Rafed English

The Manners of Giving a Gift

A gift has a great effect on the heart of he whom the gift is given to, because when you give me a gift - with its real meaning not its material value- you are sending me a message of your love and affection. Thus, it is upon me to be happy and put it in mind that it is also your right upon me to repay that gift (not necessarily with a material gift but with thanks and, etc).

However, being the fact that a gift is an expression of a feeling that can never be expressed in words, therefore, it has its own manners:

A- We must be careful in choosing it, because the choice of a man - as it is said- is part of his intellect. The gift might be small in its quantity but great in its value. The books liked by your friend might be the best gift to him than anything else.

B- As some are saying that a gift must be presented on a certain occasion, but there is a possibility that a gift should be given without any occasion, because your zeal for the growth of your friendship with your friend, itself, is an occasion. Nevertheless, choosing a particular occasion for presenting a gift, like the success on anything, marriage, buying a house or returning from a journey, has a great effect on people's relationships. It was reported in a hadith to: "Present gifts, you will be loved."

C- Covering a gift with a nice and attractive cover is an expression of felicity and good wishes that will make the gift talk more than the tongue.

D- He who presents the gift must look into the practical effects of the gift before giving it. This is because some gifts have a small life span, while others have a long life span, or some have a limited effect, while others have unlimited effects.

E- It is not good to refuse a gift or to degrade it. Even if it is of little value, we must thank those who present them to us and accept them with respect. It is narrated that one day a student presented cucumbers as a gift to his teacher. The teacher ate one and found it bitter.

He took the second one and found it the same, nevertheless he ate it all without inviting the other students to join him in eating. The students were surprised with their teacher's deed. The student who presented the gift went out happy because of the gift he presented to his teacher. After he went out, the teacher turned to the rest of the students and said:

"Maybe you were surprised at what I did, but the cucumbers were bitter. If I presented them to you, you would not eat them and the presenter of the gift would not be happy. That is why I kept quiet without inviting you."

F- It is not good to give someone a gift given to you as a gift by someone else, because it is said that a gift cannot be given twice. The presenter of the gift wanted it to be your personal belonging. What can you tell him when he see it (the same gift) in the hand of another fellow? It might hurt him.

Adapted from the book: "The Art of Social Relations" by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"

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