When graphic designer Amir Rizvi was young, the Eid custom in most families was to put small amounts of money between pages of the Quran and have the children fish out their iddi (Eid money).
Now, the 39-year-old from Oshiwara is worried that this tradition may soon die out. For the past few years, he has received branded clothes and Dior perfumes as Eid gifts from elders.
“Eid gifts are getting more expensive every year, which is both unnecessary and inappropriate,” said Rizvi, who explains that the only giving mandatory during Eid is charity through zaka and fitra (two types of compulsory charity).
Muslim families still take their fitrvery seriously, but in many homes, overall Ramzan expenses have increased because simple gifts no longer do. “Earlier, I used to give my children money for iddi. Then they started demanding clothes, and now they want only the expensive clothes that cost more than Rs 1,000,” said Khatoon Sheikh, a Bandra resident who recently moved from a chawl to a building with her four kids.
“But it is said that Eid is an occasion to spend, so I don’t mind,” she added.
Rais Sheikh, secretary of the Muslim NGO Qaumi Majlis-e-Shoora, likens the trend of giving lavish Eid gifts to that of throwing iftar parties.
“It’s a trend that is becoming popular within the circle of affluent Muslims,” said Sheikh, a Mazgaon-resident who received khajoor (dates) worth at least Rs 3,000 from relatives during Ramzan this year.
“These are exclusive, Arabian dates that we had only heard of as children, but now they are common gifts,” said Sheikh, who says the latest trend this year were sehri (breakfast) parties, starting as early as 2 am.
“I received at least 10 invites for them from prominent Muslims.”