CHAPTER FIFTY-ONE

SUNNAH OF GIFTS O Allah

(The Exalted) bless our liege-lord and master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Unlettered Prophet, and the family of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) just as You blessed our master Abraham, for You are Praiseworthy, the Mighty.

Increase love Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) has related that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “In order to promote mutual love, exchange gifts amongst yourselves.” i ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) states that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Exchange presents with one another. Presents remove ill-will from hearts.”” Ii

Thank people Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “He who does not thank people does not thank Allah.” iii We should appreciate and always thank one another by saying Jazakallahu Khaira iv (may Allah (The Exalted) reward you). If a friend, relative, or an acquaintance gives you a gift, thank them as soon as possible regardless of the value of the gift. It is good manners to show warm appreciation for such kind gesture and if you can, return with an appropriate gift. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whoever does you a favour then reward him, if you can not reward him, pray for him.” v The hadith calls upon the receivers to return within their means. The reward means a gift equivalent to that received; if that is not possible, then a simple gift will do; and if that is not at hand, then a sincere prayer would suffice. It is recommended that the reward be better than the original gift. It is the essence of Islamic manners to return a nice gesture with a better one. Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “If anyone is given a gift and has the means he should make a return for it. However, if he does not posses the means he should express praise, for he who expresses praise has given thanks, he who conceals a matter has been ungrateful. Also, he who dresses himself with what he has not been given is like he who puts on two garments of falsehood.” vi We find from this that we should return a gift as it increases love and thank them too. Whether you like it or not, it is the thought that counts. Another thing we learn is that we should wear clothing which we can afford and do not wear clothing so that people will respect you as Allah (The Exalted) is displeased and these people will be given the clothing of disrespect on the Day of Judgment, Allah (The Exalted) forbid.

Give in return! ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) states that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would accept gifts and would give something in return.” vii Perfume, oil, milk, or a pillow should not be refused, for in accepting them you will not be under an unbearable burden of obligation, on the other hand it would please the person who offers them. viii Azra bin Thabit Al Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “When I went to Thumama bin ‘Abd Allah (may Allah be pleased with him), he gave me some perfume and said, ‘Ana,( may Allah be pleased with him) would not reject the gifts of perfume.’ Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said that ‘The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not reject gifts of perfume.’ ix Subhanallah!

Baarakallahu Fee Ahlika Wa Maalik May Allah (The Exalted) bless your family and wealth x

Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that “One who gives charity or who frees a slave at the time of his death is like one who gives gifts when he has more than enough.” xi Subhanallah! ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “O Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)! I have two neighbours! To whom shall I send my gifts?” He said, “To the one whose gate is nearer to you.” xii Look at the teachings of the Prophet of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)! Subhanallah! If you get two invitations at the same time then go to the invitation that is closest to you

THE PROPHET (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) NEVER SAID ‘NO’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was very generous and never said ‘No’ to anyone asking him for anything. If he had it, he would give it at once, if not he would gently ask the man to come for it some other time. Ibn Munkadir heard Jabir Ibn ‘Abd-Allah say that, “The messenger of Allah (The Exalted), was not asked for anything to which he said, ‘No,’” xiii Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) and Sahl Ibn Sa’ad (may Allah be pleased with him) made similar reports. Whenever the servants of Madinah (the people of Madinah) would come with some water to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the morning so that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would dip his blessed hand in their utensils so it would become blessed water. Even when it was very cold in the morning the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) never said ‘No’. xiv

Most generous Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), was the most generous of people in giving gifts and most generous of all in the month of Ramadan. When he met with Jibrail (upon whom be peace) he was more generous than even the wind which is sent forth.” xv Subhanallah! Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “A man asked him for something and he gave him all the sheep between two mountains. The man returned to his people and said, ‘Become Muslim. Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) gives the gift of a man who does not fear poverty.” Xvi

Gave Camels away He gave a hundred camels to more than one person. He gave Safwan a hundred, then a hundred, and then a hundred. This had been his character since before he was entrusted with the message. Waraqa Ibn Nawafal told him, “You bear all and attain to what others are denied.” xvii A man came and asked for something. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “I do not have anything, but buy something on my account and when I get some money, I will pay for it.” ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said to him, “Allah (The Exalted) has not obliged you to do what you are not able to do!” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) disliked that, so a man of the Ansar said, “O Messenger of Allah (The Exalted)! Spend and do not fear decrease from the Master of the Throne!” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) smiled and the pleasure could be seen in his face. He said, “I am commanded to this.” xviii The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has been given everything by Allah (The Exalted) and he distributes.

Giving more in return It is mentioned that Mu’awwidh Ibn ‘Afra (may Allah be pleased with him) said that, “I brought the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), a plate of fresh dates and cucumbers, and he gave me a handful of jewellery and gold.” xix Subhanallah! We find that to give a better gift in return is Sunnah.

A man brought Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) a gift worth ten dirhams and the Imam presented him a gift worth five hundred dirhams. The man was surprised and said, “But Imam my gift was little, about a tenth of your gift.” “Your gift is more valuable,” the Imam answered. “You remembered me while I forgot you, I remembered you only after you had given me your gift. So your gift is better.” It is bad manner to receive a gift and remain silent without a word of thanks, as if it is your due right to be presented with gifts. It is equally ill-mannered to delay that to a later time or until you are reminded of the gift.

The only time when he (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said ‘No’ The only time when the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said ‘NO’, was when he said, ‘There is ‘NO’ deity, but Allah (The Exalted).’ Meaning when saying the Shahadah. We have read the virtues and benefits of giving gifts. When giving gifts we should give for the sake of Allah (The Exalted) and with the intention of following the Sunnah. We should also try and give Islamic gifts especially books of knowledge as we need to spread the teachings of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as much as possible.

Manners of Gifts 1. Both to receive and give gifts is Sunnah. 2. One should not mention one’s personal needs before or after. 3. One should not boast of one’s gesture after giving a present. 4. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When returning from a journey, bring a gift for you’re household be it stones.” xx Accepting and giving presents is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). You should try to give a present no matter how small it is as it will create love between you and others. May Allah (The Exalted) give us the ability to increase love between ourselves, Ameen.


i Bukhari ii Tirmidhi iii Ahmad & Tirmidhi iv Tirmidhi v Abu Dawud in Zakah & Bukhari in Adab al-Mufrad. vi Mishkat vii Bukhari viii Tirmidhi ix Bukhari x ibid xi Ahmad & Nasa’i xii Bukhari xiii ibid xiv Seerate Mustafa xv Bukhari & Muslim xvi Muslim xvii Bukhari & Muslim xviii Tirmidhi xix Shamail-e-Tirmidhi xx Abu Dawud

Download Now