The majority of scholars, of the four madhhabs and others, are of the view that two khutbahs should be given on Eid, and the imam should sit briefly between them, as is done in the Jumu’ah (Friday) khutbah.
It says in al-Mudawwanah 1/231: Maalik said: In all khutbahs – the khutbah of the imam when praying for rain (istisqa’), the two Eids, the day of ‘Arafah and on Fridays – the imam should separate between the two khutbahs by sitting briefly. End quote.
Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Umm (1/272): It was narrated that ‘Ubayd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Utbah said: The Sunnah on Eid is for the imam to deliver two khutbahs, sitting briefly in between. Al-Shaafa’i said: that applies to the prayers for rain, the khutbah given during the eclipse prayer, the khutbah of Hajj, and every khutbah given to a congregation. End quote.
See Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’, 1/276; al-Mughni, 2/121
Al-Shawkaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on the report quoted above: The second hadeeth makes it more likely to be correct when we draw an analogy with Jumu’ah. ‘Ubayd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd-Allaah is a Taabi’i, as is well known, so his saying, “It is Sunnah” cannot be taken as evidence that it is the Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as is stated in the usool. There is a marfoo’ hadeeth narrated by Ibn Maajah which speaks of sitting in between the two khutbahs of Eid, but its isnaad includes Isma’eel ibn Muslim, who is da’eef (weak). End quote from Nayl al-Awtaar, 3/323
The hadeeth of Ibn Maajah (1279) was narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah, who said: The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out on the day of Fitr or Adha and delivered a khutbah standing, then he sat for a while, then he stood up. This hadeeth was narrated by al-Albaani in Da’eef Ibn Maajah, where he said it is munkar.
It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood (4/4): al-Nawawi said in al-Khulaasah: the report narrated from Ibn Mas’ood, according to which he said, The Sunnah is for two khutbahs to be delivered on Eid, in between which the imam sits briefly, is da’eef and its isnaad is not uninterrupted. There is no proven report about giving more than one khutbah, and the evidence is analogy with Jumu’ah. End quote.
We may conclude from this the evidence which supports the idea of giving two khutbahs is as follows:
1 – The hadeeth of Ibn Maajah and the report of Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him), both of which are da’eef, as stated above.
2 – The report of ‘Ubayd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Utbah, who is a Taabi’i.
3 –Analogy with Jumu’ah
4 – Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah be pleased with him) mentioned a fourth thing that may be quoted as evidence. He (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The phrase ‘two khutbahs’ reflects the view of the fuqaha’ (may Allaah have mercy on him), that there should be two khutbahs on Eid, because that was mentioned in a hadeeth narrated by Ibn Maajah with his isnaad, which requires further examination. The apparent meaning is that two khutbahs should be given, but whoever examines the Sunnah in agreed-upon reports in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere will see that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only gave one khutbah, but after he had finished the first khutbah, he went to the women and exhorted them. If we take this as the basic principle concerning it being prescribed to give two khutbahs, then it is possible, although it is unlikely, because he went to the women and addressed them because they could not hear the khutbah. This is possible. And it may be possible that they could hear his words, but he wanted to address them specifically, hence he reminded them and exhorted them concerning matters that pertained specifically to them. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/191.
The Standing Committee was asked: Should the imam sit between the two khutbahs of Eid?
They replied: The two khutbahs of Eid are Sunnah and come after the Eid prayer, because of the report narrated by al-Nasaa’i, Ibn Maajah and Abu Dawood, from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Saa’ib (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: I attended Eid prayer with the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). When he had finished praying he said: “We will deliver a khutbah; whoever wishes to sit and listen to the khutbah, let him do so, and whoever wants to leave, let him do so.” Al-Shawkaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Nayl: al-Musannif (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This shows that the khutbah is Sunnah; it is were obligatory, it would be obligatory to sit and listen to it.
It is prescribed for the one who delivers two khutbahs on Eid to separate them by sitting briefly, by analogy with the two khutbahs of Jumu’ah, and because of the report narrated by al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) from ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Utbah (may Allaah have mercy on him) who said: The Sunnah is for the Imam to deliver two khutbahs on Eid, sitting briefly in between them.
Some scholars are of the view that there is only one khutbah for Eid prayer, because the saheeh ahaadeeth from the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) speak of only one khutbah. And Allaah knows best.
End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah, 1/425
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Should the imam deliver one khutbah or two on Eid?
He replied: The well known view among the fuqaha’ (may Allaah have mercy on him) is that there should be two khutbahs on Eid, because of a da’eef hadeeth which was narrated concerning that, but in the hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon, it says that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only delivered one khutbah. I hope that the matter is flexible. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 16/246
He also said (16/248):
The Sunnah is for there to be one khutbah, but if two khutbahs are given that is fine, because it was narrated that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also did that. But the imam should not forget to exhort the women in particular, because the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did that.
If he is speaking via a microphone and the women can hear him, he should devote the end of his khutbah to exhorting the women in particular. If he is not using a microphone and the women cannot hear him, then he should go to them, accompanied by one or two other men, and say a few words to them. End quote.
In conclusion: This is a matter that is subject to ijtihaad, and it is flexible. There is no definitive text in the Sunnah concerning this matter, although it seems that it should be one khutbah. Let the imam do whatever he thinks is closest to the Sunnah.
And Allaah knows best.