How To Have 52 Eids A Year
In case you hadn’t noticed, we love Eid. Whether putting together gifts, celebrating the day or sharing it with our community, both Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha feature prominently in our families’ physical and spiritual calendar.
Thankfully, between the two Eids there is never more than eight weeks difference, but when Eid ul-Adha has finished and all the pilgrims welcomed back home, things can begin to feel a little quiet for us. A little ho hum. A little less special. Is it really a nine month wait until Ramadan?!
A few years ago, we decided that for our family, the joy, happiness, rituals and spirit of Eid could not be limited to twice a year. It just wasn’t enough and luckily for us, it doesn’t have to be.
“O Muslims! Allah has made this day (Friday) a day of Eid. So have a bath on this day, whoever has perfume should apply it, and use the miswaak.” (Ibn Majah)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
Yes. Every single Friday has been made an eid, a festival and celebration, for us! That’s just the kind of TGIF we like.
In fact, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has said that Friday is the best of days, one that is most virtuous in the sight of Allah and has more greatness than Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha.
Even more wonderful, we have the opportunity to honor and share the blessings of Friday with our children every seven days! It doesn’t have to be extravagant or elaborate, just a few little things to make it a bit more delightful than every other day and something exciting to look forward to. The hope is, that with the mercy of Allah, these small gestures will add up to the fostering of good habits, a deep connection to the joy of our Prophetic traditions and a lifelong consciousness of the beauty of our blessed Friday.
Since starting our own “Friday Eids” a few years ago with my eldest, I love that Jummah has become her favourite day – not because it heralds the weekend or means she can stay up late, but because it has become a happy celebration in its own right with its own rituals.
Amongst the things we do:
- Start the day the night before! My kids think it is so cool that our days begin after Maghrib prayers and that Friday actually begins Thursday night. So we sometimes we read a special story or simply just mention that Friday has begun and then share one reason which makes the day super special – for example, that Hazrat Adam was created on a Friday or that there is one specific hour in the day in which if you make a dua, it will definitely be accepted.
- Take a “special bath”. I know this sounds completely pedantic, but bathing on Friday is a beautiful sunnah and we make this bath special by using our “nice” shampoo/soap and also put on some attar afterwards (we also cut nails but I can’t say that part is a highlight!).
- Wear nice clothes (even if they’re not new). Wearing new clothes on Friday is a sunnah and when the kids get new clothes, we talk about saving them to wear first on a Friday but mostly, we just choose a nice Friday outfit – and try to incorporate green or white, the Prophet’s favourite colours!
- Tasty lunchtime treat. Throughout the week my daughter’s lunches are quite simple and quick, but on Friday, we bust out the chocolate oatcakes, tiny cupcakes or, her favourite fresh figs. It is incredible how much she looks forward to her Friday lunch sweets, even though they are so simple!
- Gifts. This comes in one of two ways. Somedays, I will make a gift for the kids. Super small and easy, often an origami animal or decorated pencil, I will wrap them up with a note and give it to them after school. Or sometimes, the gift is more of an experience. We will go to a different park that we usually don’t visit, meet friends we haven’t seen in awhile or walk to a local cafe for tea/hot chocolate. I expressly mention that this is our Friday gift (Jummah gift) and they will ask about what it is in the morning, but we try to keep it a surprise until the afternoon.
- Be happy and grateful. It’s not always easy in the midst of daily life and multiple commitments, but we try to be extra calm and attentive on Fridays, especially with our children, who often get caught up in our everyday rush. This attitude really makes a difference to the entire day, infusing all parts of it with a great serenity.
This is a small list of what can be done to celebrate Fridays with young children. On days there is no school, we try to attend jummah prayers – which can be quite an event in itself – and hopefully we will be able to expand and modify our celebrations as our children grow and change.
There are so many ways in which to experience every Friday as the Eid it is – perhaps you already do this, in which case please do share your ideas and what works with your children in the comments. Or, if you are just starting out, then try to find the way that is right for your family and see how it anchors and illuminates your week!