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|Title:||Performing Eid prayer in congregation while in cars|
|Scholar:||AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee|
Some people are suggesting that Eid prayer be performed in cars in congregation. What is AMJA's position on this?
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Grantor of Mercy
All praise is due to Allah, and may His peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, his Companions, and those that followed.
The Eid prayer is sunnah (i.e., recommended) according to the Malikis and Shafi’is, an individual obligation according to the Hanafis, and a communal obligation according to the Hanbalis. Based on the position that it is sunnah, there is no problem in not standing during this prayer even if you are able to, for standing in supererogatory prayers is recommended and not obligatory. Distancing between the congregants in prayer due to medical necessity has been discussed previously.
However, there is a problem with changing the appearance of the prayer and that this turns into the norm for the future after these extenuating circumstances end, while there are the alternatives of praying in small groups or praying at home.
Just as Friday prayers were held in mosques with the fewest permissible number of congregants, similarly this is how Eid prayer is to be performed. Eid prayer is more flexible; its sermon is supererogatory and praying in a mosque is not a condition for it (in fact, it is preferred to pray it outdoors). Whoever has missed the Eid prayer for any reason can make up for that by praying it in their home as two raka’at (but not according to the Hanafis), and this can be done in congregation or individually, in its prescribed manner with audible recitation and extra takbirāt or silently without extra takbirāt, such as the two raka’at of Duhā prayer. It can even be prayed as four raka’āt silently, like Dhuhr prayer. All these options are valid and legitimate, and there are reports from the Salaf (righteous predecessors) in this regard.
There is no sin in not performing acts of worship that are not obligatory and are based upon ease, such as sunnah and recommended acts. The request to do them is dropped when there are atypical circumstances. The jurist does not need to feel obligated to find a way to perform them by compromising their conditions, obligatory matters, and pillars. Those who want to can make them up when the excuse for not performing them is no longer present.
And Allah knows best.