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Lesson Gift

In this lesson, we will learn about the concept of gifts and some rulings related to it.

  • Learn about the concept of gifts and the wisdom behind it.
  • Awareness of legal rulings related to gifts.
  • Encouraging the gift-seeking reward from Allah.

Allah is generous and He loves generosity, and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was the most generous of people. He used to accept gifts and give something in return and asked people to accept it. He encouraged the giving of gifts, and the act of giving was one of the most beloved deeds to him.

Definition of Gifts

The ownership of an item immediately without paying for it.

The statement: 'Ownership' is an indication that the contract of a gift is a type of ownership contract.

What is meant by an asset: All types of assets including financial and other such things.

And the term 'possession of an asset' is excluded from the term 'gift of benefits' for two reasons:

Benefits are not called wealth according to some jurists.
The gift of benefits has a special terminology among the jurists, which is called 'Al-'Ariyah' (loan item.)

The ownership restriction excludes someone being overlooked for repaying a debt-free, even if it was by the wording of a gift; because being forgiven for repaying a debt is considered the removal of something as opposed to receiving it like a gift.

The word gift is applied to a present that is given, it falls under the heading of righteousness and kindness, keeping close ties and general good.

The Ruling of Gifts

The gift is recommended; because of how it brings hearts together, the gaining of reward, and bringing about love and affection. The Quran, Sunnah, and the unanimous consensus indicate the desirability of gift-giving.

The legislation urges gift-giving because it purifies the souls from the evil of miserliness, stinginess, and greed, and how it brings the hearts together, and strengthens the bonds of love between people, especially if it is for a relative, neighbor, or one with whom you have enmity. Disputes may occur, disharmony and plotting against others may occur, and ties of kinship may be severed, so gifts can purify the hearts and remove everything that causes division between people. And whoever gives something for the sake of Allah, will be rewarded.

'Aisha said that Allah’s messenger ﷺ would accept a present and give something in return for it. (Al-Bukhari, 2585).

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was the most generous of men, and he was the most generous during the month of Ramadan when Jibril visited him every night and recited the Quran to him. During this period, the generosity of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was faster than the wind.(AL-Bukhari, 6, Muslim, 2308)

The Fundamental Rules of Gifts

Scholars have agreed that offering something is one of the pillars of gift-giving, but they differed regarding it. The gift is contracted by the offer alone (this is whatever is said by the giver to indicate the gift), but the one accepting the gift does not possess the item until he accepts it and takes possession of it. So acceptance and possession are such that, the effects of the gift can take place and not for a contract to be established.

Terms for Gifts

The gift-giver is eligible to give gifts.
The gift-giver is the owner or authorized to give the gifts away.
That the gift-giver gives of his own volition, as for the one coerced, then he is not bound by any contract.
It is stipulated that the person given the gift has the capacity to own property. So it is not valid to give a gift to someone who is not allowed to own anything. The eligibility goes by the age a person is held responsible for his actions, someone who is underage will have his guardian accept it on his behalf.
The existence of a gift-taker, because the gift is considered ownership, and owning something that does not exist is forbidden.
It is required for the gift-taker to be specified, and if the gift-taker is not specified, as if the gift-giver says: I donated my house to so-and-so or his brother, then there is a disagreement about the validity of this gift among the jurists.
That the gift is in what is permissible to use, even if it is not permissible to sell it, as gifts are a broader category than recompensating for something.
That the gifted exists, as dealing with a non-existent thing depends on its existence. The gift of the unknown and non-existent thing is valid if it is expected to exist.

Scholars differed as to the requirement that the gifted be known and not unknown, and about the requirement that the gift-taker be specific and not vague.

The Ruling of a Gift that Brings about a Benefit

Whoever gives a gift to an official, employee, or others, to gain something that he has no right to, and is forbidden for both the gift giver and taker. This is because it falls under bribes where both the taker and giver are cursed.

And if he gives a gift to stop injustices against himself, or to give him his right that is due to him, then this gift is forbidden for the gift-taker, (to keep) but it is permissible for the giver to preserve his right and ward off the evil of the gift-taker.

The Prophet ﷺ appointed a man from the tribe of Bani Asad, called Ibn Al-Utabiyya to collect the Zakat. When he returned (with the money) he said (to the Prophet), "This is for you and this has been given to me as a gift." The Prophet ﷺ stood up on the pulpit (Sufyan said he ascended the pulpit), and after glorifying and praising Allah, he said, "What is wrong with the employee whom we send (to collect Zakat from the public) that he returns to say, 'This is for you and that is for me?' Why didn't he stay at his father's and mother's house to see whether he will be given gifts or not? By Him in Whose Hand my life is, whoever takes anything illegally will bring it on the Day of Resurrection by carrying it over his neck: if it is a camel, it will be grunting: if it is a cow, it will be mooing: and if it is a sheep it will be bleating!" The Prophet ﷺ then raised both his hands till we saw the whiteness of his armpits (and he said), "No doubt! Haven't I conveyed Allah's Message?" And he repeated it three times. (Al-Bukhari, 7174, Muslim 1832). Al-Khowar: The sound of a cow. Al-Rugha: The sound of camels. Al-Ufra: white tinged with brown. Tay-'ar: Shouting and making a loud noise.

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