Whether Eid Al Fitr or Eid Al Adha, people exchange gifts in celebration of the religious holidays.

Giving or generousity is encouraged in Islam as it’s an act of love and kindness. The act of exchanging gifts is taken from a hadith of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in which he says, ‘Mutual gift-giving increases the love between people’. This hadith can be taken as advice for a way to bring people closer together and with the intention of following the teachings of the Prophet. However, it is not a religious obligation to gift exchange on any occasion.

The only exception is Zakat Al Fitr, also known as Sadaqat Al Fitr, which is an obligatory charity for Muslims who possess the Nisab (a minimum amount of wealth) to give to the less fortunate before Eid Al Fitr. Usually donated to charity organisations, amounting to around QAR15, Zakat Al Fitr provides food in the form of wheat, barley or rice, or even new clothes for the less fortunate. There is also Eidya or Eidi, which is a tradition in the region of gifting money to children and other family members.

In Eid Al Adha, part of the sacrifice should be given to the poor. Eid Al Adha is a public holiday where those who can afford it sacrifice a sheep or lamb (sometimes a goat, camel or a cow) as a reminder of Prophet Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah – his willingness to sacrifice his son under Allah’s command. Learn about the origin of Eid
Al Adha, read ‘The Feast of Sacrifice’ in the Events and Activities section. The sacrificed animal is then divided into three parts. One third is given to the poor, one is divided among relatives and the remaining third is cooked and eaten by the family. This is how the festival gets its alternative name ‘Feast of Sacrifice’. Sacrificing sheep or lamb on Eid Al Adha is as symbolic as turkey at Christmas, and Thanksgiving in the US and Canada.

Some Muslims choose to donate the money which they would spend buying and sacrificing the animal to the poor or donate the animal itself to the poor in celebration of the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’.

A new Eid tradition
When gathering in Eid Al Fitr or Eid Al Adha, or even visiting family or friends on these occasions, people may come carrying gifts. These gifts could be anything from sweets or cake to flowers to clothes to jewellery.

Recently, as the practice of gift giving has become popular, Eid gift boxes are now available and can be found at gift shops across the country. The Eid gift boxes vary and come in various sizes and shapes, and include a collection of diverse and colourful items. Shaped in Islamic symbols and motifs such as a crescent moon or lantern, some boxes might include chocolates, biscuits or cookies, and other sweets. Others might include dates and/or nuts. Some boxes may inlude the Quran and other Islamic items with or without chocolates and other sweets. Some gift boxes may even include money as a Eidya.

Traditional gifts include mabkhara (incense burner and bakhoor (incense). The design of the mabkhara has evolved from a simple, clay, goblet-like dish to an often elaborate and expensive item. Electrically heated mabkharas are now available in addition to charcoal ones. Bakhoor comes in a variety of fragrances from an assortment of prized plants, and is often a mixture of gums and resins combined with aromatic spices, traditionally burnt over hot charcoal. Popular incense in Qatar are frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood and oud, favoured by the women of the Gulf and obtained from the Agar tree.

So, if you’re looking to buy a gift for loved ones during Eid Al Fitr or Eid Al Adha, the options are unlimited, whether you’re looking for something new and trendy, or traditional.

Author: Ola Diab

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