Jaabir bin ‘Abdullaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “When it was the day of ‘Eid the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) used to alter his route (of returning).” 30
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawzeeyah said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) used to change his route on the days of ‘Eid, such that he went by one route and returned by another. It is said (he did this) to give salaam upon the people of both routes. Or so that both groups get some of his blessings. Or so that anybody who has a need can take care of it. Or to make manifest the rituals of Islaam…. – and this is the most correct opinion – for all of these reasons and for other reasons of wisdom which his (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) actions contain.” 31
Imaam an-Nawaawee (may Allaah have mercy on him) after quoting the previous sayings said: “Even if the reason is not known, it is still definitely preferred to make it a ruling guideline to be followed and Allaah knows best.”32
NOTE: First: Imam al-Baghawee said in Sharh-us-Sunnah (4/302-303): “It is preferred that the people leave for the, musalla after praying the dawn prayer (Fajr) so that they can take their places and make takbeer. While the Imaam proceeds when it is time for the prayer”
Second: Tirmidhee (530), Ibn Maajah (161) transmit from ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib that he said: “From the sunnah is to proceed to the ‘Eid by foot” 33
30. Reported by al-Bukhaaree (986).
31. Zaad-ul-Ma’aad (1/449).
32. Rawdat-ul-Taalibeen (2/77).
33. Declared hasan by our Shaikh Al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee (1/164).