‘Eed Greetings, Cards & Gifts
Abu Abdillaah Muhammad Al-Jibaaly
Festivals & Celebrations In Islam (2nd Ed.) pgs 68-71
Al-Kitaab & as-Sunnah Publishing
Muslims may greet each other on the day of ‘Eed with greetings pertaining to the occasion. There are no authentic reports in this regard from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), but it has been reported that the Sahaabah (radiyallaahu anhum) would say to each other after the ‘Eed prayer
تقبَّل اللهُ مِنا ومِنكَ
Taqabbalallaahu minnaa wa mink(a)
(May Allaah accept from us and you)
‘Eedul Fitr concludes the fasting of Ramadaan, and includes giving Zakaatul-Fitr.
‘Eedul Adha, on the other hand concludes Hajj and includes offering the sacrifice. Furthermore, both ‘Eeds include takbeer and the ‘Eed prayer. A Muslim would certainly be very blessed if Allaah accepts from him such major and important acts of worship. Therefore, wishing for other Muslims acceptance on the day of ‘Eed is a timely greeting and du’aa that should be truthfully said and happily received.
Some people say on ‘Eed:
(May Allaah accept from you your acts of obedience)
This carries the same above meaning and we see nothing wrong with saying it – wallaahu a’lam (Allaah knows Best). Other people say:
([may it be] a blessed ‘Eed)
Even though this has a good meaning, it is better to adhere to what the Sahaabah radiyallaahu anhum) said. If, however, someone says it to us, we would respond to him similarly, because Allaah commands us to return greetings:
“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allaah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.” [An-Nisaa’ (4):86]
In our time, the common people often say on ‘Eed:
“Kullu ‘aamin wa antum bi-khayr”
(may you be well every year)
“Kullu sanah wa-anta saalim”
(may you be safe every year)
or other variations of these.
In addition to the fact that these greetings are not said by the salaf, they are generic non-religious greetings that do not carry a valuable supplication like the earlier ones. Therefore they should be avoided for being inferior, and Allaah says:
“..Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower?..”
‘Eed Greeting Cards
A common practice in the western culture nowadays is sending out holiday cards to acquaintances during major holidays. In imitation of this, many Muslims now exchange postal greeting cards – which have turned in recent years to electronic cards that are broadcast to many recipients via email or cellular phones.
Instead of the warmth of personal ‘Eed greetings, formal card-exchange carries a spirit of forced cordiality that can be felt by the receiving party – being sent in generic format to a large number of people.
Therefore, this practice should be largely avoided – except in cases where a letter has to be written anyway, and the card seems to serve the purpose conveniently. But in most cases, a telephone call in which supplications are exchanged would serve the purpose much better.
Obviously, if a card is used, it should avoid prohibited text and pictures, and should contain one of the appropriate greeting that we discussed above.
There is no explicit instruction for Muslims to exchange gifts on the occasion of ‘Eed – except for Sadaqatul-Fitr (given to the poor on ‘Eedul-Fitr) and part of the sacrifice (given away on ‘Eedul-Adha).
Giving gifts, however, is generally recommended in Islam as a means of strengthening brotherhood ties among the Muslims. Abu Hurayrah radiyallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
(Exchange gifts: this will bring love among you) 1
Therefore, it is permissible for Muslims to exchange gifts at various occasions, including ‘Eeds. This gift-exchange, however, is subject to the following considerations:
• It should be done without extravagance or show-off.
• It should not be viewed as a mandatory practice associated with the occasion.
• The exchanged gifts should be permissible in Islam. They should not include statues, musical instruments, or other prohibited items.
With these guidelines, exchanging gifts can be put to good use on ‘Eed – bringing feelings of joy to the Muslim children, and attracting the hearts of non-Muslims and weak-hearted Muslims to Islam.