Friday, 16 September 2011

Gifts and Gifting : Let us Revive This Sunnah by Nisaar Y. Nadiadwala

One of the greatest qualities of those who are humble is that they accept giftsno matter what their value, and they do not look at their value or whether the giver could have afforded something better than that, rather one should accept it and appreciate it, and feel that the true gift is the love that motivated them to give, not the value of the gift.
Our Beloved Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), despite his high status and lofty position, would accept a gift even if it was a sheep’s foot or a drink of milk.
 It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:  “If I were invited to a meal of a sheep’s foot I would accept, and if I were given a sheep’s foot as a gift, I would accept.”   Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5178).
I once visited one of my relatives who had recently got married and he had his dining hall covered with wall clocks. I wonder at this display. He said.. You see in my wedding most of my friends and relatives gifted me only clocks so I dont know what to do with these clocks...They were thirteen ! Another friend of mine complained that he found most of the gifts only crockery sets in his wedding.
Today gift market has become a huge industry and even small cards are being bought and gifted in millions. Fathers day, mother's day, and all these days fetch a  good harvests for gift shops.
 One of my most precious gifts that have received was  a set of Tafseer Ibn Kathir in English at a time when it was expensive. During my last lecture tour one of my reader gifted me an expensive, rather  a precious wrist watch with honour and affection. This Ramadhan my paternal uncle gifted me a lap top and wants me to use it in the way of Allah.
I too love receive and to give gifts because it is a tradition of Islam and Muslims. Normally I gift dress or books to show my affection.
Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:  “Accept invitations, do not refuse gifts and do not beat the Muslims.” Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad (1/404). It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (6/59).
Our early generations of Muslims were generous in gifting. The best gifts are books, specially good books. Gifting a person is a declaration of affection.
There is a difference between a gift and a charity. Charity is given to the poor and the needy to meet their needs, and is done with the intention of seeking the Pleasure of Allaah. Its intention is not limited to a specific person; rather it is given to any poor or needy one. But a gift is not necessarily given to a poor person, rather it may be given to rich or poor; the intention is to show friendship and to honour the recipient. The Shariah even permits you to exchange gifts with the Non Muslims too.
Some of us gift away those things which we ourselves do not want or do not like.. well an ideal gift would be some thing you like and you gift it away or you gift to some one a thing he needs most, By this gesture you can see an immense pleasure on his face and a strong dua from him as well.. So  begin gifting generously..ahem ahem anybody with a gift for me ?
Author :Nisaar Nadiadwala speaks and writes on socio-educational topics from Islamic perspective. He can be reached at

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