Hadith #8

"Give gifts to create love among you." تهادوا تحابوا

This Hadith is narrated by Abu Hurayra. The prophet said in another narration, "exchange gifts because indeed gifts will remove wahar (ill feelings) from the heart and let a neighbor not look down on the gift of a neighbor even if it be the lower shank of a sheep." This Hadith is an important message for both the giver and the receiver. However, the giver should be reasonable in his choice of gift and avoid insulting the receiver with an inappropriate gift.

As another remedy for wahar (ill feelings), the prophet recommended fasting 3 days in each month (the 13th , 14th, and 15th of the lunar month). Recent research has established a relationship between the full moon and human behavior, and since this correlation was unknown at the time of the prophet, we consider this recommendation to be one of his miracles.

There are certain important aspects to consider when giving a gift. First of all, one should look for a practical gift: an object that the receiver is actually going to use. The giver should give without expecting anything in return. He or she should simply give and forget and should not remind the receiver of the "favor." The timing and the manner in which the gift is presented are also very important.

It's recommended for the receiving party to compensate the giver. This is evidenced and emphasized in the Hadith where the prophet recommended giving to one who asks, honoring the invitation of one who invites, and compensating one who gives a gift or making dua for him or her if unable to compensate

The absence of gift exchanges in a relationship does not necessarily indicate that the relationship is void of love. We should remember and accept the fact that people have different backgrounds and ways. There could be a legitimate reason behind the lack of gift. Sometimes there's more love in a relationship that lacks gift exchanges than in one with gifts. It's also possible that the giver lacks sincerity and gives with a hidden agenda in mind. Obviously this is not a good thing.

Exchanging gifts with non-Muslims is OK as long as the gift itself is not a haram (forbidden) object such as alcoholic drinks or intoxicants.

Although giving gifts is a highly encouraged deed, it's haram (forbidden) to do so in some circumstances. Examples include giving gifts to an officer working for the state. There's a report of the prophets being angry because one of the zakah collectors accepted a gift. One should not give a gift to a person whom he owes money to.

With the exception of a father from his son, it is forbidden to take a gift or a charity back after giving it. According to the prophet, a person who does this is similar to a dog that eats its own vomit.