Eid-ul Adha is round the corner. Muslims around the world are preparing for the celebration as they wait to receive news from their loved ones performing the Hajj this year.
Muslims are encouraged to celebrate the two Eids with a blast.
Considering the current global financial situation and the need to observe moderation at all times, even during festivities, many Muslims will rethink Eid this year.
Eid-ul-Adha is all about sacrifice, so this might be a good way to set the tone for the year ahead.
Get Creative with DIY Decorations
If decorations are on your list of Eid celebration “rituals”, take them on a twist and try creating unique decorations Do-It-Yourself (DIY) style.
If you have children, they would be happy to lend a hand. Simple decorations like banners and streamers are quite easy to make with colorful crepe paper, art blocks, and some paint.
The house doesn’t necessarily have to look like a palace for an Eid function; it would be cozier if it represented what matters more: family unity and cohesiveness between its members.
Eid usually involves buying new curtains, new cushion covers, new cutlery, and new floor rugs.
Consider breaking into the storeroom to check the inventory for old belongings that can be washed or polished and used.
There’s nothing wrong with giving the home a new look, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with the resources at hand.
Otherwise, if there is a dire need to buy new sets, make sure the ones you buy can be used for a long time and not just for the Eid celebration.
Plan and Shop Intelligently
The Eid feast is a significant expenditure after the Eid prayers. There are many ways to curb excessive spending.
Firstly, plan out the meal and shop with a list. This would curtail any overspending. Of course, it would be wise to avoid the tidbit section, as this tends to run up the bill.
Another way to save money would be to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk significantly reduces costs in the long run, though the upfront payment may be a little more than usual.
But if you’re planning a large feast, then buying in bulk would probably be the best action plan.
Visiting relatives and planning get-togethers can also be costly, as travel and time force families to incur costs.
Instead, plan get-togethers with the immediate family. Convene at one house so everyone can meet at one place without the need to make too many trips to see each other.
If that is too much for one host to shoulder, then meet at a convenient location, such as a park or public community center. This can be done among friends, too.
To further curb spending, sharing the cost of food is a good way to reduce waste, and buying in bulk would really come in handy.
Otherwise, some smart planning would allow a potluck to run smoothly too.
Give-Aways for Charity
Gifts are always important on Eid, especially among children.
However, it is possible to curb spending on presents too. Homemade gifts are one way to go.
Children who enjoy arts and crafts could enjoy making gifts for each other and their parents.
This imbues the joy of giving as much as the joy of receiving.
If you’re buying gifts or, as some parents tend to do, asking your children what they want for Eid, try striking a deal with them.
In return for their presents, they encourage them to give some of their old belongings to charity.
This allows them to appreciate their gifts a little more and understand the importance of sacrifice for the sake of Allah.
Locate Needy Muslims
Needless to say, a grand part of Eid-ul-Adha is making sacrifices for the poor and needy, and the Sunnah relays the importance of the slaughtering of an animal.
In remembrance of the principle of fair distribution, it is best for Muslims to locate the most efficient venues.
In some areas where middle- to upper-class Muslims are part of the general or majority population, the sacrificial meat may not be distributed well enough, considering their distance from poorer communities.
This does not really curb one’s expenditure during Eid. But it reflects an important point that food, especially the udhiyah, could go to waste.
That would be a pity. Especially on a festive season that weighs heavily upon fairness amongst the poor and the udhiyah being a major part of worship on this Eid.
Before committing to a sacrifice, Muslim families should scout around for those who would really benefit and appreciate the charity.
This can be done within the same country of residence or even across borders.
There are many organizations that provide the same service to countries in need, such as Palestine, some African nations, and a few in Asia.
Make a Sacrifice Wish List
It would be nice for families to sit down and reflect on what sacrifice really means to them.
In today’s turbulent financial situation, many families already make plenty of sacrifices to keep up with their income and savings.
There is no better time to realign spending habits to better suit Islamic practices, like curbing waste and shouldering the pain being experienced by the less fortunate.
Coming up with a plan will not only help each family deal with externalities a little better, but it will also contribute to the betterment of the Ummah.
You can do sacrifice through monetary means; through sacrificing personal time to help out through volunteer work; through some personal activities that cost a large amount of expenditure; or even through starting funds or cooperatives that could help those in need.
Even giving away old belongings that are no longer needed but are in good condition is a form of sacrifice that is often overlooked.
In a world that is warped with materialism and an inherent need to be selfish, sacrificing one’s own comfort for the sake of Allah to help others comes across as an alien practice.
But Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) was a man of moderation.
Although he called for Muslims to reign victorious during the Eids, he cautioned them to observe Islamic principles while doing so, remembering brothers and sisters who are celebrating the festivities in less lustrous conditions.
Eid-ul-Adha is a perfect way to surrender oneself in humility to Allah. Just like Prophet Ibrahim obeyed the sacrifice of his own son, Prophet Ismail (peace be upon them both).
Throughout the year, reflect on what steps you can do to become a better Muslim through the act of sacrifice.
God-willing, Eid-ul-Adha will become all the more meaningful.
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