(1) If you wish to make a request to a person for something, then do not make any gift to him. The one to whom the gift is made under such circumstances is either put to disgrace or is indirectly compelled to comply with the request of the person who presented the gift. (Such a gift will in fact be a bribe).
(2) When taking a gift along the journey to present to someone, do not take so much as to create difficulty for you along the journey.
(3) Immediately after accepting a gift it is not proper to give it (the gift) in charity in the presence of the person who made the gift. Contribute it in the absence of the person in a way which will not be known to him, otherwise he will be grieved.
(4) The motive for making gifts should be only muhabbat (love and affection), not the fulfillment of one’s needs or request. Therefore, if you have a need to present to a person, do not make a gift to him at the same time. It will then appear as if the gift was motivated by the ulterior motive.
‘5) The actual purpose of making a gift is to strengthen the bond of affection. Therefore, such ways which inconvenience the one for whom the gift is intended, should not be adopted.
(6) Make the gift in privacy, not in public. The muhdailayh (the person to whom the gift was made) is entitled to make public the gift.
(7) If the gift is in kind (i.e. not cash) then endeavour to ascertain the likes and preferences of the muhdailayh. Present something which the muhdailayh prefers.
(8) The amount of the gift should not be so much that it constitutes a difficulty for the muhda ilayh. It does not matter how less or of little value the gift may be. People of piety are not concerned with the amount or quantity of the gift. They look at the sincerity of the one who makes the gift.
(9) If for some reason acceptance of the gift is refused, then respectfully request the reason for the refusal. For the future bear it in mind. But do not insist to obtain the reason at the time. If the gift is refused because of a misunderstanding created by a baseless supposition or mis-information which reached the muhda ilayh, then it is correct, in fact better, to immediately notify him of the error.
(10) Do not make a gift to anyone as long as he is not convinced of your sincerity.
(11) Do not make gifts in such a way that taking delivery of it becomes difficult and onerous on the muhda ilayh.
(12) A gift tendered with the motive to obtain some benefit in lieu is, in fact, bribery. It is not hadyah.
(13) If the motive underlying the gift is to obtain thawaab in the Aakhirat, then too, it is not hadyah, but will be Sadqah (charity).
(14) Some people labour under the impression that when going to visit a Saint it is necessary to present a gift to him. This is incorrect. To make it a rule to present him with a gift whenever one visits him is harmful to all parties concerned.
(15) Accept gifts from such persons who do not expect anything in return, otherwise it will lead to ill-feeling ultimately. However, the one who has accepted the gift should endeavour to reciprocate. If you are not by the means to give anything in return, at least praise the person and express your gratitude. Mention his favour in the presence of others. Expressing gratitude by saying “May allah reward your goodness,.” will suffice. One who does not express gratitude to a person who did a favour, does not express gratitude to even Allah Ta’ala.
(16) It is improper to obliterate (i.e. to forget about) a gift which one has received, for this displays lack of appreciation. Similarly, it is improper to advertise with pride the great value or abundance of the gifts received.
(17) It is not permissible to accept gifts from mentally deranged persons.
(18) It is not permissible to accept gifts from na-baaligh (minor) children.
(19) A gift should not be refused because of its slight value or small quantity.
(20) A gift should not be refused on account of pride or arrogance.
(21) If one detects that a gift is not presented because of sincerity, but is motivated by some ulterior motive, then such a gift should be refused.
(22) It is permissible to refuse a gift if one detects that the gift is made or, account of one’s need or poverty.
(23) A Qari who has recited the Qur’aan should not be given a present (hadyah) because of his recital. If a gift is made to him, he should refuse acceptance.
(24) Hadyah (gift) should not be presented while making musaafahah (shaking hands).
(25) When sending hadyah with someone, ensure that the person whom you are sending is reliable so that there be no need to obtain a receipt or acknowledgement letter from the muhda ilayh (the one to whom the gift is made). Requesting acknowledgement from the muhda ilayh is an irksome imposition on him and it is uncultural.
(26) When a gift is made, the price of the item should not be asked of the one who makes the gift. Similarly, others who happen to be present when the gift is made should also not query the price or value of the article in the presence of the muhdi (the one who makes the gift).
MALFOOZAAT REGARDING HADYAH:
(1) During a journey the people of a certain town had decided to make a collection and present me with a gift on my departure. When I was informed of this, I forbade them. I warned them never to do this. One evil in this method of collecting is that sometimes the donor does not contribute wholeheartedly, but gives as a result of indirect pressure since the collectors may be prominent men of the town. Secondly, the purpose of hadyah is to increase the muhabbat and friendship. Thus, even if the contributor gave wholeheartedly, the aim of the hadyah is lost since the identity of the giver will not be known to the muhda ilayh. Thirdly, sometimes it becomes necessary to refuse the gift because of some valid reason. This reason is related to the muhdi (giver), But, in view of his identity being unknown, this becomes difficult because of the collective hadyah. Therefore, whoever wishes to present a gift, should do so himself or without having been exhorted, he should send it with some reliable person. Alternatively, an accompanying letter may be sent with the gift.
(2) During one journey some persons, taking me to their homes attempted to present hadyah to me. I prevented them from this. I advised them that if others come to know of this, they may gain the impression that it is customary to present gifts in this way. Those who are unable to afford will be put to anxiety when they call me to their homes. They will not know whether they should call me or not. If they do, they will not be able to present gifts and if they do not call me, they will be left with regret. Whoever wishes to make a gift should come to my place of residence, talk with me so that my liberty is not curtailed.
(3) When some people present gifts to me it appears to me that either it is onerous on them or onerous on me. I feel like refusing such gifts. However, since it is in conflict with the Sunnah to refuse gifts, I used to be bothered about this. But, I obtained clarification in this regard from one Hadith. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that when a pillow or perfume is presented, accept it. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated the reason for this acceptance in the following terms:
“For verily, it is light in weight.”
This implies that if a gift is onerous on one’s disposition, it may be refused.
(4) Once a great Aalim and Aarif raised the query of accepting gifts after having anticipated them. He said:
“Sometimes when seeing certain sincere friends who usually present gifts, the thought arises in the mind that perhaps they will give hadyah. Then, it just happens that they make gifts. On such occasions there is some trepidation in the heart since this form of hadyah is known as Ishraafun Nafs. In the state of Ishraafun Nafs acceptance of hadyah is contrary to the Sunnah. I therefore hesitate to accept such gifts.”
(lshraafun Nafs means anticipation by the nafs which expected to obtain a gift.) Hadhrat commented:
“The Hadith does not intend this type of ishraaf. The ishraaf mentioned in the Hadith is that which is followed by dejection if the person does not present a gift. If the muhda ilayh is not dejected when the person does not make a gift, then there is no harm.”
(5) Someone sent a money order as a hadyah to Hadhrat Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh). The money order was returned to the sender. Along with the money order the sender had requested the reason underlying certain Shar’i rulings. In reply, Hadhrat wrote:
“As long as we are not well known to each other and congeniality (munaasabat) has not been created, I feel embarrassed to accept a gift. Mutual understanding and munaasabat are acquired by frequent meeting or correspondence. Both these acts are within your control, not in mine. I have not recognized who you are merely by you having written your name. I have therefore returned your money order. The proof of the lack of mutual understanding and congeniality is quite apparent from your letter.
You have asked the reason for the masaa-il (rules of the Shariah), but you have no right for this. Without having established sufficient mutual understanding and congeniality, do not again send the gift. As long as I do not accept the money it does not become my property.
As far as the Shariah is concerned, you need have no concern since it remains your property which you may bring into your own use.”
(6) A man presented a gift of one paisa (a coin of very little value). He gave one anna and requested the change of three paisa. The anna was converted into four paisa in the gathering and three paisa were returned to him while Hadhrat kept the one paisa. Hadhrat commented:
”There can be no question of riya (ostentation or show) in this gift.”
(7) Without consulting Hadhrat a man purchased some sweetmeats from the bazaar and presented it to Hadhrat who indicated his displeasure. Hadhrat commented:
“Since you have bought the sweet meats from here you should have unhesitatingly asked me first. You have spent your money, but the sweet meats are of no use to me. I have no children. My wife and myself do not relish sweet meats. Now it may be distributed only to others although the favour remains on me.
What pleasure can there be in accepting such a hadyah? However, taking into consideration your feelings, I say: Half for me and half for you so that you too may understand the effect of eating something without the heart having been pleased.”
(8) A stranger presented a prayer-carpet to Hadhrat. Hadhrat said: “My practice is not to accept gifts on the occasion of the first greeting, especially from a person with whom I do not have close and informal contact.”
The stranger said: “I have brought it by the command of Allah. I was commanded to purchase a prayer-mat and present it to you.”
Hadhrat said: “The command of Allah does come to Ambiya. It does not come to those who are not Nabis.”
The stranger: “It was inspired into my heart.”
Hadhrat: “It has been inspired into my heart to refrain from accepting gifts which are presented improperly.”
Stranger: “Show me the proper way.”
Hadhrat: “You present me with a gift and you ask me to show you the way! You have no shame. Do you want me also to become shameless and without honour?”
(9) Once Hadhrat said:
“Whenever the need arises for me to refuse a gift, I start to shiver with fear. Is it perhaps not ignoring of a ni’mat (favour of Allah)? For if it is, bounties from Allah Ta’ala will be terminated.”
(10) “After much experience did I formulate principles regarding the acceptance of gifts. I know what transpires in this regard, hence my sternness. Even Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qaasim (rahmatullah alayh) who was an embodiment of moral excellence held similar views regarding gifts. He would say:
“A gift which is presented by a person who thinks us to be in need, is not acceptable even though in reality we may be in need. However, the one who presents the hadyah has no right to give us hadyah thinking that we are in need. Gifts given in muhabbat (love and affection) should be accepted.”
It was also among the practices of Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Saheb to refuse gifts which were given to him while he was on a journey. Explaining his reason for this, he said:
“On seeing us, the urge to present the gift entered into the heart. It is, therefore quite possible that the gift was not motivated by true muhabbat. It is also possible that muhabbat may be the motive, but the gift was given in a moment of enthusiasm. After the dissipation of the enthusiasm it is possible that the giver may regret (his act of having given a large amount).”
These men are wise men. There is great wisdom and knowledge in their statement.ad “
(11) Frequently people tender gifts (of money) to saintly people while making musaafahah (shaking hands). This is highly improper and wrong. Musaafahah is an act of pure ibaadat.
Worldly considerations should not be mingled with it.
(12) A man was presenting a tasbeeh (rosary) to Hadhrat. Another person who was looking at the beautiful tasbeeh enquired the price of it. Hadhrat said:
“When a hadyah is presented the value should not be asked. This is among the etiquettes of hadyah. The giver is displeased by this on account of the possibility that the gift will not be appreciated if it is of little value.”