Is it really forbidden to fast on all four days of Eid al-Adha? Why is it?
It is forbidden to fast on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, and on all four days of Eid al-Adha. This is because those days are the days to eat, drink, share and celebrate the blessings that God has granted us. There are several hadiths related to this prohibition:
A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) said that:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) forbade to observe fast on two days: the day of Fitr and the day of Adha.” (Muslim asl-Siyam 22)
It was narrated that Abu ‘Ubaid said:
“I was present for ‘Eid with ‘Umar bin Khattab. He started with the prayer before the sermon and said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade fasting on these two days, the Day of Fitr and the Day of Adha. As for the Day of Fitr, it is the day when you break your fast, and on the Day of Adha you eat the meat of your sacrifices.’” (Bukhari, Sawm 66, Adahi 16; Muslim, Siyam 138; Abi Dawood, Siyam, 49; Tirmidhi, Sawm 37; Nasai, Eidayn 1, 10; Ibn Majah, Siyam 36; Muwatta, Eidayn 5; Ahmed b. Hanbal, 1/34, 40)
Nubaisha al-Hudhali reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
“The days of Tashriq are the days of eating and drinking.” (Muslim, Sawm, 23, 1141)
Uqbah bin Amir narrated that The Messenger of Allah said:
“The Day of Arafah, the Day of Nahr, and the Days of Tashriq are Eid for us. The people of Islam and they are days of eating and drinking” (Tirmidhi, Sawm, 59, 773; Nasa, Hajj, 1, 2619; Abi Dawood, Siyam, 815, 2419)
The days of tashriq are the 11th, 12th, 13th of the month Dhi’l Hijjah, which are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th days of Eid al-Adha.
This prohibition is also compliant with the verse about sacrifice. Sacrificials can be slaughtered on all four days of the Eid al-Adha. When it is sacrificed, eating of it is commanded. To be able to comply with the command, one must be not fasting:
“We have made sacrifical beasts of the symbols that represent the worship to God. There is much good in them for you, so invoke God’s name over them as they are lined up for sacrifice, then, when when they collapse on their sides, eat of them and feed both those who ask and those who are too shy to ask. In this way We have subjected them to you so that you may fulfill your duties.” (al-Hajj 22:36)