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Significance, Meaning, Types & Formats of Takbirs of Eid

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)

By Imam Zijad Delic

Day 243

Ibn Umar (r) narrated that the Prophet (S) said: “There are no days greater and more beloved to Allah then these ten days of Dhul Hijjah, so increase in them your declaration of the oneness of Allah (la ilaha illallah), your exaltation of Him (Allahu Akbar), and your praise of Him (Al Hamdulillah).”

مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أَعْظَمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ الْعَمَلِ فِيهِنَّ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأَيَّامِ الْعَشْرِ فَأَكْثِرُوا فِيهِنَّ مِنْ التَّهْلِيلِ وَالتَّكْبِيرِ وَالتَّحْمِيدِ
Source: Musnad Ahmad

Ten days of Dhul Hijjah are the blessed days in which rewards for doing good deeds are great since these days are loved by Almighty Allah.

One of these righteous deeds during these days is remembering and glorifying Him by reciting the Takbirs.

Allah reminds us about ten days of Dhul Hijjah: “And let them mention or recite Allah’s name in specified days.” (Al Hajj 28)

These are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ
Then Allah also reminds us of the days of Tashriq: “And mention Allah’s name during the given number of days.” (Al Baqarah 203)
وَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَاتٍ
There are two types of Takbir related to Eidul Adha: a) unrestricted (Mutlaq) and restricted (Muqayyad).

Unrestricted Takbir is not limited to specific time.

It is Sunnah to say it all times during these blessed 10 days of Dhul Hijjah – morning or evening, before prayers or after prayers, at home, in the garden, in the car, etc.

There are reports in Bukhari that Omar (r) and Abu Huraira (r) used to go out to the market places during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, reciting Takbir and people will follow.

Restricted Takbir (Muqayyad) is a Tabir recited at the certain time, after Taslim of the obligatory prayers (twenty-three obligatory prayers) during Dhul Hijjah, starting on the Fajr of 9th Day of Dhul Hijjah (the day of ‘Arafah) and continues un til ‘Asr prayer on the 13th day of Dhul Hijjah.

Saying Takbir Tashrik after each the fard prayer during the eid is obligatory according to the Hanafi school; according to the Shafi and Hanbali schools, it is Sunnah; and mandub according to the Maliki school.

Unrestricted and restricted takbirs are combined on these 5 days – the day of ‘Arafah, the day of Eid and the three days of Tashriq or 11th, 12th and 13th.

These recommendations regarding Takbirs are for those who are not in Ihram (people who do not perform Hajj).

As for Hujjaj, they should concentrate on their Ihram and recite Talbiyyah until they throw the first stones at the Day of Sacrifice and then they may recite Takbirs.

If the Hujjaj recite Takbirs with Talbiyyah, it is OK.

Anas (r) narrated that some of the companion would recite the Talbiyyah on the Day of ‘Arafah and they were not told off for doing it, while some others would recite Takbirs and they were not told of for doing it.” (Bukhari)

Narrated Muhammad bin Abu Bakr Al-Thaqafi (r): I asked Anas bin Malik (r) while we were proceeding from Mina to `Arafat, “What did you use to do on this day (the Day of ‘Arafah) when you were with Allah’s Messenger (S) ?” Anas (r) said, “Some of us used to recite Talbiyyah and nobody objected to that, and others used to recite Takbir and nobody objected to that.” (Bukhari)

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ الثَّقَفِيِّ، أَنَّهُ سَأَلَ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ وَهُمَا غَادِيَانِ مِنْ مِنًى إِلَى عَرَفَةَ كَيْفَ كُنْتُمْ تَصْنَعُونَ فِي هَذَا الْيَوْمِ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ كَانَ يُهِلُّ مِنَّا الْمُهِلُّ فَلاَ يُنْكِرُ عَلَيْهِ، وَيُكَبِّرُ مِنَّا الْمُكَبِّرُ فَلاَ يُنْكِرُ عَلَيْهِ‏.

But the more solid (arjah) view of the scholars is that it is better for the Hujjaj to recite the Talbiyyah and for those not in Ihram, it is better that they recite Takbirs.

The matter is broad in scope, because the command is to say Takbir in general, and the Messenger (S) did not single out any particular format of Takbirs.

Allah, may He be exalted, says: “and that you must magnify Allah (i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar – Allah is the Most Great) for having guided you and that you may be grateful.” (Al Baqarah 2:185)

وَلِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Thus, the scholars have different views of the formats of the Takbirs and one may follow the Sunnah by saying any format of the Takbirs below.

Al-San‘aani (r) said: In al-Sharh there are many formats narrated from a number of imams, which indicates that the matter is broad in scope and the general wording of the verse alludes to it. (Subul al-Salaam, 2/72)

Ibn Habeeb said: The dearest to me is to say: Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allah wa Allahu akbar, wa Lillahi al-hamd ‘ala ma hadaana, Allahumma aj‘alna laka min al-shaakireen (Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, there is no god but Allah and Allah is most Great; praise be to Allah for having guided us; O Allah, make us among those who give thanks to You).

The format preferred by Yazeed was: “Allaahu akbaru kabeera wa alhamdu Lillaahi katheera wa subhaan Allaahi bukratan wa aseela, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa Billaah (Allaah is most great, much praise be to Allaah and glory be to Allaah at the beginning and end of the day, and there is no power and no strength except with Allah).” And he said: Whatever you add or subtract, or whatever else you say, there is nothing wrong with it. (‘Aqd al-Jawaahir al-Thameenah, 3/242)

Sahnun said: I said to Ibn al-Qasim: Did Malik (r) mention any particular wording of takbir to you? He said: No. He said: Maalik did not say anything specific concerning these matters. (Al-Mudawwanah, 1/245)

Imam Ahmad said: It is broad in scope. Ibn al-‘Arabi said: Our scholars favored the view that takbir is general in scope, which is the apparent meaning of the Qur’aan, and I am inclined to favour this view. (Al-Jaami‘ li Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, 2/307)

Here are a few formats of takbir for the two Eids that are proven from the early generation of scholars:

“Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa Lillahi al-hamd, Allahu akbar wa ajall, Allahu akbar ‘ala ma hadaana (Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great and to Allah be praise; Allah is most Great and most Glorious, Allah is most Great,as He has guided us).” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 3/315, from Ibn ‘Abbaas (r); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 3/126)

Ibn Hajar said: With regard to the format of the takbir, the most sahih that has been narrated concerning it is that which was narrated by ‘Abd al-Razzaaq with a sahih isnad from Salman who said: “Proclaim Allah’s greatness: Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbaru kabiran. (Fath al-Baari, 2/462)

Indeed, the loud recitation of Takbirs during the Dhul Hijjah days (9th to 13th) is one of the greatest Sunnahs of this day.

One of the simple but powerful transmitted wording of takbir which is easy to memorize and chant aloud is: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la Ilaha illa Allah; Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, walillah al-hamd.“

الله أكبرالله أكبر لا إله إلا الله ، الله أكبرالله أكبر ولله الحمد “

Additionally, there are other forms, as mentioned above, used by the Prophet’s Companions and reported to us from trusted chains of transmission.

Ya Rabb! Keep out tongues busy with the recitation of the Takbirs during these blessed days and soften our hearts with the powerful messages of the Takbirs!

Allahumma Amin!