Ramadan is near, and our hearts are longing for it’s mercy and blessings. With less than a month to go, I ask Allah (S) to make use of those who reap the benefits of this blessed month and aid us in it’s fast and qiyam. Growing up, I knew Ramadan was near when my mom started decorating our home with colorful string lights, and making Ramadan themed crafts with us such as construction paper lanterns and crescents.
She would read stories to us in Arabic about the significance of fasting and the Quran. We would accompany her to the Arabic grocery store to get our Ramadan iftar and suhoor necessities and help her out in the kitchen when it was our turn to host iftar dinners. Going to taraweeh and qiyam at our local mosque was the highlight of our month. Greeting our friends and community and praying alongside them in communion, it seems like it was a different lifetime ago.
Things have changed drastically over the years, and in our current situation with mosques operating at half capacity or not yet open, we will have to make the best of Ramadan 2021 as we did last year.
I am thankful that my parents put a great deal of emphasis on making sure my siblings and I were well aware of our holidays and made an effort to decorate our home and get us excited about Ramadan. Now a mother myself, especially during the pandemic, I make a conscious effort to instill these same values in my daughter and son. I believe it’s important, now more than ever, that we as Muslims show our children the importance of celebrating Ramadan and Eid. They constantly face year round attention on holidays that pertain to other faiths. Why not make a big deal of our own?
Some may argue that we are putting too much emphasis on decorating and not enough on the spiritual and fasting aspects of Ramadan. I believe there can be room for both, and some beautiful decorations can help set a festive and special mood that sets Ramadan apart from other months. And in times like these, coming off of the last Ramadan that saw us staying home with masajid closed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, bringing that Ramadan feeling to our homes through worship and atmosphere is even more important.
Here are a few ideas for some fun and interactive ways to get your children, family and home ready and in the Ramadan and Eid spirit! In 2019 I wrote a similar post
highlighting everything you need to know to get Ramadan and Eid ready. Times have certainly changed since then and the way in which we celebrate our holidays has been altered. For this reason, I will be covering ways in which you can still enjoy a blessed Ramadan despite the limitations we are facing due to sheltering in place and social distancing.
Also, be sure to scroll through to the end for a comprehensive list of Muslim vendors and businesses catering to Ramadan, Eid and Muslim decor in general!
Decorate Your Home
Putting up Ramadan and Eid decor in the house is the most obvious and effective way of getting everyone at home involved and in the holiday spirit. Everywhere you look, you will be constantly reminded of the spirit of the holy month. It’s never too early to start. Since many of us are still homebound, this would make a great family activity. Get everyone involved – yes, husbands too – by brainstorming ideas on how to decorate your home in preparation for Ramadan. Let your imagination soar, and have the kids take control of decorating their playroom or bedrooms. Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy are great sources for inspiration and products.
Putting up lights, banners, making an “Itikaf tent” and a Ramadan and Eid countdown calendar are just some ways you can incorporate the holidays around your home. One other countdown idea is to tie 30 balloons numbered 1-30 on your stair bannister or somewhere in the house and have the kids pop one each night after iftar time – only if they don’t mind the popping sound!
Danah's itikaf tent for her children; image source: the author.
If your kids are older (or don’t have kids), go with some more sophisticated string lights, maybe lanterns and some tasteful Ramadan art or printables
that can be displayed on easels. Maybe Ramadan/Muslim-oriented throw pillows or wall hangings. Make your fireplace (if you have one) and mantle a focal point!
Here are some more decorating ideas and special celebrations you can do at home to amp up the Ramadan excitement!
Ramadan Crescent Moon Hunt
Last year one of my friends and creator behind Omar’s Library
hosted an at home “Ramadan Crescent Moon Hunt” the week of Ramadan, and it was such a brilliant idea and a fun alternative to the event she hosted back in 2019 when social gatherings and picnics were common practice. In previous years, the Ramadan Crescent Moon Hunt was a potluck-type event that included activities, such as Ramadan story time, and interactive discussions about the religious significance of sighting the Ramadan crescent, the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr
) and other aspects of Ramadan.
When the pandemic started, instead of cancelling the event, the Ramadan Crescent Moon Hunt was altered to a more personal experience in order to keep the spirit of Ramadan alive and the festivities going. Each family received a personalized box that included multiple stars and one crescent moon. Parents were instructed to hide the stars and crescent in their backyard, children’s playroom or around their home.
In the background while each child went on a moon hunt, we played Yusuf Islam & Children’s nasheed, Ramadan Moon
. Parents took videos and photos of their children searching for the Ramadan moon and shared on a WhatsApp group. Alhamdulillah, my daughter enjoyed this activity so much that we continued our moon hunt several times a week in our playroom. This all goes to show that with a little creativity and lots of imagination, you can celebrate and enjoy Ramadan regardless of your circumstances.
I invite you to make your own Ramadan Crescent Moon Hunt group and tailor the activity to your liking. Share your photos and videos with your group and spread the cheer and joy of this blessed month!
Ramadan baskets are a great way for your kids to get excited about utilizing their time in Ramadan while trying to take their mind off of food, if they are participating in the fast. You can customize the contents of each basket to meet each of your child’s needs and age. A great place to start is with books on Ramadan. I am so proud to say that unlike my own childhood, now there is a great selection of Islamic books with beautiful illustrations and easy to understand concepts in both Arabic and English.
Other things you can include are: A water bottle to help them keep hydrated after breaking their fast, playdough, coloring books, a prayer rug, thikr beads
, Ramadan activity books
and pretty much anything else you’d like to include and think your child would enjoy! You can also encourage your kids to make these baskets for their friends, thus working in a charitable aspect to the activity.
Iftar Meal Train
Hosting iftar parties at home was always one of my favorite parts about the holy month growing up, and it’s no secret that I still enjoy it now as an adult. One of my fondest memories of Ramadan was when my mom would host an iftar dinner just for my sister and my friends. We would help her come up with the menu and with the way we wanted to present the food and decorate around the house. This is a great way for you to get your children involved in the sunnah of feeding a fasting person.
Image source: Twitter
It was narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said
: “Whoever feeds the person who is breaking his fast, he will have his reward (for his fasting) without decreasing anything from the reward of the fasting person.”
Although we did not get to enjoy this Ramadan tradition last year due to COVID, and with many continuing to take precautions and limiting social gatherings this year as well, you can still take part in this generous sunnah of feeding others. This year, consider organizing an iftar meal train with your family and friends who you would normally invite over to your home.
Take turns making a nutritious and hearty homemade meal for them to enjoy at home, and earn the reward of feeding a fasting person (outside of your immediate family). Drop off an item for their iftar! Limitations and unprecedented circumstances are a chance for us to think outside of the box! We can still continue the spread of Ramadan cheer regardless of how Ramadan will look this year.
Ramadan/Eid Countdown Calendar
Design by Sanna’s multi color
Ramadan Good Deed calendar is yet another option. No matter what style calendar you choose to incorporate into your home, your children will get excited each day of the holy month as they countdown their days to Eid.
You can customize the contents of each day depending on your children’s ages. If you’re hanging up a homemade calendar, include slips of paper with a du'a or hadith on it, reasons to be thankful this Ramadan, an activity to do with supplies around the house, or a piece of chocolate. Using an advent-type calendar for Ramadan can also be a great incentive for your children to practice fasting. You can also have them talk about what they are thankful for each day before they enjoy their treat.
Create A Salah Corner
Image source: Unsplash
Since many of our mosques are still closed or operating at limited capacity, this Ramadan many of us will still not be able to attend taraweeh and qiyam prayers as we normally would. A great way to keep your kids excited about this holy month while still putting an emphasis on what Ramadan is truly about is creating a special space in your home where they can pray and read the Quran. By decorating it with beautiful lanterns and twinkle lights to give a warm and inviting feel, your kids (and you, too!) will want to spend most of their time here! You can set up an itikaf tent
as I mentioned earlier or even make your kids their very own mosque made out of cardboard
This year, I have incorporated a DIY cardboard mosque
that my husband cut out and put together, and my daughter and I decorated it with colorful pom poms. If you’re not the crafty type, you can also purchase a My 1st Masjid
kit with everything you need to build your cardboard mosque.
It has been a fun addition to our playroom with endless hours of open ended play. Our masjid has been a great way to discuss the importance of salah, keeping the houses of Allah (S) clean, and attending prayers at the masjid once we are able to.
This special space can also be used for story time where you read books on Ramadan and Eid as well as for reading Quran and setting your Quran reading goals for the holy month as a family. Your kids can also practice praying their five daily prayers as well as taraweeh and qiyam prayers in their very own mosque.
Spread Dawah and Cookies
One of my absolute favorite traditions is to bake crescent and moon shaped Ramadan and Eid cookies with my children to pass out to our neighbors at the beginning of Ramadan and for Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha. For Ramadan, along with the cookies, my daughter and I make delicious chocolate date balls sprinkled with toppings, such as coconut shreds and crushed pistachios. (Be sure to check for any nut and food allergies before handing them out.)
Danah's cookies and date balls! Image source: the author.
You can include a personalized note or brief message
on Ramadan to go along with the goodies. Being kind to our neighbors is also a sunnah and spreading dawah can come in many forms. Make it a fun family tradition, and talk to your children about these values that are an integral part of our faith.
Be sure to check out these
beautifully decorated cookies (I use Miss Sana Teaches
sugar cookie recipe found under the “recipes” highlight) using With A Spin’s cookie cutters
as well as this
delicious date ball recipe, and these peanut butter chocolate energy bites
by Nazima Qureshi. You can customize these recipes to your liking and play around with different nut butters as well as toppings and cookie designs!
Ramadan & Eid Pajamas
Wearing new pajamas on the night of Eid was something my late mother-in-law introduced me to after getting married. It is a tradition I hold near and dear to my heart and intend on passing down to my children and family in her honor and to keep her beautiful legacy alive. She would buy brand new pajamas for herself and the whole family to wear on the night of Eid, so that when you wake up on Eid morning you’re in a pair of beautiful and new pajamas.
I loved the idea so much that I started incorporating it into my circle of friends and bought Eid pajamas for their kids to wear. There are many shops out there now, such as Jasmine and Marigold
, Noam Pajamas
and Twinkled Eid
, that offer a variety of beautifully designed Ramadan and Eid sleepwear for the whole family to enjoy. You can even make this into a month-long tradition and gift your family special pajama sets that they can wear throughout the month of Ramadan.
The Ultimate Ramadan and Eid Shopping List
We ask Allah (S) to make use of those who observe Ramadan this year and reap it’s blessings. We all know that the purpose of this holy month is to focus on our spirituality and worship, but making this time of year extra special by adding decor around the house for the entire family to enjoy and planning special activities for your kids can also be a form of worship in making the month meaningful in a multitude of ways. It’s important to show our children that our deen is one of beauty, and getting them excited about their own holidays wouldn’t be complete without adding bits of pizzaz here and there!
It was narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said
: “Verily, Allah is beautiful and he loves beauty. He loves the loftiest of affairs and disapproves of pettiness.”
It’s so exciting to see the countless options we now have when it comes to Muslim-owned businesses and the amazing products they have to offer especially for Ramadan and Eid decorations. I’ve rounded up a list of online shops and vendors for your convenience.
Happy shopping and decorating!
Image source: Tawheed Treasures, owned by Hannah Tamimi
Books & Book/Toy Stores
Ramadan & Eid Decor
Image source: Aisheh Ashour owner of Lilly & Lulu Co
Ramadan/Eid Pajamas & Clothing
Printables & Resources
It’s a pretty exhaustive list, but we still may have missed some vendors! Share with us who we have missed and what some of your favorite Muslim decor businesses and Ramadan projects are in the comments below!