Growing up there was no such thing as “Ramadan decorations,” but today, a quick search on Pinterest, Party City or Amazon will get you plenty of ideas on how to make holiday decor and even some products to buy. However, it’s still a long stretch to becoming mainstream. Dearborn, Michigan resident, Samar Baydoun Bazzi, felt we needed some more holiday cheer for Ramadan and I for one, am not complaining. As a mom, Baydoun Bazzi wanted to do more to mark the religious month for her kids in a way she didn’t get to enjoy in her youth, thus came the Ramadan tree!
“Obviously, Ramadan’s important,” Baydoun Bazzi told the Detroit Free Press. “You gotta pray and fast, and you want to become closer to your creator. But I never as a kid felt like there was any decorations or like a celebration. I wanted something exciting.”
It all began when she brought home a tree to decorate for Ramadan back in 2014, but it confused her children as they linked it to Christmas. She decided to take apart the artificial tree and bend it into the shape of a crescent moon. As the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the crescent moon and star are known as symbolic representations of the religion. Her first attempt fell apart quickly, now she spends 2-5 hours making a tree to ensure it’s stable. Baydoun Bazzi has turned her creative holiday decoration into a business and the first Ramadan trees in America was born!
She’s sold about 40 trees since this January at $150 each and there is a waiting list with at least 20 people. You can purchase the tree in forest green or white, with lights and an ornamental 5-point or 8-point star. Currently Baydoun Bazzi ships to Chicago, Virginia, New York, and Minnesota and takes orders through her private Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Though Baydoun Bazzi’s trees are dope AF, surprisingly, she’s not the only Muslim to build Ramadan trees. In 2015, another Dearborn resident, Suzanne Jaber also began making holiday trees all year round to celebrate Muslim holidays like Ramadan, Eid al-Adha, and Mawlid al-Nabi, the prophet’s birthday.
The mother of four said that growing up in Lebanon they always had decorations and a new year’s tree to celebrate so it was strange for her not to have a tree during Ramadan but things changed when she moved to America.
“It wasn’t foreign for us to put a Christmas tree in Lebanon,” Jaber told the Detroit Free Press. “So when we came here, we did put it for few years, but when I got married, I didn’t put one because I always thought if my kids weren’t good religious enough, their kids and, you know, maybe their other generations, they put a Christmas tree, they would think they’re something else other than Muslim.”
Jaber didn’t want to confuse her children because growing up in America, a tree with lights always represents Christmas. That is what led to Jaber creating a crescent-shaped tree so it can be identified with Islam. Along with large crescent trees, Jaber has tapped into the market of mini-tabletop trees, lanterns, ornaments and other holiday decorations. Jaber enjoys hearing from customers about how much children enjoy getting involved, which was her purpose.
Unfortunately, Baydoun Bazzi and Jaber have faced criticism about their trees due to its pagan origins and some feel that it is an attempt to fit Ramadan into Christian traditions and its confusing children.
“That’s not my intention,” Baydoun Bazzi said. “Honestly, all of us that make them just want to make our children happy. That’s my main reason.”
Both women have no intent to change religion, but as mothers, they wanted to bring something unique to their children growing up in America. So to not to confuse her children, Baydoun Bazzi doesn’t put presents under the tree like Christmas, she takes her children out shopping for presents for Eid.
These super-moms are trying to spread love, peace, and hope for their children so they can grow up in a more inclusive environment.
Image Source: Instagram/EidShop