Praise be to Allaah.
Doing ghusl on Eid is mustahabb.
It was narrated that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did ghusl on the
day of Eid.
It was also narrated that some of the Sahaabah did ghusl on
the day of Eid, such as ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ and Ibn
‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them).
Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’:
All the isnaads (of these
reports) are weak and false except the report of Ibn ‘Umar. The evidence
which may be taken as proof that it is mustahabb is the report of Ibn ‘Umar,
and analogy with Jumu’ah.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
There are two weak (da’eef) ahaadeeth concerning this matter,
but it was proven from Ibn ‘Umar, who was very keen to follow the Sunnah,
that he used to do ghusl for Eid before going out.
With regard to the time when one should do ghusl for Eid:
It is better to do that after Fajr prayer, but if one does it
before Fajr that is sufficient, because of the shortness of time available
after Fajr, because the people need to go to offer the Eid prayer and the
prayer place may be far away.
It says in al-Muntaqa Sharh Muwatta’ al-Imaam Maalik:
It is mustahabb to do ghusl just before going out to the
prayer-place. Ibn Habeeb said that the best time to do ghusl for Eid is
after praying Fajr. Maalik said in al-Mukhtasar that if one does
ghusl for Eid before Fajr that is acceptable.
In Sharh Mukhtasar (2/102), Khaleel said that the time
for ghusl for Eid is during the last one-sixth of the night.
Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni:
The time for ghusl (for
Eid) is after the dawn comes, according to the apparent meaning of
al-Khiraqi’s words. Al-Qaadi and al-Aamidi said: Ghusl before Fajr does not
fulfil the Sunnah of doing ghusl, because the ghusl for a prayer should be
done on that day and doing it before dawn does not meet that condition, as
is the case with ghusl for Jumu’ah. Ibn ‘Aqeel said: What is mentioned in
the texts from Ahmad is (that it may be done) before Fajr and after, because
the time for Eid is more limited than the time for Jumu’ah, so if it is
limited to the time after Fajr one may not be able to do it. And because the
purpose behind it is to cleanse oneself, which may be achieved by doing
ghusl at night because it is close to the time of prayer. But it is better
to do it after Fajr, so as to avoid an area of scholarly dispute and to be
more clean, because that is closer to the time of prayer.
Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’:
Concerning the time when
this ghusl is valid, there are two well-known opinions. The view that it
should be after dawn breaks was stated in al-Umm and the more correct
view according to scholarly consensus is that it is permissible to do it
both after Fajr and before.
Al-Qaadi Abu al-Tayyib said in his book al-Mujarrad,
al-Shaafa’i stated in al-Buwayti that ghusl for Eid is valid before
Al-Nawawi said: If we say
that according to the more correct view it is valid before dawn, then the
most sound and most well-known view is that it is valid after half the night
has passed, but it is not valid before then. The second view is that it is
valid at any time of the night. This was the view of al-Ghazaali, and was
the view favoured by Ibn al-Sabbaagh and others. The third view is that it
is only valid just before Fajr. This was the view of al-Baghawi.
Based on this, there is nothing wrong with doing ghusl for
Eid before Fajr prayer if that will make it easier to go out to the Eid prayer.
And Allaah knows best.