First, I want to thank Sisters Aisha and Naseem for sharing their opinions, “…that purchasing eid decorations are copying the commercialization of holidays as done by the kuffar; and also a great waste of money…” and thought it’s critical that I write an article detailing all of the points they mentioned, in which decorating our homes for Eid and Ramadan are not prohibited under the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa salam (Peace and blessings be upon him).
Please note, that I, nor my family, friends, colleagues, and scholar (who we consulted), are not offended by these sisters’ comments. Rather, I am grateful for their input, alhumdulilah, Praise be to God, because it caused me to reflect and assure that my family and I are on the straight path to jennah (heaven), inshaAllah (God willing); and not misguiding others to go astray through my actions.
Aisha Umm Abdurahman Hasan I honestly feel – without offending anyone – that purchasing eid decorations are copying the commercialization of holidays as done by the kuffar; and also a great waste of money. Instead of spending money on completly unbeneficial decorations, you’ll receive much more reward giving the money to an Islamic charity, or spending on your own child. We can make our own decorations out of household items while sharing that time making memories with our kids. i’m hoping this year to finally experience making eid cookies.
Naseem Yusuf I agree with sister Aisha
Fatwas about Decorations and Giving Incentives or Rewards
The article below is written from a combination of the following fatwas with Qur’an and Sunnah to support them:
- Fatwa regarding celebrating and decorating one’s return from Hajj,
- Fatwa on decorating for Eid rather than Christmas (please refer to the middle of the fatwa where the scholars mention that Jennah is especially decorated during the month of Ramadan) [I have not yet found the hadith that speaks specifically to this point, but our local scholar insists that Eid and Ramadan decorations are good ways to spend on our families as a celebratory reward and festive pride. Khair, inshaAllah],
- Another fatwa, which I can not find right now, that allows Muslims to offer incentives to our brothers and sisters, not just our children to make an necessary ibadah (act of worship) as a routine, and a good habit in one’s life. For example, offering to reward to one’s father so he will grow a beard for the intention of gaining reward from Allah first and not the gift itself. So, rewarding our children for developing new skills, especially ibadah (acts of worship) is permissible and encouraged. NOTE: My husband and I do not, nor recommend, giving monetary incentives to our girls for fulfilling any of the five pillars. Yet, we reward their pure completed actions with surprises after the fact. And, we do not reward them all the time, so they don’t expect to gain anything else but the love and happiness of Allah subhanallah wa Tala, and
- I consulted a local scholars in Islam to confirm the below statements.
Eid and Ramadan Decorations Are Permissible
- Pure intentions - Decorations are permissible, if parents have pure intentions to celebrate their family’s completion of a good deed, especially one of the pillars, such as Hajj or Fasting during the month of Ramadan. A parent’s pure intentions to provide rewards to celebrate the fasts of their family members, especially children, may be counted as charity as well. “If a man provides for his family hoping for the reward, it will be counted as charity for him.” (Bukhari & Muslim).
- Decorate in Moderation and Not Extravagance - It is recommended and encouraged that we reuse, re-purpose, and recycle household items as a family activity to make decorations. This is the first year that we drew attention to Eid decorations made available online for sale. Based on our review, the prices of all the online stores are highly economical and not extravagant. Since the announcement of Ranoon’s unique products prompted this discussion, we believe that their classy, unique products are not expensive, and do not resemble holiday lights or decorations of other faiths. “If a woman spends from the wealth of her house without causing harm (to her family), she will get the reward of what she spend and her husband also gets a reward because he earned it. (Moreover) the one who is entrusted with money gets the same reward (of spending it), without any of them (the wife and the entrusted) decreasing the rewards of the others.” (Bukhari)
- The action of decorating does not become an act of worship, bidah - We cannot make habits that are expected by ourselves or our families, or induce feelings that something is incomplete because the action is not completed. For example, the family feels like that it’s not “Eid” because one doesn’t have special Eid decorations. Again, we must check our intentions (point #1). We cannot worship the decorations or the act of decorating in any way.
- The only times to decorate are for Ramadan and our 2 Eids – Not copying other religions or faiths - We should not copy the act of placing lights outside our houses like Christians during Christmas time. Our decorations should remain inside, or should be taken down after the 3 days of Eid al-Fitr, or 4 days of Eid al-Adha are completed. We should not keep them up and “hold on to the good times”, otherwise our intentions are not solely to celebrate the good deeds of the completed two pillars.
- The act of Hajj & Ramadan are not private acts of worship, so celebrating one’s completion is allowed - We are allowed to celebrate, reward and draw attention to one’s completion of these fardh (obligatory) actions. Again, we cannot be so extravagant (point #2) that we are perceived as a showing off. Hence remaining moderate (point #2) and keeping all decorations inside (point #4) is protecting our pure intentions (point #1) once again. Hajj and fasting is different than giving charity in secret or in public. Charity in secret is more rewarded than giving in public.
- Ramadan and Eid Decorations acting as a form of dawah (introduction to Islam) – Subhanallah, Glory be to God, my non-Muslim friend was curious what’s the latest project or contest on AmericanMuslimMom.com after visiting Ranoon.com, she asked what’s the significance of the moon and star, and the difference between Ramadan and Eid. Alhumdulilah, Praise be to God, because she thinks one particularly product was beautiful, she said she’s going to purchase it,and hang it up as a house decoration. She thanked my girls and I because now she has an explanation for its significance when people ask her about this new wall hanging
- Ramadan activities should be emphasized over Eid celebrations - Eid is solely the days of celebration, our feast and festival. Since Ramadan is our month of fast, and our good deeds are multiplied by an amount only known by Allah, we should always emphasize doing good deeds, actions, celebrations, feasts during Ramadan and especially iftar (the meal breaking our fasts). Our rewards are multiplied during Ramadan. Encouraging our children to participate in programs like the Ramadan Qur’an-a-thon Sadaqah Drive and striving to learn all the names of Allah are worthy activities during Ramadan, inshaAllah.
Ramadan Gifts are Giving-Gifts; while Eid Gifts are Celebrating-Gifts
We emphasize giving during Ramadan rather than Eid, to protect our pure intentions (point #1), and to gain more rewards for Allah, ishaAllah (God willing). Also, we believe it protects us, inshaAllah, from mimicking the holidays of other faiths, and possible commercialization of our feasts. More specifically,
- We stress that “Eid” = Food/Feast, Family, Friends, and Fun. We do not call it a “holiday”, as to not assimilate, or be associated with celebrating a “holi/holy-day”. We have a different kind of pride and honor that is associated with our Eid, and we should celebrate and decorate accordingly and appropriately.
- “Giving-Gifts” means that our Gifts that keep Giving. We give any kind of gift (money, food, smile, etc.), and Allah gives back, inshaAllah (God willing): furdos (the highest Heaven). We give during in Ramadan purely and innocently; not to gain anything in return, expect Allah’s pleasure and acceptance. This is why we stress the importance of knowing when and how to give Zakat al-Fitr.
- “Celebrating Gifts” are Gifts given to help Celebrate with others. We give gifts purely to share the great accomplishment of completing our month of fast and/or Hajj. Therefore, again; we do not expect any gifts or rewards in return, except from Allah. We want to spread happiness, cheer and the love of Allah as He commissioned us with these 2 wonderful days of Eid. By giving Celebrating-Gifts, we also protect ourselves from commercialization and assimilation because
- We are not intending to “exchange gifts on a specific day” like birthdays and holidays, which is prohibited.
- We do not have hopes of receiving gifts equal or greater value to what we give and to who we give too. After all, if we’re sharing our celebration, gifts should be given freely, openly and to any of our brothers and sisters; not just immediate family and friends. If you can afford to give gifts to any and all kids and the needy in your masjid during Eid, and anonymously (since it’s charity), do it! Celebrate!
- We do not have a goal of receiving any special gifts on the days of Eid. For example, making “Eid wish lists” like “Santa’s wish list”, which is definitely assimilating which is prohibited, and can be commercializing the days. Time to check our intentions, yet again.
- Here are tips for Creative, Cost-Cutting Eid Gifts.(Includes baking, arts & crafts).
If I offend or lead anyone astray by this article, the fault is mine and mine alone and I seek forgiveness by Our Creator, for He is Perfect and does not lead astray. If you agree with the above, please enter to win your own free Eid decorations by Ranoon.
Since Eid is quickly approaching, we must make sure we have the correct intentions. So, please continue the dialogue. We’d love to hear your thoughts, concerns and support.
- Frugal and Fabulous Eid Gift Ideas
- Tips to Celebrating the Full 3 Days of Eid
- 30 Sadaqah Surprises
- Creative Cost Cutting for Eid Shopping
- Eid Decorations – Where to Purchase them or make your own