Are you looking to get closer to that special someone at the masjid or school, but just don’t know how to do it? Want to become closer to your teacher or mentor, but words just aren’t enough? Looking to make your parents’, siblings’ or spouse’s day? Do it the sunnah way:
The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, تهادوا، تحابوا, exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.
A’ishah radi Allahu anha narrated that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam used to accept gifts and reward people for giving them.
Giving gifts is one way that we can become closer to our fellow muslims, and strengthen the bond between us. It is a great sunnah that we can revive, inshaAllah.
If someone does give you a gift, how should you respond?
The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, Whoever has a favour done for him and says ‘Jazaak Allahu khayran‘ has done his utmost to thank him.
Giving a gift is not like charity, because the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam did not accept charity. So, what is the difference between charity and gifts?
Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah said:
“Sadaqah (charity) is that which is given for the sake of Allah as an act of worship, without intending to give it to a specific person and without seeking anything in return, rather it is given for charitable causes, such as to the needy. A gift is given with the intention of honouring a specific person, either because the recipient is your friend whom you love, or because you want something in return.”
A gift does not have to be something extravagant, but a simple gift like a cup of coffee for your friend, or a sandwich or something will soften the heart of the one who receives the gift. It’s about quality, not quantity.
Also, we must remember that giving gifts and charity does not give us the authority to remind people of what we gave them. This is one of the worst actions one can do, as Allah ta’ala says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُبْطِلُواْ صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالأذَى
O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders [of it] or injury.
[Suratul Baqarah, verse 264]
If someone did not acknowledge your gift or charity, do not take it upon yourself to remind them and ruin your reward by doing so. Remember that your reward is with Allah ta’ala–they cannot give you anything compared to what He Gives, and remember that He knows your intentions. Wa Allahu ta’ala ‘alam.