Celebrations In Islaam
Questions Regarding Celebrations

Questions Regarding Celebrations
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In answering the following questions1, some abbreviations are used as follows:
Islaamic Ruling
Waajib (obligation)
Mustahabb (preferable)
Mubaah (allowable)
Makrooh (disliked)
Haraam (prohibited)

Decorating the House for Eed
Can a family decorate the inside or outside of their home with white electric strings of light?
  1. This never was a practice of the Salaf or their true followers.
  2. It is most commonly known to be the practice of the Christians during the Christmas and New Year period.
  3. It is an extravagant practice through which electricity (among other things) is wasted.
     Because of the above, this practice is not permissible (R5).
`Eed Gifts
Should the masjid solicit donations and purchase gifts in bulk quantity to be distributed according to age and gender? That is of course if gift giving at`Eed time is a Sunnah practice.
The Sunnah does not support gift exchange for the occasion of Eed. The only exception is adaqat ul-fitr given to the poor on `Eed ul-Fitr, and part of the sacrifice given away on `Eed ul-Adha.
     However, if the gift exchange results in a definite maslahah (benefit) for Muslims that cannot be attained otherwise - such as to bring feelings of pleasure and dignity to the Muslim children on these days, or to make da`wah to the non-Muslims or the weak-hearted Muslims, then it may be done. Still, this should not be made a regular practice consistently associated with the `Eed.
Can a pollyanna type gift exchange be observed for the women and children? This is a method whereby name, age, and gender slips of paper are tossed into a box and then the person draws a name. This name is that of the person for whom the drawing person will buy a gift according to the modest amount of money specified on the slip of paper.
This appears to be borrowed from non-Islaamic practices. Besides, instead of providing a fair way of gift-distribution, this method seems to emphasize social differences and to cause hard feelings among the children of different financial status.
     Therefore, this practice is not permissible (R5).
Can`Eed gifts be given to non-Muslim relatives?
As long as those non-Muslims are not hostile toward Islaam, gifts can be given to them in the `Eed or outside it as a form of da`wah and to bring their hearts closer to Islaam.
`Eed Cards
Can families exchange`Eed greeting cards?
In general, card exchange is a non-Islaamic practice, and has no justification from the Sunnah. Thus it should be avoided, except in cases where one has to write a letter anyway, and the card seems to serve the purpose conveniently.      Obviously, the cards should not contain prohibited texts or pictures, such as the non-Islaamic greeting: "Kullu `aamin wa-antum bi-khayr (May you be well each year)".
`Eed Feast
When should the `Eed feast traditionally take place - after the`Eed prayer, at lunch-time, at dinner-time ...?
There is no evidence in the Sunnah for a `Eed Feast (or waleemah). The Sunnah instructs the Muslims to feed people from the sacrifice, but not necessarily by holding a feast.      However, to many people, the `Eed day is an occasion to meet friends and relatives, and to celebrate together. Feasting is a common celebration practice. So, as long as it is not treated as a religious ritual, and as long as it does not involve extravagance and other prohibited things, then it can be held at any time convenient for people.
Housecleaning for the `Eed
Is major housecleaning at the time of `Eed a ritual borrowed from the Jews?
The Sunnah commands the Muslims to clean their courtyards because the Jews do not clean theirs. So, the Muslims should always keep their houses clean, not only for the Eed. There is no apparent imitation here.
Young Muslims' Activities during the `Eed
What are some suggestions for teen girls' activities? The boys are always satisfied with playing basketball or some other sport. We want the girls to have some activity other than sitting around eating and gossiping.
Sports are some of the useful activities that can be done by boys and girls during the `Eed or at other times. However, precaution should be taken so that:
  1. the girls are not mixed with the boys;
  2. the girls are not being watched by men while they play;
  3. the girls' clothes are wide fitting, with pants underneath to prevent exposing their bodies when they move or jump; and
  4. the girls keep their voices low while they play to preserve their modesty and to avoid attracting the boys' attention.

Other possible activities for both boys and girls (with adults' help and supervision) during the `Eed :
  1. Competing in reading and memorizing the Qur'aan.
  2. Competing in reading and memorizing hadeeth.
  3. Competing in general Islaamic knowledge.
  4. Making drives to collect donations to help needy Muslims.
  5. Teaching younger children basic important Islaamic knowledge.
  6. Joining the parents in visiting other Muslims for Allaah's sake and for Da`wah.

Can non-Muslim entertainment, such as the following be considered for the children during the `Eed?
  1. Pony, camel, or elephant rides
    Nothing is wrong in this, as it is not specifically a non-Muslim practice. (R3)
  2. Amusement rides
    This is permissible if it does not involve mixing with the non-Muslims and observing their improper ways of dressing and behaving. Since this is not possible in most cases, this activity should normally be avoided. (R4)
  3. Face Painting
    This practice is mostly meant to change Allaah's creation for the purpose of fun. Changing Allaah's creation is one of the major sins in Islaam. Thus the children should not be encouraged to like this practice, even to the slightest degree.
  4. Clowns
    A clown dresses and acts in a way meant to change Allaah's creation in a funny way, which is a prohibited action. Thus the clowns should not be watched or encouraged. (R5)
  5. Slight of hand tricks
    This involves magic and deceit, which are not of the ways of the Muslims. (R4)
  6. Balloon vendors
    This is mostly a non-Muslim practice, and should be largely avoided - specially as it is getting to a point to become a constant practice that the children and parents associate with the `Eed.
  7. Fire truck rides
    Same as (SWT) above.
  8. Petting zoo (without the pigs)
    Same as (SWT) above.

Can vendors setup tables and sell their goods on the `Eed?
There is nothing to prohibit this.
Women Praying Outdoors
Should the women pray the afternoon and evening salaah with the men outdoors in the open - if no suitable tent or sheltered private area can be provided?
Women are instructed by the Prophet saws to pray in the innermost rooms of their houses. If they are outdoors at prayer time (which is an exceptional situation), the women should be sheltered in such a way that no men would be behind them or to their sides watching them while they pray, specially in rukoo` and sujood (bowing and prostration). If this cannot be fulfilled in Jamaa`ah with men, then they should hold their own Jamaa`ah or pray individually.
Islaamic Songs
Can Islaamic songs be sung? If so, what is the cut-off age for young girls performing in front of mixed gender crowd?
The Sunnah of the Prophet saws indicates that it is permissible for young girls (under the age of puberty) to sing during the `Eeds. This singing should be with Islaamically acceptable words, and should not be accompanied with any musical instruments except for the duff. Their singing should also be within a limited circle of parents, relatives, and friends to preserve their shyness and modesty.
With this we conclude, asking Allaah (SWT) the Akbar to grant us `Eeds that would increase our Eemaan, and raise our ranks in His pleasure and obedience - Aameen.

  1. These were written by the author in consultation with Saleem al-Hilaalee.  - Back to text 
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