When announcing the start of Salat-ul-`Eid

Q: We notice that during Salat-ul-Istisqa’ (Prayer for rain) and Salat-ul-‘Eid (the Festival Prayer) the Imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) comes to the Musalla (place for Prayer) and performs two Rak‘ahs. He recites the Takbir (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]") one after another without saying a Du‘a’ (supplication) between them, or Tahmid (saying: "Al-hamdu lillah [All praise is due to Allah]"), or Tasbih (saying: "Subhan Allah [Glory be to Allah]"). However, when I read the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah be merciful to Him), and looked closely into the manner of performing Salat-ul-Istisqa’ and Salat-ul-‘Eid, I found the following: They are performed without an Adhan (call to Prayer) or Iqamah (call to start the Prayer), someone just calls people to gather for the Prayer, saying: "As-Salatu Jami‘ah (Gather for Prayer)." After that the Imam recites the Takbirat-ul-Ihram (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]" upon starting Prayer), recites the Takbir six times in the first Rak‘ah (unit of Prayer) and four times in the second Rak‘ah, or seven in the first Rak‘ah and five in the second. The Imam should separate each Takbir by saying: "Allah is the Greatest of all and all praise be to Allah in abundance! Glory be to Allah, the Great, and all praise be to Him in the morning and in the evening. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions in abundance."I noticed, dear Shaykh, that some Imams do not recite this Du‘a’ out loud or subvocally, or summon the people to the Salah (Prayer) by saying, "As-Salatu Jami‘ah" before the Salah. The call, recitation of Takbir and Tahmid, and invocation of Allah’s Blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) are authentically reported in the Noble Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and should be said between each two utterances of Takbir. I would like Your Eminence to explain the ruling on the previously mentioned Takbir, Tahmid, and invocation of Allah’s Blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) between each two utterances of Takbir, and the call before Prayer. Is it permissible for the Imam to not recite them, or should he recite them out loud or subvocally in the Salah, even though it is an act of Sunnah. Eight years ago or so, I heard that some Imams recite them out loud (Part No. 8; Page No. 316) between each Takbir, from a righteous Imam who often practices I‘tikaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid) in Allah's Sacred House (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah) and in Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah). I hope that Your Eminence give us a precise answer and call all Imams to act upon the Sunnah and to honor the obligation of adhering to it and not to ignore it, or to trespass it by committing Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) based on falseness and personal views. We appreciate your guidance and may Allah reward you with the best!

A: Firstly: summoning people to offer salat-ul-‘Eid or salat-ul-Istisqa’ by saying: "As-salatu Jami‘ah" or other words is not permissible. In fact, it is a newly-invented Bid‘ah, because it was not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did so. In fact, he (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have said this before Salat-ul-Kusuf (Prayer at the time of a solar eclipse). The basic ruling is that acts of ‘Ibadah (worship) are Tawqifiy (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion), as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” and in another narration, “Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam), will have it rejected.” Secondly: The correct view on the recitation of the Takbir in Salat-ul-‘Eid is that it should be recited seven times in the first Rak‘ah (unit of Prayer), including the Takbirat-ul-Ihram, and five times in the second Rak‘ah without Takbirat-ul-Qiyam (saying: "Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]" upon rising from prostration), according to the authentically reported evidence from the Prophet (peace be upon him). As to the Adhkar (invocations and remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) recited between the utterances of Takbir, we do not know of any proven Sunnah regarding them, they are in fact reported from `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Hudhayafah, and Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ary (may Allah be pleased with them). Abu Bakr Al-Athram reported that from them, as was mentioned by the author of "Al-Mughni" [Ibn Qudamah. Trans.] (may Allah be merciful to him). (Part No. 8; Page No. 317) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.