Is it permissible in the Hanafi Mazhab (jurisprudence) to offer Eid prayer at home during the current Covid-19 restrictions?
In the name of Allah; Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
According to the Hanafi Mazhab (school), it is not permissible to offer Eid prayer at home; individually or in congregation.
Classical Hanafi jurists have assimilated Eid prayer to Friday prayer (Jumu'ah). The prerequisite conditions for Friday prayer, like performance in a city/town, in congregation, public access etc, must all exist in order for Eid prayer to be valid with the exception of khutbah. Just as in the case of not being able to perform Friday prayer one must offer Zuhr prayer, similarly, if one is unable to perform Eid prayer then 4 supererogatory units (nawafil) of al-Duha (mid-morning) prayer with one salaam are recommended to thank Allah, Most High, for His blessings in the month of Ramadan. Many virtues of al-Duha prayer have been mentioned in Prophetic traditions.
Imam Ala'uddin al-Kasani al-Hanafi (d. 587 AH) wrote: "In regards to the prerequisite conditions of the necessity (wujub) and validity (jawaz) of Eid prayer; all the prerequisites for the necessity and validity of Jumu'ah prayer are also the prerequisites for the necessity and validity of the Eid prayer. From amongst the prerequisites are the Muslim ruler, city, congregation, time, however, the khutbah is an exemption as it is sunnah (in Eid prayer) for the khutbah to be offered after the prayer."
(Bada'i al-Sana'i, Volume 2, page 237)
Imam Ala'uddin al-Haskafi al-Hanafi (d. 1088 AH) stated: "If one is unable to perform Eid prayer then he can perform 4 (supererogatory) units like al-Duha (mid-morning) prayer (i.e. without takbeers).'
(Radd al-Muhtar, Volume 3, page 59)
Similarly in the Hanafi School if one misses the Eid prayer, or invalidates it after commencement, there is no method of making up for it (qada) as Imam al-Kasani mentioned: "The correct opinion according to us (the Hanafis) is that the Eid prayer, with its specific description, is known to be an act of worship through its performance by the Holy Prophet (peace me upon him) like the Jumu'ah prayer. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) only offered it in congregation, like jumu'ah prayer, hence it can only be offered with this description. There are conditions stipulated in Eid prayer that cannot be fulfilled in qada, and therefore qada (of Eid prayer) will not be offered like in the case of Jumu'ah prayer. Rather 4 (supererogatory) units will be offered like al-Duha (mid-morning) prayer. If one offers these like al-Duha prayer to attain reward then this is recommended because it is narrated by Ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him) that he said; "Whosoever misses the Eid prayer should perform 4 units of prayer."
(Bada'i al-Sana'i, Volume 2, page 249)
In conclusion, according to the Hanafi Mazhab (school), it is impermissible to offer Eid prayer at home. If one misses the Eid prayer, or invalidates it after commencement, there is no method of making up for it (qada), rather 4 (supererogatory) units will be offered like al-Duha (mid-morning) prayer (without any extra takbirs or khutbah). If one offers these to attain rewards then this is desirable and an act of great virtue. No doubt Allah and His beloved Messenger know best.
Answered by Mufti Zulfiqar Haidar Pirzada al-Azhari