Saudi Arabia has confirmed that the first day of Eid ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Sunday, May 24, which suggests Muslims in India and will observe the auspicious occasion following the completion of Ramadan on Monday, May 25. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary lockdowns in place to curb the spread of the virus, mass gatherings have been banned. It also means, Eid prayers, which are held in open grounds and mosques in large numbers, won't be taking place this year.
Mosques, like other places of worship, have been closed in India since late-March. Since Eid prayers will not be held in a mass congregation, Muslims can offer their Eid prayers at their homes as prescribed by clerics and Muslim bodies in India. Since most Muslims are used to following Imam's (a religious scholar) lead in the special prayers of Eid, which are slightly different than the regular prayers offered by Muslims on a daily basis.
How to offer Eid prayer at home
If you're puzzled about how to offer the special prayers of Eid, especially if you are the one leading it. Eid prayers can be offered in the homes with the members of the family following one person's lead. But make sure this does not include inviting relatives and friends as any kind of gathering is strictly prohibited during COVID-19.
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to offer Eid ul-Fitr namaz (Hanafi School of Islamic fiqh):
Step 1: Making intention of offering two Rakats of Eid prayer behind the Imam with six additional Takbeers.
Step 2: Imam will say the first Takbeer of "Allahu Akbar", then everyone should raise their hands and form Qiyam position, where you put your hands on the chest with the right hand on top of the left.
Step 3: Imam will then say two more Takbeers and each time the followers must raise both hands and put them on the sides.
Step 4: In the fourth Takbeer, you must raise your hand and form Qiyam position. The Imam will then recite Surah Al-Fatihah (the opening chapter of the Quran) followed by another Surah.
Step 5: When the Imam says the Takbeer after reciting the Quran, follow the Imam's lead into Ruku, which is the bowing position. Complete the rest of the first Rakat as usual.
Step 6: When you stand for Qiyam in the second Rakat, Imam will recite Surah Al-Fatihah (opening chapter of Quran) followed by another Surah.
Step 7: When the Imam says the Takbeer of "Allahu Akbar", do not go into Ruku, instead raise your hands and put them on the sides.
Step 8: For the second and third Takbeer, you follow the Imam's lead to raise your hands and rest them on the sides.
Step 9: When the fourth Takbeer is given, you go into Ruku (the bowing position).
Step 10: The rest of the salat is as usual with two sujoods (prostrations) and Tashshahud in the sitting position.
Normally, there would be a sermon after the Eid prayers, but since you will be offering the namaz of Eid ul-Fitr at home, there won't be a sermon, also called Khutba.