Check Out The Interesting History Behind The Eidiyah

By: Farah Mahgoub

Eid is always filled with joy and celebrations, especially for children who usually wait impatiently for the Eid Eidiyah (money given as a gift), it’s basically every kid’s favorite part of the holiday. Have you ever thought of how the concept of the Eidiyah came about? And how did this tradition initially begin?

Based on history the word Eidiyah, it comes from the word “Eid”, which means in literal Arabic “giving” or “sympathy”, and it’s used to describe the money and gifts distributed in both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

It all goes back to the Fatimid era, where the Eidiyah would be distributed to citizens, old and young alike, in the form of money, fruits or clothes on the first day of Eid, while scholars and Quran reciters would receive silver dirhams.

Via: Beliefnet

The Eidiyah took its official form in the Mamluk period, where it was called “al gamkeyya” which means “money allocated for buying clothes”, and the amount of money given would be based on the person’s social class. As a gift from the Sultan himself gold dinars would be placed on a plate surrounded by delicious Eid sweets and Kahk presented to princes as well as other high ranking military men.

Finally, this all changed in the Ottoman period, where instead of rulers distributing money, the Eidiyah took the form of money and gifts that was given mainly to children by their parents and older relatives, which is the Eidiyah as we know it today. 

WE SAID THIS: You’re never get old for Eidiyah!