Put smiles on our children by giving them gifts they’ll love and treasure forever!
Did you ever stop to wonder what it would be like if Muslim families could also celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah? Of course you didn’t- that’s haram, and you’d get slapped by your parents if you ever suggested it. Muslims have a profoundly intimate holiday meant just for ourselves- a spectacularly grand culmination of an entire month’s worth of fasting, prayer, devotion, fasting, worship, remembrance, fasting, charity, self-reflection, fasting, and fasting. We have something no other faith has, and that’s the blessed day of Eid-ul-Fitr. Now if we could just get a day off from work and/or school to enjoy it, that would be fantastic, but hey, we’ll settle for cutting school and calling out sick from work to have a day of merriment, festivity, and busting a groove like this brother here:
Ahhhh. Eid-ul-Fitr. A day of tremendous joy and unparalleled happiness that marks the conclusion of Ramadan with memorable golden moments of heavenly songs, ecstatic dances, loud fanfare, triple-awkward hugging of random people at the masjid, heartfelt family reunions, gift-giving to all your loved ones, and bitterly vicious fighting in your community over when to actually sight the moon and announce it while subsequently declaring others who don’t follow your sighting as deviant. This, my friends, is the unparalleled joy of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Or as young Abdullah from Dubai remembers it:
Ya3nni, last year for ‘3id, baba told me he bought me an imborted Lamborghini. I thought to myself, “a new car?! For ‘3id?! Wallahi?!” I was so excited- but it turned out to be a Hot Wheels toy he bought from some beoble in Amrika. Wallahi I was very disappointed. Next year, insha’Allah, I will get a Lamborghini and a wife for ‘3id… …you’ll see, ya3nni, next year…”
Of all the Eid festivities, what everyone looks forward to the most isn’t gorging on food mid-day to celebrate the fact that the word “lunch” has finally returned our vocabulary (and to your stomach) for the rest of the year, nor is it the notion that the sins you commit now can totally go back to being blamed on Shaitan. What everyone (kids most of all) always look forward to year after year are the EID GIFTS. There’s nothing like the feeling of being a giddy little schoolgirl waiting in agonizing anticipation for the moment you rip open a mysteriously wrapped box to reveal a glittering prize that validates your entire childhood (or child-like adulthood for you weirdos out there).
When’s the last time an Eid gift made you react like THIS?!
Without a doubt, gift-giving is one of the major highlights of Eid and it solidifies the bonds of love we have for one another, because nothing says love like an envelope of Eid money with your name on it. But that’s where the stress comes in. The hours upon hours spent racing through malls, toy stores, online catalogs, Wal-mart’s discount sale section, and if you’re really desperate- your own closet, all in search of suitable Eid gifts for everyone on your list. Gift-giving is a highly-refined and deeply intricate art, and fortunately for you, we here at Muslim Medicine are self-certified faqihs in the fiqh of Eid-gifting (don’t ask your local imam about this- just trust us that this is a legitimate field of fiqh). So if you haven’t gone Eid shopping already, then pay close attention! Muslim Medicine’s here to show you the tips and tricks that’ll make your Eid gifts unforgettable this year.
1 FIND OUT WHAT YOUR RECIPIENT WANTS
This is perhaps the single most important aspect of Eid shopping. The best Eid gift givers are the ones who tailor each gift to fit the likes of each recipient. Everyone apparently likes money, which is why giving cash or gift cards for Eid is easy- but offering actual gifts that people secretly want is probably the greatest feeling of joy you could give them.
So this is your chance to be a super secret agent, and find out as much intel about your recipient as possible. Planning on giving an Eid gift to your sister this year? Wait till she leaves the house and then rummage through her room without her permission to find clues about things she may want- trust us, when you get her a life-size cardboard cutout wall-hanging of that creepy Edward Cullen guy she keeps secretly confessing about in her diary, she’ll “LOVE” you for it, and wish you the happiest Eid Mubarak she’s ever given you.
Same for your other loved ones or friends- snoop around and try to figure out what kinda stuff they’ve been asking about lately- and no matter what you do, NEVER EVER directly ask them what they want for Eid because then that ruins the surprise, makes them feel selfish and awkward, makes you look desperate, ruins the entire mood of Eid, undermines the sanctity of the family, and decays the moral standing of our ummah.
Using common household furniture as a perfect disguise, you can overhear all sorts of conversations to find out EXACTLY what your family wants for Eid, without them ever catching on to you.
Figuring out what your recipient wants is the key to making them absolutely love and forever cherish the gift you get them for Eid. Now I know what you’re all thinking- “hey Muslim Medicine, this sounds an awful lot like spying on my family, and that’s totally haram, not to mention an outright invasion of their privacy.” That’s a valid point, masha’Allah. So uhhh…
2 HAVE MERCY ON YOUR WALLET OR PURSE
Yeah, we know the feeling of despair that grows in your stomach as you peer at your massive list of family members- if you get an Eid gift for one niece or nephew… …you pretty much have to get a gift for all of them or risk enough political strife and social revolution to spark an Egyptian Revolution in your own living room. Some families have come up with a cost-friendly solution for that- which is to have a tradition of just not giving gifts.
That’s right- it’s all cute smiles and giggles until you tell them there’s no Eid gifts.
Giving Eid gifts isn’t about being a billionaire philanthropist, nor trying to be a magical Muslim Santa Claus attempting to grant the deepest wishes of all your family members by silently breaking into their homes the night before Eid and placing gifts underneath their prayer rugs. It’s the niyyah that counts, and its the genuine goodwill and love that really matters in the end. Sure, little kids never see it that way and will totally call you lame and hate you for giving them lousy gifts, but that’s nothing a few slaps and angry Islamic lectures about respecting elders can’t fix. So don’t spend ridiculous amounts of money on your gifts- give from your means, and if you want to spend a little more to show a little more love- then hey, go for it.
But keep in mind that kids nowadays have a pretty sharp memory, and they’ll usually come to expect bigger and better Eid gifts year after year. Snot-nosed ungrateful little whiners- I mean, masha’Allah, such lovable little angels, the light of our eyes and the joy of our hearts.
3 DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT GIFTS
Hey kids! Wanna play a really fun Islamic game?
Done yet? …No? Then take your time! There’s no rush. It really doesn’t take a Grand Mufti to figure this puzzle out… just make sure you solve the Eid Gift Matchup Game before reading onwards, though- it’d be pretty sad if you had to resort to cheating on a game meant for 6 year olds. Alrighty then! Have you got your answers in your head? Hold on to your wudu- we’re about to blow your mind.
So then! You just helped out Little Fatima, didn’t you? Masha’Allah, you’re such a sweet person! But you’re totally wrong. You gave the frying pan to mommy (shame on you, brothers), the beard trimmer to daddy, Super Street Fighter 4 to Billal, My Little Pony for Little Fatima, and then you probably got really confused between the gifts left for baby Aaliyah and Spiderman. But see… you used stereotypes and assumptions to guide your gift-selection, and you didn’t use your skills of Eid Gifting in-between the lines.
You see about 4 years ago, Mommy made a delicious egg omelet for breakfast, and after trying it, Daddy carelessly commented by saying, “it tastes okay.” Since that day, Mommy has never forgotten that hurtful comment, and this year for Eid she’s getting Daddy a frying pan so that he can feel the frustration of frying food and not being appreciated for it. Mommy bribed Fatimah by offering her a My Little Pony toy for Eid if she kept quiet about Mommy’s secret plan. Billal, now reaching that awkward age of puberty, has started to grow a small itchy mustache, and Daddy’s getting him a beard trimming kit for Eid to celebrate his entry into manhood. While shopping at Toys R Us for a Tickle Me Elmo meant for baby Aaliyah, Daddy comes across the video game aisle and spots Super Street Fighter 4- knowing how much his wife loves fighting games, he decides to buy the game for her. And now we’re left with Spiderman. And all Spiderman has ever wanted for Eid all these lonely years is to finally cuddle up with his primary care physician Doctor Octopus and watch his favorite episodes of Dora the Explorer.
Take a lesson from this exercise, friends. Eid-ul-Fitr is serious business. Don’t make assumptions about Eid Gifts.
4 MAKE SURE YOUR EID GIFTS DON’T OFFEND
Yeah, we know what you’re thinking- “This is Eid-ul-Fitr, for crying out loud! How could giving an Eid Gift ever be a bad thing?!” First of all, stop crying out loud- it’s Eid. Why are you crying, anyway? Man up. Second of all, Muslims are pioneers in the field of stinging criticism, and even something as universally wonderful as Eid Gifts can become a means of making subtle commentary.
Suddenly Karim didn’t feel so excited about getting Eid gifts from his wife anymore
Sometimes the choices you make for Eid gifts may backfire, and land you in serious trouble, or worse- may jeopardize your health and well-being.
Layla gave her brother an Eid gift in return: a free trip to the Hospital
The evidence is clear, and the consequences are dire, friends. Giving Eid gifts is a lot like using superhuman powers- you must always use them for the forces of good, and never succumb to using them for evil. Don’t let Shaitan help you choose your Eid Gifts- he’s got pretty terrible taste.
5 BE GRATEFUL
So your aunt gives you pants that don’t really fit you, your best friend gives you a pack of diapers as a joke, and your mom gets you a cute Pokemon t-shirt despite the fact that you’re 25 years old. Sometimes Eid gifts aren’t exactly what you expect, nor what you’re hoping to get at all. But the point is to always remember that these gifts, no matter they may be, are always given out of love for you, and anything that you receive (or don’t receive) is from the mercy and bounties of Allah (swt).
Keep in mind that not getting your XBOX Kinect this year or getting just $10 from your grandmother is not something you should ever complain about or throw tantrums over. Every gift, regardless of how small or grand it is, is a blessing that deserves your respect and thankfulness. If you’ve got the means, try to give something back that either matches the gifts you’ve received, or goes above and beyond it. That’s true love right there.
And above all else, remember your brothers and sisters abroad whose Eid celebrations are far from joyous, and anything but happy. They may not have grand celebrations, epic feasts, expensive gifts, or glittering Eid clothes- but their happiness on that day means just as much as yours, and truth be told… …they really do deserve and desperately need that glimmer of joy more than we do. So don’t just keep them in mind- keep them in your hearts as well.
To all of our readers, fans, passerbys, and to everyone else who isn’t reading this- on behalf of the entire Muslim Medicine staff, Eid Mubarak!
For all of the deeds that you’ve accomplished over this past month, for all of the people that you’ve helped and comforted, for all the nights you’ve spent alone pouring your heart out into your duas, may Allah (swt) accept all of it and reward you all immensely for everything, and reserve for each of you a beautiful abode in the highest level of Jannah. May your good words and actions be returned to you a thousand-fold on the Day of Reckoning and may they anchor your scales in favor of spending an eternity in the wondrous Gardens of our Lord.
May Allah (swt) grant you and your families His blessings, protection, provisions, and the very best of opportunities both in this dunya and in the akhira, and may He bring you all together and increase you all in love and happiness both with your close friends and with your families. May this past Ramadan be the month that secures our entry through the gates of Jannah.
Take care and keep safe, insha’Allah!