What is the Islamic ruling on using Ramadan countdown calendars?


The esteemed nazim of Dar-ul-Ifta sought guidance from Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa upon a query he had received regarding the practice of decorating homes and creating Ramadan calendars to count down to the day of Eid, similar to the custom of Christmas. Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 10 May 2022, provided the following answer to this question:

“The essential matter here is that in this regard too, we ought to consider the directive of the Holy Prophetsa, i.e., إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنّيّاتِ [‘Deeds are judged by motives.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Bad’i l-wahy, Bab kayfa kana bad’u l-wahy ila rasulillah, Hadith 1)]. If the intention in decorating houses during Ramadan and putting up Ramadan calendars is to direct the attention of the household and children towards the significance of Ramadan; to cultivate an environment within the home that encourages family members, particularly children, towards the importance of various kinds of worship and supplications of Ramadan; so that they may engage in prayers and supplications at suhoor [pre-dawn meal] and iftar [meal at sunset] times, influenced by this atmosphere; and so that they can embrace each day of Ramadan with enthusiasm and fervour, benefiting from the blessings bestowed during this time, then there does not seem to be any issue with this action with such intentions.

“However, if the sole purpose is ostentation, and all these efforts are merely for show and display, and each day passes with the thought of, ‘Well, that’s good, so many days have passed, we’re relieved of them, the remaining days will soon pass too, and then we’ll celebrate Eid’, and on Eid, instead of seeking genuine happiness, one’s concern is merely superficial joys, then decorating houses and putting up Ramadan calendars with this intention is unequivocally not permissible.

“In conclusion, if this activity brings about a pure transformation within the family, and it generates attention towards the blessings of Ramadan, providing them with the opportunity to benefit from them, then such decoration and the putting up of such calendars is permissible. However, if the objective is merely to show off and to treat Ramadan as a burden, then such decorations and calendars would be impermissible and would be considered an innovation in religious matters.”

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