A gift that Allah doesn’t like

The Commander of the faithful narrated from the Holy Prophet,

قَالَ رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ صَلَّى اَللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ آلِهِ : مِن تَكرِمَةِ الرّجل لاخيه المسلم ان يقبل تحفته او يتحفه ممّا عنده و لا يتكلّف شيئاً

Among the signs of showing respect for one’s Muslim brother is that he accepts his gifts or that he gives a gift to his brother from whatever he has without troubling himself with regards to his expenses.

In the eyes of Allah, the act of giving and receiving gifts amongst Muslims brothers is loved and desired. However, this narration mentions a condition with regards to giving gifts, and this condition can be extrapolated as well vis-à-vis receiving gifts.

The condition is as follows: The giver of the gift must not trouble himself by spending on his brother in a way that exceeds his budget or financial capability. Unfortunately, it is quite common for people during various occasions or events to overspend in order to present expensive gifts that supersede the value of every other gift presented in that gathering. This inconvenience is not desired or liked by Allah. If this expensive gift is bought for the sake of showing off and looking good in front of others, it is not only undesirable but in fact, a sinful act with no value or benefit. It is the very essence of gift-giving and receiving which Allah loves.

With respect to the one receiving the gift, he should gladly accept the gift which is presented to him and show his delight expressively. It is not right for someone to be presented a gift and act pretentiously or pompously.

Finally, it should be noted that simply calling something a ‘gift’, while its reality is a sin, doesn’t really count and is not loved by Allah. Doing a favour or giving a gift with strings attached, or as a form of bribery does not fit the definition of a gift and is, furthermore, an act which brings about the displeasure of Allah.

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