayer, to head toward the musalla and sit in their places there, saying the Takbirs. As for the Imam, he should arrive just at the time of the prayer."


It should be noted as well that it is recommended, for those who are capable of doing it, to walk to the musalla. `Ali (t) said:

"It is of the Sunnah that you go to the Eid walking."