In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.
It was narrated that when Rasūlullāh (Salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) emigrated from Makkah Mukarramah to Madinah Munawwarah, he learnt of the two days of festivity which the people had inherited from the time of Jahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic era). These two days of festivals were days of sport and amusement associated with evil and immoral customs.
Anas bin Malik (radiyallāhu`anhu) reported: “When the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) came to Medinah they had two days of sport and amusement. The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) announced, and said: “Allah, the Exalted, has exchanged these days for two days better than them: the day of breaking the fast and the day of sacrifice.” This is recorded by an-Nasa'ie and Ibn Hibban with a sahih chain.
Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (rahimahullah) said: Both these days have been reserved as days of festivity and celebration; such festivity and celebration that would be within the limits prescribed for joy by the Shari‘ah. It is for this reason that the ‘Ulama state that, expressing one’s delight and joy on these days is not only meritorious but in fact forms part of the salient features of Islam. [Fathul Bari p.950]
It is commendable to visit relatives and friends seeking forgiveness to rekindle good relationship and congratulate one another on The Days of 'Eid that have been reported from the Sahabah (radhiyallāhu`anhu). It is also considered a good Islamic practice to exchange gifts. The true spirit of Eid is reflected in generosity including to the poor and the needy. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, "Exchange gifts in order to foster love." (Al-Bukhari in his book Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)
It is commendable to greet one another. The Greeting and congratulating one another with special wordings is another aspect which enhances the joy of this day. This has been the practice of the honorable Sahabah (radhiyallahu‘anhum), Tabieen (rahimahumullah) as well as those coming thereafter. There are several narrations which support this practice of theirs. A few of these are quoted below:
Jubayr Ibn Nufayr (radhiyallahu‘anhu) states, “When the Sahabah (radiyallahu anhum) of Rasulullah (Salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) met one another on the day of Eid, they would say to each other, ‘Taqab-balallāhu minnā wa minkum (May Allah accept (the worship) from us and from you!)” [Muhamiliyat, kaza fil Fathul Bari (952); Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (rahimahullah) said that its chain is hasan].
Muhammad Ibn Ziyad (rahimahullah), a Tabi’ee, states: “I used to be with Abu Umamah Al Bahilee and several other Sahabah (radiyallahu‘anhum). (I noticed that) when they would return (from the Solatul Eid), they would say to one another, ‘Taqab-balallāhu minnā wa minkum (May Allah accept (the worship) from us and from you!)” [Juwharun Naqee’ v.3 p.319]
One should also take note that the customary practice of shaking the hands and embracing one another immediately after the Eid solah as Eid congratulation is incorrect. This should be changed with hikmah (tact and wisdom). [Raddul Muhtar v.6 p.381; Ahsanul Fatawa v.1 p.354]
The servant of Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz (rahimahullah), Adham, mentions: “We used to congratulate Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Khalifah, on both the Eids with the words, ‘O leader of the Muslims! Taqab-balallahu minnā wa minkum (May Allah accept (the worship) from us and from you.)’ He would reply with the very same words and he would not disapprove of this practice.” [Sunanul Kubra Lilbayhaqi v.3 p.319]
The books of ahadith recorded other similar incidents of this nature to support this noble practice of greeting one another with these words.
To sum up the discussion, we quote the statement of Imam Abu Bakar Al-Ājurrī (rahimahullah) whose practice was to only record and mention the selected and preferred practices of the Sahabah (radiyallahu anhum). Al-Ājurrī (rahimahullah) states regarding these greetings, “This was the (continuous) practice of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu‘anhum) as well as that of the ‘Ulama.” [Al Insaf v.2 p.441; kaza Fi Juzin Fit-Tahniati Fil A’yadi Wa Ghayriha libni Hajar] The Fuqaha (Jurists) mention, “This (type of greeting) is a commendable and praiseworthy practice since it is supported by many incidents of the Sahabah (radhyiallahu anhum) and Tabi’een.” [Hashiyatut Tahtawi p.530]
A closer glance at the meaning of the duā’ will reveal the intense well wishing it contains for one’s fellow Muslim brothers. So instead of us opting for the words ‘Eid Mubarak’ only (which is correct), let us combine it with the very same words which the Sahabah (radiyallahu anhum) as well as those who came thereafter used when they verbally greeted and congratulated one another on the days of the two Eid, that is, the under mentioned duā’:
تَقَبَّلَ الله ُمِنَّا وَمِنْكُمْ
Taqab-balallāhu minnā wa minkum
(May Allah accept (the worship) from us and from you!)
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Via The Guiding Light Sept 22, 2008]