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Giving Gifts in Islam – Laws – How To

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Giving gifts, In a party, celebration, graduation or in the birthday of our family, brothers, sisters or others we have to give gifts to them. With gifts, we join in their happiness of who has the party. Giving gifts in Islam are divided into some parts.  Giving gifts in Islam are one of the acts that Prophet Muhammad recommended us as Muslims to do. Al-Bukhari narrated that ‘Aa ‘isyah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Messenger of Allah used to accept gifts and reward people for giving them.”

The phrase; “Reward people for giving them”, means giving giver at a later time; something of equal value at least in return. This hadith also said that in accepting gifts and giving something of equal value to the giver is the way of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.


1. Respond in Kind

Abu Dawood narrated that our Prophet Muhammad SAW enjoined responding in kind to favours, as he said in the hadith: “Whoever does you a favour, respond in kind, and if you can not find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind.”

This hadith above means that whoever treats you kindly in word or deed or by gifting you, treat him kindly just as he has treated you kindly. If you don’t have the money, please repeatedly supplicate for him until you think that you have rewarded him his due. Our Prophet Muhammad SAW said; “Whoever has a favor done for him and says ‘Jazaak Allahu khayran’ has done his utmost to thank him.” (narrated by At-Tirmidzi)

Maybe between of us also have the same question, “How about giving the money as a gift?” Refer to the Permanent Committee (A supreme Islamic Judicial Authority in Saudi Arabia, was asked a similar question) and replied as follows: “There’s nothing wrong with accepting an amount of money as a gift, without you as the recipient longing for that, and you can respond in kind if you are able to with an appropriate gift, or you can supplicate for him, like the above mentioned in Hadith.”

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2. Law of Gift when Giving Gifts in Islam

How about the law of gift and giving gifts in Islam? Are you know? Some people, between us, still don’t understand about that. Law of gift is mubaah (as the agreement reached by the members of a religious community/scholars) if the giving gift in the form of a desire to strengthen friendship, to loving each other and accepting gifts and giving something of equal value to the giver (sometimes), the law of gift become to mustahab (something that our Prophet occasionally did). And it can be haraam if he’s giving the gifts (in something haraam) or giving something like bribe is not be allowed in Islam.

Strong opinion tells that law of giving gifts in Islam is waajib, these are of hadith explain that our Prophet Muhammad SAW said; “Fill the invited people, do not reject the gifts, and do not hit the Muslims.” (narrated by Sahih Al-Jami’ 158)

Narrated from Ibn Umar, he said;” Rasulullah SAW has to give me something.” Then he replied; “Take it if there comes a little from this treasure to you, while you are not greedy for it and do not ask for it then take it. Then if you want, take it all. And if you want to, give alms to him.” The Prophet’s tradition is never to reject a gift unless there is a reason syar’i.

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3. Giving Birthday Gift in Islam

Throw a fancy party for our children birthday and invite family and friends also have meals together, which it’s happening among us. The fancy party is so full of fun and we celebrate it with exchange presents and gifts. Is it allowed to celebrating the birthday and giving birthday gifts to Islam? The answer is big No, our Prophet Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassalam didn’t celebrate the birthdays even to his children, his friends, his wives, or others.

Allah has blessed and recommend us to celebrate the two Eids. And the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassalam said that every Friday is an Eid day. Please celebrate these and win the pleasure of Allah. In the Holy Quran verse 33:31, Allah said that “There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person who looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.”

Giving gifts to another (Non-Muslim)

Have you ever giving gifts to another, non-Muslims? If the answer yes,  here the explanation. Mainly, yes’ we can accept and give gifts to non-Muslims and there’re many proofs from Quran and Sunnah, like some listed below. Some scholars say that it’s not permissible to accept gifts from non-Muslims. But, there are some considerations on the exchange of gifts with non-Muslim, which are :

  • The gift should not be an interface for a bribe.
  • The gift should not be helping demonstrate the recipient’s religion, like giving cross or bible.
  • The gift should not be given on religious holidays; because that means that you encourage and agree with them (their religion) and that’s prohibited.
  • The gift should not be the result of or result in a bad thing.
  • The gift should not be over expensive; it’s prohibited in Islam also it’s wasting your money

These are some hadith that prove to accept gifts from non-Muslims and proofs that to giving gifts to non-Muslims:

  • This hadith narrated by Anas bin Malik; “A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet and he was asked,’Shall we kill her?’ He said, no’. I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah’s Apostle.”
  • This hadith narrated by Abu Humaid As-Saidi; ”We accompanied the Prophet in the Ghazwa of Tabuk and the King of ‘Aila presented a white mule and a cloak as a gift to the Prophet. And the Prophet wrote to him a peace treaty allowing him to keep authority over his country.”
  • Allah also says in Quran in verse Al-Mumtahanah:8; “Allah does not forbid you from being kind and acting justly towards those who did not fight over faith with you, nor expelled you from your homes. Allah indeed loves those who are just.”
  • Finally, the hadith that narrated Ibn Umar; Umar saw a silken cloak over a man for sale and requested the Prophet to buy it in order to wear it on Fridays and while meeting delegates. The Prophet said
    “ This is worn by the one who will have no share in the Hereafter.” Later on, Allah’s Apostle got some silken cloaks similar to that one, and he sent one to Umar. Umar said to the Prophet “How can I wear it, while you said about it what you said?” The Prophet said, “I have not given it to you to wear, but to sell or to give to someone else.” So, Umar sent it to his brother at Mecca before he embraced Islam.

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There’s a case, a woman that she converts to Islam, she giving gifts to her parents that her parents are the atheist, how do we respond if there is a case like this? Is it haraam giving gifts to our parents that they aren’t as Muslim? The answer is to look at in this hadith narrated by Asma’ bint Abu Bakr; “My mother came to me during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle and she’s a pagan. I said to Allah’ss Apostle (seeking this verdict) ‘My mother has come to me and she desires to receive a reward from me, shall I keep good relation with her?’ The Prophet said, ‘Yes, keep good relation with her.’”

This hadith told us giving gifts to our family or parents that they are not Muslim is allowed by Islam. It’s recommended to make gift leave a good impression for the recipient about Islam. You can show how greatly respected parents are in Islam. Islam orders us to be devoted to our parents even they are not Muslims, moreover, even if they wanted us to become to non-Muslims; as comes in Quran verse 31: 15 “If they try to force you to associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. Live with them honorably in the world,  but follow the way of him who turns to Me. You returning is to Me in the end, when I will tell you what you  did.”

The Reason of Syar’i to Reject Gift Giving

The Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “Do not you reject the gift!” He never denied the prize, except for the syar’i barrier as mentioned below.

  • Ihram State: This hadith narrated by Bukhari Muslim that  Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) was given the gift of a wild donkey but he rejected it. When he saw something in the gift giver’s face, he said: “Verily, I have denied the reward for nothing else because I am ihram.” This Hadith contains information that a person can not and does not receive the halal reward (while ihram).
  • Fear of being slanderedThe Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “For the sake of Allah, after this day I will not receive a gift from anyone but from the people who migrate from the Quraish tribe, or the Ansar, or the people of the tribe of Daus or of the tribes of Tsaqif.” (Shahih al-Adab al-Mufrad 464, and ash -Shahihah 1684)
  • A gift is a bribe: The Prophet said, “May Allah cursed those who bribed and those who take bribes in the matter of law.” (narrated by Sahih al-Jami 5093)
  • A gift was the result of stolen: This gift is clear, you can’t accept it. Because it’s the haraam gift, therefore that’s forbidden in Islam.
  • That gift is debt: A gift can’t be acceptable if the person giving a gift considers as a loan or debt.
  • Gift from people who love to leverage gifts: You can’t accept the gift if that person who gave your gift likes to leverage and also tells about the gifts.

Giving gifts in the form of a desire to strengthen friendship and affection is highly recommended in Islam, especially if we give gifts with benefits. Like giving gifts in the form of prayer tools; prayer mats, woman’s prayer dresses, tasbeeh or a Quran, or stationery; books, pencils, rulers, pens etc. Giving a useful gift in addition to being used can also give the reward to the person who provided the gift. There’s law of gift and giving a gift in Islam that should we know as Muslims as well.

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Remembered, our Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alaihi wassalam never rejected of giving gifts, except if there’s barricade of syar’i, that was explained in above information. Islam also teaches that it is better not to celebrate birthdays or giving gifts on birthdays like what the Messenger of Allah has told us in the above explanation.

In addition, giving gifts to non-Muslims is also not recommended especially during religious celebrations, even though they are still our family. If we giving gifts to non-Muslims is the same that we agree with the celebration they held. In giving a gift, actually back again to our intentions and goals respectively. If we give a gift with the intention to tighten the bonds, mutual respect between each other and not violate the provisions of Islam, it’s okay. The most important in giving the gift must be sincere, that’s the main thing.

Although the gift is large, small, expensive or not, it is not important that it is sincere in giving rewards and rewards to the receiving person. Insyaalah with a sincere and useful gift we will also get a reward, aminn ya robbal alaminn. Hopefully, all this information can be additional knowledge for us especially Muslims wherever you are.

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Kategori : Akhlaq, Good Deed