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RAlthough at the beginning we will focus on the two major festivals for Muslims, this article is based around the idea of giving both Islamic and Eid gifts and the right intentions behind it. During Eid a lot of gift giving takes place. however, there are other occasions where gifts are also given such as when a baby is born, when people get married and when visiting friends and family amongst other occasions.
- 1 All about Eid
- 2 Islamic Gifts
- 3 5 amazing tips for getting gifts
- 4 Gifting/Charity to the less well-off
- 5 Gifts for her
- 6 Gifts for Children
- 7 Gifts for him
- 8 Other Islamic gifts
All about Eid
Every year Muslims excitedly prepare for Eid. During Eid you spend time with your families, lovingly wrap gifts for them, prepare delicious food and buy clothes (especially women!) Eid after Ramadan is absolutely amazing, it’s like being rewarded for all your hard work. In this case, you are rewarded after a period of fasting, praying, devotion, charity and self-reflection. During Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting but thanking Allah (swt) for the help and strength that He gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control. Eid-ul-Fitr begins when the first sight of the Shawwāl’s moon is seen in the sky.
Eid-ul-Adha holds just as much importance. Here you celebrate the occasion when Prophet Ibrahim (as) saw a dream and hence proceeded to sacrifice his son Isma’il (as) as an act of obedience to Allah (swt). The devil tempted Prophet Ibrahim (as) by saying he should disobey Allah (swt) and spare his son. As Prophet Ibrahim (as) was about to kill his son, Allah (swt) stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead. Alhumdolillah Allah (swt) was testing Ibrahim’s faith and obedience to him and Prophet Ibrahim (as) succeeded! In order to revive this great spirit of sacrifice, Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated by Muslims all over the world.
Giving gifts during Eid is a major highlight, especially for children who wait eagerly until Eid day when they will have loads of fun and hopefully get lots of gifts. Of course, they will take every action to make sure that you know what they want! Giving gifts is a wonderful way of showing your love for others and spreads joy. However, like any other major festival in various religions, we also tend to leave things to the last minute and just as Eid draws near, the panic to find the perfect gift begins. You hit the shopping centre in a frenzy, racing through toy stores, clothes shops and any other shop that comes your way trying to find that last minute perfect gift. Personally, I remember when Eid used to fall nearer to Christmas and it used to make life so much easier to get something from the thousands of Christmas gifts available and I used to always wonder why Muslims did not do something similar and make Eid a special thing for everyone!
When someone gives you a gift, it makes you feel happy. Especially if the gift was unexpected or it was given by a person whom you never imagined! And when it’s something you really wanted it makes you giddy with happiness, excited as though you’ve been given the world! (yeah I might be getting overexcited). Now If you are a husband that tends to get on the wrong side of his wife then getting a gift for your other half can be a life-saving act!
Often when you look around the house, you will see lots of these memorable items which remind you of the people who have given you them on different occasions such as your wedding, when you move home, when you have been ill, when expressing gratitude amongst other things.
The attitude of Prophet Muhammad (saw) regarding giving gifts was mentioned by Hazrat Aisha (ra). A Bedouin gave the Prophet a present and the Prophet gave him a present in return. (Narrated by Ibn Abbas). People that rely on this hadith believe that it is wajib to give a present in return for a present that you receive. The Sunnah is evidence of this. In another hadith, the Prophet says, “exchange presents so that your love toward each other will increase.” Alhumdollilah Allah (swt) has made it so easy for Muslims to show love and gratitude to each other, we should make full use of it!
5 amazing tips for getting gifts
I will be going through five tips that can help you to get a more worthwhile gift for the recipient, whether it be for Eid or just an Islamic gift!
1. Get them what they want
It is always a good idea to try and find something a person would like or want. You could try asking him or her directly but this is not always a smart move. Why? As it can be interpreted wrongly or even make the person feel uncomfortable. Let’s face it they might just think you are trying to be a cheapskate! Another good way of finding out what they like is by going out shopping with them and smartly gauging what they are checking out. You can ask general questions and ask for comments on certain items. Just be careful they don’t clue into what you’re doing, they might misinterpret what you’re getting them! If they got you something good remember Prophet Muhammad (saw) enjoined responding in kind to favours “Whoever does you a favour, respond in kind, and if you cannot find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind” (Abu Daawood)
2. Don’t go beyond your budget
These days the more expensive the gift is, the happier they are and this means that the next time they will want bigger and better. Yes, that’s experience talking. If you have loads of family and friends, then get them all something small and meaningful. Islam tells us to spend sensibly, so only spend within your means. Do not overstretch yourself, even if it does mean being in the bad book of the person you’re giving the gift to. If you know it will mess up your monthly budget, then try not to go beyond it. How about coming up with cost-friendly alternatives that will be suitable for everyone? This is one of the major concerns we have tried to tackle for people buying gifts. After brainstorming the idea was born of selling Islamic gifts and Eid gifts that would be affordable but also mean something. Kids can be another problem, the little squirts! But worry not, we have a superb option for young children that is sure to make them smile and keep your spending light!
3. Don’t play Scrooge
If you have the means to do so, try and get a gift that means something and holds value for the other person. One important point to note is that don’t make it your intention to get something cheap or horrible for someone just because you want to get back at them. We give presents to each other because it is the Sunnah of Allah’s Beloved Messenger (swt) and because following his Sunnah will make Allah (swt) pleased with us. On the other hand, if we give gifts in order to receive something in return, then this type of gift giving will bring us no lasting good. When we give presents in order to show off what we can afford to give, this arrogance invites Allah’s wrath and punishment. Eid is about good intentions and giving joy and happiness and also about forgiving people, even if they have been horrible to you.
4. Don’t offend anyone
When spending money, remember to spend in the name of Allah and with clear intention. Do not torture the other person by making them feel like you have spent money. Don’t offend them and remember helping someone without causing pain or hurt will ensure you are rewarded in the afterlife. Also a charity that is given to help a poor person and his family, has a wealth of good behind it that will be recognised.
“Believers! Do not nullify your acts of charity by stressing your benevolence and causing hurt as does he who spends his wealth only to be seen by men and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. The example of his spending is that of a rock with a thin coating of earth upon it: when a heavy rain smites it, the earth is washed away, leaving the rock bare; such people derive no gain from their acts of charity. Allah does not set the deniers of the Truth on the right way”. (Surah Baqarah, (262-264))
Often people will see Eid as a good time to get back at people or to hurt them by doing something offensive or hurtful. They will candy wrap the stab in the back and try to make it look like the intention was good. I have seen this happen in a lot of families. Learn to appreciate life and Allah’s blessings. Don’t make it a day of handing out subtle hints to people that will, in the long run, hurt your relationship. Why not try something different this Eid and get something nice for the person that might have hurt you? Not only will you be fulfilling the purpose of Eid but also Allah (swt) will In Shah Allah be very pleased with you.
5. Be grateful for what you get
When we receive gifts we tend to forget to appreciate what we are receiving. Remember not to turn your nose up at gifts. The majority of the time the gifts you end up receiving are never the ones you wanted. However, this does not mean that the person that got you the gift was necessarily trying to hurt you.
Gifts are given out or should be given out with love, so anything you receive or don’t receive should be accepted happily. Of course, if you really don’t like the gift, you can always pass it on to someone who does, saves you buying a present! Learning to accept gifts with gratitude and by saying Subhanallah will make you a better person and Allah will be pleased with you.
Beyond this, think of those people that won’t have a roof over their head or be getting fancy gifts they might be struggling to find even a morsel of food to eat and get through the day. Surely you being thankful for your gift would be a very small thing in retrospect.
Gifting/Charity to the less well-off
Why not start your Eid by gifting someone who is struggling but is embarrassed to ask for help? Eid is a good way of doing this without letting the other person know you’re helping them!
Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) said “O people! Give in charity as a time will come upon you when a person will wander about with his object of charity and will not find anybody to accept it, and one (who will be requested to take it) will say, “If you had brought it yesterday, would have taken it, but to-day I am not in need of it.”” [Sahih Al-Bukhari].
Help those who are around you and need help, especially on Eid when life will look a little brighter for them and instead of being seen as charity, the money would be seen as a gift and therefore save them embarrassment that they might otherwise feel.
“Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense? For that is the one who drives away the orphan. And does not encourage the feeding of the poor.” (Ma’un, (1-3))
Safwan ibn Salim related that the Prophet said: “Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night.” (Bukhari).
Gifts for her
Hint for you: Listen! If you listen long enough to a woman you will pick up on what she wants. Common giveaways are “Oh, look at those gorgeous shoes” “Wouldn’t it wonderful to see Niagara Falls someday?” (pay attention, though it may be past your budget!) Women drop hints like this all the time. Actually, they tend never to stop. So start carrying a little black book to take note of all those hints and that way you will never be on her wrong side! (The little black book comments a joke…you didn’t order one did you?)
If you’re the average Ali who can’t be bothered with all that and now you find yourself in a bind, here are some Eid gift ideas that most women would love. I’ll start off with stuff that costs nothing but means the world and move on to ideas that will require you to break out the wallet:
- Take your wife someplace that has meaning for the two of you, like the first place you met or the first place you went out to after getting married.
- Ok so now I will be shamelessly promoting myself, it just has to be done! Check us out for hijabs and hijab pins. Why not get her a few nice ones, this will definitely make her day. Psst….go on get her the matching pins as well!
- Write her a poem. Take your time and try to write something sincere and personal. She will cherish it for life.
- Take her shoe shopping. Women always love shoes! Women are extremely choosy about their shoes. Don’t try to pick out a pair on your own unless you know your wife’s tastes and size very well. Otherwise, that shoe might be aimed directly at you.
- A new purse or handbag. This is a rather personal choice for a woman so don’t make it cheap and keep that gift receipt safe with you.
- Jewellery. It doesn’t have to be terribly expensive especially if you hit the sales on time. H Samuels and Ernst Jones do some nice jewellery pieces. Pandora’s does bracelets and other jewellery items and is the current craze!
- A new Quran with a wooden Quran stand, and handmade dhikr prayer beads for tasbeeha.
- A weekend trip somewhere. Even if you’re not ready to go right now, make the reservations or buy the tickets and surprise her on Eid.
- A new watch.
- If she likes gadgets, how about a new mobile phone, a Bluetooth mobile phone earpiece, a slim digital camera to fit in her purse, or even a laptop computer? (boy would I want one)
- If she’s into fitness, how about a new yoga mat, a treadmill or badminton racket etc? But only if she’s already into it or needs it otherwise she’ll take it as a hint that she’s overweight and you might not be spending a very happy Eid
- A gift set of natural bath products like soap, shampoo, bubble bath. Lush is great for natural products as is Liz Earle. Alternatively, although not natural Sanctuary does lovely shower and cream products that smell heavenly!
- Perfume oils. It helps if you know what she likes.
- Make-up go for a high brand name and make her name, these include Mac makeup, NYC or Smash Box.
- Now if she likes to cook get her something for the kitchen. A new kitchen appliance like a top-quality food processor, a set of quality cookware, etc. Trust me if she’s anything like me the latest kitchen gadget will make her very happy.
Gifts for Children
- If weather permits, a long drive out to a place on the outskirts of the city that the family has never seen before.
- A meal at a Muslim restaurant, preferably on Eid day. The added benefit of this is that you would be supporting a Muslim business as well. For some strange reason, we are happier pumping money into non-Muslim shops and restaurants compared to Muslim one’s
- Why not take the little ones to the zoo? Make it a big family outing where you all get to spend time with each other and the kids can have fun too!
- Fun Fairs, as Eid is near to summertime there are funfairs everywhere and they have all sorts of goodies for kids and well as adults!
- Hijabs: These are everywhere these days, and for a little girl it would be fun to gift her a hijab on Eid.
- Islamic toys and games: Floor puzzles with alphabet are fun and teach children the alphabet in a fun and interactive way. You can also get matching games, knowledge games and Islamic dolls for them!
- Get them a small gift box with small goodies including halal candy, chocolate, small toys and an Islamic reading book. They will be happy with their little treasure for the rest of the day.
- Creative play games are good for younger kids below eight. A mini kitchen, a small tool kit, dolls or little pets. They can play for hours with these and it will definitely make their day to receive one!
- For older children – well its x-box games, the latest apple tablet or a play-station game these are the things that would make them happy indeed. Though mind you, men would be just as happy!
Gifts for him
- If he is a foodie, you could treat him to a restaurant and get it all set up for him with his favourite dishes. You could make it special for him and give him a little surprise for all the hard work he does.
- Get him an item of clothing from a store he likes or those favourite trainers he has been looking at.
- Get a well-deserved massage planned for him. Yes, men tend to want one as well to relieve stress!
- The latest men’s fragrance/perfume – just make sure it’s one he likes otherwise he might not be too happy!
- Watches is another good gift for guys.
- Wallet: For every day safe keeping of cards and money buy a brand new wallet for him this Eid to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr.
- With all the latest smartphones that are coming out, why not get him a new mobile phone? Or maybe surprise him with a state of the art laptop? He will be well pleased.
Other Islamic gifts
in Islam any gift can be given as long as it is halal. We are not restricted to what we give as long as we are not going beyond our financial means. You can give the following gifts for these occasions as well:
- Baby Shower – get a gift set for children including baby clothes and baby toys
- Moving home – By Islamic gift art to hang on the wall
- Someone who has recently converted – Get them Islamic books that are enjoyable and easy to understand
Other than that there are so many gifts out there that you just can’t go wrong:
- Teddy bears to learn Islamic alphabet
- Tea set
- Attar – an Islamic perfume
- Islamic ornaments
- Islamic Jewellery
On a final note, focus on getting a good and meaningful present and most importantly ensure that your intentions are clear and that you are getting the gift for the right purpose. As you can see, getting Eid gifts is not a walk in the park. It’s more like a potential nail to your coffin…that’s why I suggest you stick to pleasing Allah and making your way to Jannah instead!