At my school, it is a tradition to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Teachers contribute towards buying gifts for the opposite sex. On this day the gifts are presented in front of the assembly. Is this a Bidah? Should teachers take part by giving money to buy gifts?
This tradition which you have mentioned where teachers contribute towards buying gifts for the opposite sex is totally impermissible and unlawful in Islam.
The whole idea of celebrating Mother’s day and Father’s day is not in accordance with the Islamic teachings. Since it is a school event there is not much you can do to stop it, however, you can take a less active part in it, if you are not capable of being totally out.
Apart from these unIslamic celebrations, it is permissible to exchange gifts and contribute towards the purchase of gifts for others, however it should not be that males are purchasing for females and vice versa.
In a situation where a teacher or the principal may be leaving the school and all other teachers wish to contribute towards a gift, there is no harm in this. Similarly, if teachers wish to contribute towards purchasing gifts on the occasion of Eid and the gifts be distributed to teachers, then this is also permissible.
Although in these cases it may happen that males may contribute towards a gift for a female or vice versa, it will be permissible since it is a collective contribution of each teacher without identifying any particular person/persons. However in the first case it was clear that males would purchase for females and females would purchase for males and this is not permissible in Islam.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan