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Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Exchange presents with one another, for they remove ill feelings from the hearts (Tirmidhi).

Taking this into consideration the ideal gift for a child on Eid, or any other occasion, should have three qualities:
  1. It's within Islamic guidelines (i.e. no rock music cassettes)

  2. It's affordable

  3. The child likes it.

While it's hard to combine the three sometimes, planning ahead can more or less ensure you find something appropriate.

Some gift ideas include:

1. Islamic songs and videocassettes. Sound Vision's Adam's World cassettes are ideal for kids used to watching Sesame Street's Ernie, Bert and Big Bird five or more days a week.

As well, the company now offers a selection of Islamic songs cassettes in English.

2. Islamic coloring and activity books. These can not only teach children Arabic alphabets, for example, but they can also present kids with visual images of Muslim children and adults dressed in an Islamic manner engaging in Islamic activities (i.e. praying).

In contrast, even cartoon heroes and heroines can be found going out with girlfriends and boyfriends, not to mention dressed in ways that can be termed "unIslamic". This may seem trivial, but when a child is regularly exposed to these images and respects and admires the characters, they have an effect on his or her thinking or behavior.

3. If Islamic products can't be found easily in your area, or ordered in time for Eid, then even an educational game or coloring book is preferable to the mindless drivel that video games offer. Most of these games do not stimulate a child's learning ability, and of ten lead to fights between brothers and sisters to play the games on the Nintendo.

While presents like toys and new clothes are standard gift ideas, these are sometimes too expensive, especially if the child requests a costly new doll or toy, or if there are many children in the family.

Gifts don't have to be material things. In this day and age, many parents work outside the home. That means they often have little time to spend with their kids. Spending time as a family together is a gift in itself. Some ideas for this kind of Eid present could include:

1. A trip to the planetarium. This can be an opportunity to wonder at the beauty of Allah's creation, the planets and galaxy, and maybe even learn something about moon-sighting.

2. If weather permits, a long drive out to a place on the outskirts of the city that the family has never seen before.

3. A meal at a Muslim restaurant, preferably on Eid day. The added benefit of this is that you would be supporting a Muslim business.

These are just some ideas that can be used on Eid. There are many other creative things that can be done with the children on this blessed day. However, the important thing is to teach them what Eid is about and provide Halal and fun ways in which they can commemorate the occasion, knowing that Muslims, too, have their festivals.

By Samana Siddiqui



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