As we are now in the final days of sawm in Ramadhaan (may Allaah accept it from us and you) many families have begun the process of brainstorming and planning ways to celebrate the big day while in lockdown. We’ve come up with a few things which you can do with your children at home to make ‘Eid just as festive as we typically do!
Why Make ‘Eid Big?
Eid Al-Fitr and ‘Eid Al-Adha are our days of celebration legislated by Allaah, ‘Azza wa Jal. They are for us to glorify Him and engage in permissible festivities. It is only befitting that we make them as special and fun as we can, especially for our children who are exposed to countless non-Muslim holidays throughout the year.
Ustaadh Moosaa Richardson (حفظه الله), the Educational Director of First Muslim Mosque of Pittsburgh, PA, summed this up best in a past tweet;
“When we do not truly honor ‘Eid al-Adhaa & ‘Eid al-Fitr in our lives and homes, non-Muslims holidays can become attractive to our children!”
Unfortunately, this is something that is prevalent in many countries where Muslim children reside. Non-Muslim holidays are marketed heavily in media through consumerism, so everywhere a child turns he is exposed to a holiday that has no basis in Islaam. This is why it is essential that we help make our Islaamic holidays something that our children can anticipate and find joy in.
If we don’t make our celebrations a big deal, children may feel like they are missing out. On the other hand, when we make our ‘Eid celebrations something to look forward to each year, it will increase their love for Islaam and increase them in imaan, in shaa Allaah.
Ustaadh Anwar Wright (حفظه الله), a lecturer at Germantown Masjid in Philadelphia, PA reminds us in a similar tweet of the statement of Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (رَحِمَهُ ٱللّٰهُ);
“But rather what is correct, is that one directs their family to the Eid of Allah and His Messenger, and fulfills their needs on that day (i.e. al Fitr and al Adha) so much that it will eliminate them even looking forward to anything else.”
……so what are some ways we can help make ‘Eid joyous?
#1. Talk to your family.
Have a family meeting to get everyone’s input or ask each member of your home individually for their input. Children often have great insights to share when given the opportunity.
#2. Acknowledge children’s feelings.
The reality is, not all children will take too well to the idea of ‘Eid in quarantine. After all, this means no ‘Eid prayer in the masjid, minimal social contact, and no gathering with extended family/friends. This can be especially hard if a child has no siblings.
#3. Involve the children.
Ask them for ideas and suggestions. Let them help decorate and pick out their ‘Eid outfits. Anyway you can get your child involved, then do so!
#4. Build-up the excitement and anticipation.
There is a thrill in knowing something exciting is going to take place! It’s a gradual build-up, so take the time to talk about how excited you are and what you look forward to. Talk about the Sunnan of ‘Eid. Let them create an ‘Eid gift list or make greeting cards. There will be a natural builp-up of excitement if you include them in the planning.
#5. Consider the interests and needs of older children.
While mapping out your ‘Eid day, don’t assume one size fits all. You know your children best and know each of their interests. Plan activities that will include older children’s preferences so they feel included.
#6. As a family, learn the correct way to pray the ‘Eid Salah and other Sunnan of ‘Eid.
The obligation of performing the ‘Eid salah is upon each household now that we cannot gather in the masajid. Take this time to educate yourself and your family. Here are some resources to reference:
A Simple Guide to the Eid Prayer
A brief word on ‘Eid al-Adhā and ‘Eid al-Fitr, celebrations and good conduct
The Day of ‘Eid and the ‘Eid Prayer: Obligations, Sunan and Celebration
#7. Plan your menu.
What will you have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? This isn’t an ordinary day! Plan at least ONE special meal together.
#8. Bake special treats together or order a cake.
What’s ‘Eid without sweets? If you have a tradition of eating special treats, then carry on the fun! If you don’t, then consider it an idea to make and decorate a cake.
#9. Plan to dress your best.
‘Eid at home doesn’t mean ‘Eid in pajamas. Just as we’d dress in our best when the masajid were open, we should do the same with our families.
#10. Decorate the house.
Alhamdulillaah, there is no sin in decorating the house on this special day, so long as it is not extravagant and not done to imitate the way it is done by non-Muslims.
Clarification on Decorating Homes for Eid by Shaykh Salim Bamihiriz (حفظه الله)
#11. Enhance the senses with an aromatic space.
In addition to decorating, what else can you do to set the mood? How about filling the home with a nice aroma of bakhoor or essential oil? A nice home-cooked meal will do just that.
THE BIG DAY
#12. Use technology to stay connected with family and friends.
You can do a family video call on Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp video.
#13. Use personal outdoor space.
Do you have a yard, patio, or balcony? You can use this space to BBQ, play games, and have intimate family discussions. Let the kids have a sack race.Use your outdoor space (or a basement, living room), gather a couple of pillow cases and let the kids race
#14. Have a scavenger or treasure hunt.
Hide some goodies, notes, or clues and let the kiddos seek them out.
#15. Play your favorite outdoor/indoor games.
If you have a large family, you can split your family into teams (i.e. boys vs. girls, kids vs. adults) to play games that require everyone getting up and moving. This could be freeze tag, soccer, duck-duck goose for little ones, and more.
#16. Consider other game ideas.
If you have a smaller home, or no outdoor space you can play traditional games and tailor fit them to a Ramadhaan or Islaamic theme. Games such as, Scrabble, Bingo, Jeopardy, Pictionary, and Charades can be adapted.
#17. Plan a fun simple craft to do with easy clean-up.
#18. Exchange gifts.
From the ways to increase love between the believers is to give gifts. Who is more deserving of this than our families?