Eid is a joyous occasion for Muslims all around the world. From enjoying the traditional sweets to cleaning the house, Eid has its very own traditions. Over the last few years, you may have seen an Eid tree in many Muslim households and wondered whether Eid trees are halal or haram.
In this article, we will start with what is Eid tree, its historical significance, whether it is halal or haram, and if Muslims are allowed to decorate their houses on Eid.
Celebrating Ramadan or the day of Eid by putting up Eid trees or Ramadan trees (crescent and star-shaped decorations) is not haram in Islam. However, you must not be extravagant about the decorations or consider them an act of worship.
Since the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) did not put up Eid trees or decorations, considering them an act of worship is an innovation (bid’ah).
What are Eid Trees & Ramadan Trees?
The Eid Tree consists of a crescent and a star that is said to be inspired by the Islamic symbol of the crescent and the star. The green tree (shaped like a crescent) signifies the Olive Tree and the idea is to make Eid moments special by making memories around it.
Although, the symbolism behind the crescent and the star has no basis in the Sharia (source). The symbols held no significance at the time of the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him), the Khulafa-e-Rashideen, or the Umayyad Dynasty. Historians differ on when the symbol first appeared but it happened sometime after the Umayyad dynasty.
Are Eid & Ramadan Trees Haram?
As Eid & Ramadan trees are gaining popularity, you may feel like celebrating with one this year. Scholars say that there is nothing wrong with putting up the illuminated star and crescent-shaped decorations and others as long as it’s intended solely as a way of celebration.
The Eid tree or any other kind of decorations must not be regarded as an act of worship.
If you’re hanging the illuminated crescent and star outside (and inside) their homes for Ramadan and Eid, there are a few things you must remember:
- Hanging decorations (the crescent and the star) must not be regarded as an act of worship, but rather a way of celebration.
- You must not be extravagant or spend a lot of money on the decorations.
- The decorations must not include any animate figures or musical devices.
- The mosques must avoid putting up decorations as it will distract the worshippers.
The following question was asked on IslamWeb.net about the permissibility of Eid trees:
I want to ask you about the ruling regarding decorating the houses with glittery star and moon-shaped decorations for the sake of the kids in anticipation of and to welcome Ramadan.IslamWeb (source)
To which he was answered:
We do not know of any Islamic impediment in decorating the houses and lighting the with lanterns and the like out of joy and happiness for the beginning of the month of Ramadan.IslamWeb (source)
The fact that the Salaf (righteous predecessors) did not do that is not enough to describe it as an innovation, because the one who decorates his house at the beginning of Ramadan does not believe that this act of decoration is an act of worship; rather, this is like good customs which represent joy and happiness with an act of worship
Islam encourages Muslims to take part in the Eid festival and enjoy the festivities, but without indulging in extravagance. Decorations and candies can be an excellent way to involve kids and get them interested in Eid. Allah says in the Holy Quran:
O children of Adam, take your adornment [i.e., wear your clothing] at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.Al-Quran, Surah Al-A’raf, verse 31 (source)
Decorations are Not an Act of Worship
When it comes to Ramadan or Eid decorations, there is a strong emphasis on not considering it a religious activity.
If we consider decorations an act of worship, then it is considered a Bid’ah (innovation). The Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said:
Beware of newly invented matters [in the religion], for verily every bid’ah (innovation) is misguidance.”Hadith (source)
The Symbolism of the Crescent and Star in Islam
On the subject of the crescent and star as a symbol of Muslims, Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid added:
It should be noted that taking the star and crescent as a symbol of the Muslims has no basis in sharee’ah, and it was not known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the time of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, or even at the time of the Umayyads.Sheikh Saalih Al-Munajjid (source)
Rather it was introduced after that. Whatever the case, flags and banners should be in accordance with sharee’ah, and as there is no evidence that this (the crescent and star symbol) is prescribed in Islam, it is better to avoid it. The crescent and star is not a symbol of the Muslims, even though some Muslims have adopted it.”
Can you Decorate Your House for Eid?
For decades, decorations have remained consistent with celebrations. Everywhere in the world, people of every faith and nationality celebrate weddings, religious, and other festivals by decorating their houses or streets.
Muslims also want to decorate their houses to show their happiness and joy during Ramadan and Eid.
About decorating houses for Eid, Sheikh Faraz Rabbani was asked:
Would it be permissible to decorate the inside of a house with tinsel, balloons, lights etc for eid, so that the children look forward to eid?
To which he replied:
There is no harm in this, if done without wastefulness. The ulema mention, however, that one should not reduce Eid to a merely materialistic celebration.Sheikh Faraz Rabbani, IslamQA (source)
On the other hand, Muslim children (especially the ones living in Western countries) often start taking an interest in festivals like Christmas and Easter. Since Muslims are not allowed to celebrate non-Muslim festivals like Christmas, involving them in Eid festivities can get them interested in their own festivals over the others.
As a cherry on top, being happy during the acts of worship is an act of worship in itself.
There is no doubt that being happy during acts of worship and during the seasons for performing such acts is considered veneration of the symbols of Allaah, which is itself an act of worship.IslamQA (source)