The Manners Of Giving-Receiving Gifts

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What are the manners of giving in islam? What does islam say about giving? What does the Quran say about giving gifts?

Gifts are what we offer to our loved ones without expecting anything in return. Presenting gifts help destroy selfishness, miserliness and ill-feelings of jealousy. Receiving gifts, in turn, amplify feelings of mercy and compassion, like a pinch of sugar dropped in the glass of water. It erases any prior hatred and hardheartedness between the giver and the receiver.

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- informs how offering gifts helps bring believers together and strengthens their bonds of love:

“Offer gifts to one another; for a gift wipes out malice and hatred from the heart. Let not any woman belittle any gift she offers her female neighbor, even if it be a little piece of mutton.” (al-Tirmidhi, Wala, 6)

“Offer a gift back to him who offers a gift to you. If you are not able to find anything, then at least pray for him so that the gift is not left unreturned.” (al-Nasai)

What to pay attention when offering gifts?

Gifts should be offered and received with the intention of fulfilling a sunnah of the Blessed Prophet –upon him blessings and peace, and a deed of worship.

One should not take note of the material value, quality or the size of a gift. What is important in offering or receiving gifts is the value two people mutually place upon one another and their mutual love.

When offering a gift, if the desire to show off or an expectation of a favor in return finds its way into the heart, the gift will lose all its value. The gift will not produce feelings of love, compassion and brotherhood.

The gift must not be out of one’s budget; for remembering and being remembered is what is important, not the material value of the gift.

If possible, we should buy or prepare the gift with our own means.

Those who deserve our gifts the most are our family members, our relatives, friends and neighbors but most of all, our dearest mothers, who have done far more for us than anyone.

We should wrap our gift in the best way possible and offer it with a smile and polite, gentle words.

It also a sunnah of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to present personal items to people who happen to like it.

“A woman once brought a mantle she had knitted with her own hands to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- as gift. She said:

‘I knitted this with my own hands so that you could wear it, Messenger of Allah.’

Needing a mantle of the kind, the Messenger of Allah kindly accepted the gift, wore it and then came next to us. Someone who saw him remarked, ‘What a beautiful mantle… Can I have it?’

‘Sure’, replied the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-. After sitting awhile, he then returned home; and after nicely folding the mantle, sent it to the man as gift.” (al-Bukhari, Libas, 18)

What kind of gifts are unacceptable?

Things considered unlawful or vile by Islam cannot be offered or accepted as gift.

Things that will scare or upset a person cannot be given as gift.

If the gift is offered as bribe or as reason to cause injustice, which are prohibited by Islam, then the gift cannot be accepted.

A Single Shirt

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- would love giving away the things that he owned as gift. If a person wanted something from him, he felt obliged to give it. There were times when he would give away the very last food or the sole item of clothing he had.

In fact, one day a child came to him and said, “My mother wants a shirt from you.”

The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had only the shirt he was wearing at the time and nothing else to wear.

“I will give you a shirt…but come a little while later”, he said to the child.

The child went back and returned not long afterwards.

“My mum urgently needs any shirt you can give her”, he said. Thereupon the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- went inside his room. He removed the shirt he was wearing and handed it to the child. The Companions, who arrived at the Masjid a short time later, found out that the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had given away the only shirt he had and therefore was unable to come to Masjid for prayer. They immediately obtained a shirt and gave it to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-.

With his unique and unmatchable generosity, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was a superb example to entire humankind.

Source; Islamic Etiquette, Faruk KANGER – Lokman HELVACI, Erkam Publications

Good Manners Towards Allah AlmightyGood Manners Towards Our Prophet

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