Eid is a beautiful gift from Allah for the patience, tolerance and perseverance we showed in the month of Ramadan. For the fasts we kept for His sake. Even though Allah doesn’t need any of that yet He gives us a chance to celebrate many of our weaknesses that we were able to convert into our strengths.
And the joy of receiving such gift is contagious. Hence we give gifts to each other on eid too.
Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Give gifts and you will love one another.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]
So the question is, can gifts increase love?
The answer is YES!
How to make sure your gifts do nothing but increase love for each other?
1) Keep your intentions pure
If your intention of giving a gift is to increase love and remove malice from the hearts, then it will be that source for you. Any other evil motive behind it can waste all the money and effort involved.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If anyone intercedes for his brother and he presents a gift to him for it and he accepts it, he approaches a great door of the doors of usury.” [Abi Dawud]
2) Give a gift without expecting it back
The more you expect, the more you are let down. So give a gift for the sake of Allah and your joy-meter will automatically rise!
Narrated Abu Hurairah:“A man from Banu Fazarah gave a gift to the Prophet (ﷺ) of she-camel from his camels which they had taken at Al-Ghabah. So he reciprocated for it with something in return, but he was upset with it. So I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), upon Minbar saying: ‘Indeed one of the men from the Bedouins gave me a gift so I reciprocated for it to the extent of what I had. Then he became very upset with me. By Allah! After my experience with this Bedouin man, I shall not accept a gift from anyone except from a Quraishi, Ansari, Thaqafi, or Dawsi.'” [Tirmidhi]
3) Do not follow up with ‘mann wa aza’ (reminder and hurt)
There are many examples of doing this – from showing authority to expecting praise or simply – constantly talking about it…
O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] anything of what they have earned… [Qur’an – 2:264]
4) Do not make it a means to show off
If you can afford an expensive gift, go ahead. But the reason shouldn’t be to show off your wealth.
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“The thing I fear most for you is the lesser shirk (polytheism), showing-off” [Bulugh al-Maram]
5) Give presentable presents
No matter how small the gift is. No matter how insignificant it may be for some. No matter how cheap the product is. Make it presentable. Give gifts that you can afford easily and something you’d like for yourself.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.” [Bukhari]
6) Do not demand it back
Imagine someone giving you a gift and then demanding it back because you didn’t gift them back or you had an argument with them etc. You’d rather not receive such gift!
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet said:“The one who takes back his gift is like the one who goes back to his vomit.” [Nisai]
7) Accept it wholeheartedly
We have a culture of saying NO as a default and it constantly rolls on our tongues on special occasions like Eid. If someone is giving gift out of love, accept it.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I shall accept the invitation even if I were invited to a meal of a sheep’s trotter, and I shall accept the gift even if it were an arm or a trotter of a sheep.” [Bukhari]
8) Be Just
Although the following hadith is specific to children, the rule can apply to siblings, parents etc. as well.
It was narrated from Nu’man bin Bashir that:his father gave him a gift of a slave, and he came to the Prophet (ﷺ) so that he could witness the gift. He said: “Have you given something to all of your children?” He said: “No.” He said: “Then take back (your gift).” [Ibn Majah]
9) Don’t belittle someone’s gift
Whether it be a second hand gift, something you already own or an inexpensive product – if someone has tried, it’s praiseworthy!
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “…Never belittle any gift you give your neighbor even if it is a hoof of a sheep”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
10) Show gratitude
Say jazakAllah Khair (for male) / jazakillah khair (for female) instead! (Meaning: May Allah reward you with good).
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said :”Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.” [Tirmidhi]
Try customized gifts or even best, handmade by you! You may think it’s not your forté but it’s the thought that counts. In such a busy life where everyone is just running and running, handmade has more and more value. It’s special. It’s unique. It’s thoughtful. It’s personal.
Muslimah Bloggers holds an Eid swap each year so bloggers can show each other love, instead of competing with each other. Support each other instead of tearing each other down. Which shows that women can do amazing things as a team.
Like they say, empowered women empower women.
We were paired with a couple of bloggers who sent us beautiful gifts and since we are crazy about all things bookstore-ish, we received a lot of books. And the nerd in us can rest in peace now.
Saima from https://saimawrites.wordpress.com blog sent one book for children (which covered so many aspects of Qur’an subhaanAllah) and another for adults (which fell in hands at the very right time as this was on the to-do list for long).
Rafeeda from The big sweet tooth sent a children’s book which, you can clearly see, was a definite hit with this kid. She was glued to it the moment it was opened. There was no going back after that.
Myda Tahir from https://ummeummah.blogspot.com blog also sent books along with an Eid card. Oh the joy of receiving a personal note.
Although the requirement was no more than $5 but all of these lovely ladies went beyond that and offered all things amazing. The money spent on books is the money well spent. Did it increase mutual love? Totally! <3