The Prophet (s.a.w.) Accepted Gifts & Gave Gifts to Non-Muslims

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In this season of Christmas, we should not allow some Muslims to convince us that it is haram to receive gifts from our non-Muslim family and friends.  That is not the sunnah.  There are many ahadits that demonstrate that the Prophet (s.a.w.) accepted gifts from non-Muslims.  These ahadits are swahih.

For example, it is recorded that the Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Sayyidina Hathib ibn Abi Balta’ah (r.a.) to the Christian ruler of Alexandria with a message for him, and the Patriarch accepted the letter, honoured Hathib (r.a.), and made his stay comfortable.  The Patriarch then sent him back with a garment for the Prophet (s.a.w.), a mule with its saddle, and two slave girls as gifts.  One slave girl was Sayyidatina Umm Ibrahim (r.a.), and the other one, the Prophet (s.a.w.) gave as a gift to Sayyidina Jahm ibn Qays al-‘Abdari (r.a.).  The slave girls were both eventually freed.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) also accepted the gift of Sayyidina Salman al-Farisi (r.a.) before he converted to Islam.  There are numerous further narrations where gifts were accepted and given.  This idea that gift-giving or acceptance is a manufactured controversy in these times of ignorance within the ummah.  When knowledge of the religion is so sparse, and conviction of faith lacking, even the most innocuous of acts is suddenly controversial.


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